How To Cancel A Paypal Payment

Whenever things go to plan, PayPal easily allows you to both accept and remit payments. This is because it easily integrates with numerous types of software. The transaction fees are also usually low.

In some instances, you may be required to cancel a transaction.

Whether this is because you have accidentally paid someone incorrectly, or you have sent money to the wrong person entirely, you will need to know how to cancel this transaction when it occurs.

How To Cancel A Paypal Payment

Deals can easily fall through after a payment has been sent, and in this instance, you do not need to panic if you have sent money through PayPal as this can easily be rectified if you catch it in time. 

Regardless of whether you can cancel the transaction nor not, you will also be able to request a refund or contact Paypal via their dispute processes.

I have outlined the cancellation process below alongside your alternative options. 

Paypal Cancellation Options – The Basics

Whenever a cancellation is possible, it is as simple as other aspects of Paypal. You will merely need to log into your account and select the activity button from the menu at the top of the screen.

You will then have access to your list of transactions which can be narrowed down via date if required. If it is actually possible for the transaction to be canceled, then you will see a cancel option next to the transaction.

Click on this link and click ‘cancel payment’ with the confirmation window. That is all that is required and your payment will be canceled. 

You should know that it is not possible to cancel a completed payment. If your payment is complete, then you will be required to request a refund in this instance.

If your vendor does not accept your refund request, then you may need to file a dispute with PayPal’s dispute team. 

Which Transactions Are Able To Be Canceled?

Payments that are able to be canceled are those that are listed as ‘pending’ or ‘unclaimed’ in the transaction list. The vast majority of PayPal transactions will go through instantly, and will not be cancellable.

However, there are a number of reasons why transactions may remain pending. The first instance is that the payment has been sent to an invalid account.

Thus, if you have sent money to an incorrect account, then it will remain there. This occurs often when people send money to the wrong addresses.

Another reason why some vendors may not accept payments instantly is that they have opted to manually approve their payments.

This will usually occur whenever shippers do not have access to a valid address. This usually occurs with international merchants also. This is because merchants would rather avoid dealing with foreign transaction fees. 

Thus, all transactions that involve foreign currency may be flagged for review. Paypal will also automatically refund unclaimed and pending payments after a period of 30 days.

Thus, if you do have a number of payments that are situated within these statuses, then you should not panic as your money will be returned even if you do not take any action. 

How Do I Cancel A Transaction That Is Recurring?

How Do I Cancel A Transaction That Is Recurring?

In order to cancel future and/or automatic payments, you will need to follow a relatively straightforward process. If these payments haven’t gone through, then you will be able to cancel them easily.

In order to do this, you should log into your PayPal account and navigate to the ‘account overview’ section. From here, click on the ‘summary’ option that is stated at the top of the navigation bar. 

Then, select ‘pre-approved payments’, and then select ‘manage pre-approved payments’. Within this section, you will see your pre-approved payments to review.

Select the cancel option next to the payment you wish to remove and select ‘cancel payment’ in the pop-up window. 

How Do I Request A Refund?

A refund can be requested for any transaction that has occurred up to 180 days post-purchase. Firstly, you can simply ask your vendor for a refund.

They will then be able to select the ‘issue a refund’ option next to your transaction and you will get your money back. These refunds will normally be processed within a few days for PayPal or bank transactions.

However, you should bear in mind that some card returns will take up to 30 days to process. 

If a seller refuses your refund, then you can file a dispute with the resolution center on PayPal.

You must ensure that you have filed this within 180 days of your purchase as it is subject to various limitations. You also can only dispute your product if it’s broken or not sold as described. 

In the instance that a vendor edits your despite, you can also escalate the situation fruitier by filing a claim directly with PayPal. In this instance, PayPal will arrive at a decision within 45 days, and this decision will be finalized. 


To conclude, PayPal transactions are usually relatively easy to cancel as long as the transaction is listed as pending or unclaimed within your transaction list.

However, you should bear in mind that the vast majority of transactions will be processed instantly, and thus, will not be able to be canceled. 

In this instance, you will need to request a refund, or file a dispute with PayPal’s dispute resolution service. Fortunately, all of these processes are relatively easy to navigate.

It is also helpful if your vendor is willing to refund you in the first instance. Whenever a refund is issued, you will normally receive your money back within a few days.

However, some credit card payments may take up to a month to process a refund. 

Overall, it is incredibly easy to cancel a pending payment on PayPal, as long as you cancel it as soon as possible.

Justin Shaw