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How to Cancel a PayPal Payment (Cancel PayPal Payment Guide)

How to Cancel a PayPal Payment – Cancel PayPal Payment Guide 2020

cancel a paypal paymentSo you just sent a PayPal payment but now you realize it was a mistake.  Maybe the amount was wrong. Or, the amount was correct but you sent it to the wrong person.  Maybe you just changed your mind and you no longer want to send that person money anymore.  Whatever the reason, you can cancel a PayPal payment pretty easily – as long as the receiver has not claimed it.

On the other hand, some PayPal payments can’t be canceled and your only recourse is to ask for a refund or to dispute the charge with the company in question.  However, if you have sent a payment that requires the receiver to actively claim it, you may be able to cancel that payment and keep your cash.

  • You can cancel a PayPal payment if the receiver of the money has not yet claimed it.  The process of how to cancel a PayPal payment yet to be claimed is pretty easy.
  • Many forms of PayPal payments are processed immediately and cannot be canceled.  They require you to request a refund to get your money back.
  • PayPal will automatically cancel any payment you make that goes unclaimed for 30 days. They will return the money to your account without you having to do anything.

When Can I Cancel a PayPal Payment? 

Not when the payment is already completed

You can’t cancel a PayPal payment if the status shows Completed in your Activity.  You can contact the recipient or seller to request a refund within 180 days of making your payment.  If you didn’t make the payment, you can report the unauthorized transaction to the Resolution Center.

You can’t cancel a payment you’ve sent if its status shows “Completed” in your Activity. However, you can contact the recipient/seller to request a refund within 180 days of making your payment.  If you didn’t make this payment, please report this unauthorized transaction in the Resolution Center. If there are other issues with this payment, such as you didn’t receive the items or services you paid for, or the related eBay auction was canceled, you can open a dispute in the Resolution Center and communicate directly with the seller.  (Source:

Unclaimed or still pending

You can only cancel a pending payment that has a Cancel link next to it.  Pending payments will be in the Unclaimed status, meaning that the recipient hasn’t received or accepted it. If the payment is pending for 30 days, it’ll be canceled automatically and refunded to the payment method you used to send the payment.

You can only cancel a pending payment that has a “Cancel” link next to it in your Activity. These payments will be in the “Unclaimed” status, meaning that the recipient hasn’t received or accepted it. You won’t be able to cancel a pending payment that doesn’t have a “Cancel” link. In this case, you may try to contact the recipient/seller to make other arrangements.  If the payment you sent is pending for 30 days, it’ll be canceled automatically and refunded to the payment method you used to send the payment. If you cancel a payment you just sent from your bank, please allow 3-5 business days for the money to appear in your bank account.  (Source:

How to Cancel a PayPal Payment Still Pending

  1. Log into your PayPal account and click on the Activity tab at the top of the screen. Not all PayPal payments can be canceled. Those made to confirmed email addresses, for example, may transfer to the recipient immediately.
  2. Scroll down to locate the payment you want to cancel.
  3. Click the word Cancel.
  4. Click the Cancel Payment button to confirm.  Money may take several days to be credited back to your account.

How to Cancel a PayPal Payment that is Recurring

Recurring payments, like subscriptions, are easy to set up on PayPal. However, when your subscription ends you may need to cancel the PayPal transaction in addition to canceling the subscription with the business itself.  There are two ways to do this, and the first is very similar to the method listed above. The only difference is that you need to filter for Automatic Payments on the Activity page.

The other way to cancel a recurring payment on PayPal is completely different. You still need to log into the website, but that’s the only step the two have in common.  Once logged in, click on the settings cog in the upper right part of the screen. Then, click Payments in the top middle. After that, click View next to Manage your Automatic Payments and a new page will open.

Canceling a Recurring PayPal Payment

  1. Log into your PayPal account.
  2. Click the settings icon in the top right.
  3. Click Payments in the top middle.
  4. Next to Manage your Automatic Payments, click View.
  5. Select the name of the business, then Cancel.
  6. You have to cancel the recurring payment at least 24 hours before it’s scheduled to occur. Otherwise, the next payment may still be sent.

Good to Know PayPal Payment Details:

  • Cancel Link – You can only cancel a pending payment that has a “Cancel” link next to it.
  • 30 Days – Any payment you sent that is still pending for 30 days will be canceled automatically and refunded to you.
  • Debit or Credit Cards – If you sent the payment using a debit or credit card, the refund will be credited to the card you used.  It may take up to 30 days for the card to be credited.
  • Bank Accounts – If you sent your payment using a bank account and the payment is canceled, it will be refunded to your PayPal balance.  Allow 3-4 business days for the money to re-appear.  Once the amount shows again in your balance you can withdraw the funds and transfer them to your bank account.
  • If cancellation is not possible – If you are unable to cancel the payment and need a refund, you need to contact the recipient of the payment.
  • Opening a Dispute – If the recipient doesn’t agree to refund your money, you may be able to open a dispute in the Resolution Center.  Then, you will be able to communicate directly with the other party and try to resolve any issues.

What are my options if the PayPal payment can’t be canceled?

If you don’t catch it in time or the recipient already has a PayPal account, you still have a few options to get your money back.

  1. Simply ask for a refund –  The ideal situation here is when you know and trust the recipient. Simply ask them to refund the money. It’s easy for them to do from the Activity page, and won’t cost anyone any money.
  2. Request a refund directly from the retailer – PayPal is accepted at a wide variety of online retailers, but these transfers are more difficult to get back. Your first option should be to request a refund from the retailer directly through their website or through a customer service email. You will probably need to send back whatever you purchased, and the process could take a week or more.
  3. PayPal Resolution Center – It’s possible that a retailer will deny your refund request, but your options don’t end there. You can report an issue in PayPal’s Resolution Center.  A PayPal customer service representative will have a look at your case. This doesn’t guarantee you will get your money back, but PayPal is generally good about granting reasonable customer requests.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Can I Cancel a PayPal Payment?  Unfortunately, you can’t reverse or cancel a PayPal transaction that’s been completed. Payment can only be canceled if it’s marked as Pending or Unclaimed on its Transaction details page.

What Happens When PayPal Refunds Money?  When a PayPal transaction is successfully canceled, the funds are returned to you. If you made the initial payment using PayPal account funds or a bank account, the money is returned to your PayPal account within three to four days. When a credit or debit card was used, the funds are returned to the card’s balance within 30 days.

What to Do if You Can’t Cancel a PayPal Transaction?  If you can’t initiate a PayPal payment cancellation, you need to personally get in touch with the recipient and ask them to refund your payment. The easiest way to do this is to email them using the address associated with their PayPal account.  The last resort should be to file a dispute via the PayPal Resolution Center.

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