Step-by-Step: Cancelling Automatic Payments on PayPal


Balance Pro Staff

updated on

May 1, 2023

Using automatic payments through PayPal is a convenient method for handling recurring payments for both businesses and customers. However, it's important to know how to cancel these ongoing payments when the time comes. This guide will walk you through the process step-by-step to cancel automatic payments on PayPal, allowing you to keep your hard-earned money in your bank account when you decide to cancel a service.

Luckily, canceling recurring payments on PayPal is a fairly simple process. Let's dive in and take a closer look at how to do it.

Canceling a Recurring Payment on PayPal as a Customer

If you're a customer looking to cancel a recurring payment on PayPal, the following steps will guide you through the process of canceling an automatic subscription and help you avoid further deductions from your bank account.

Make Sure You Have a PayPal Account

Before canceling a recurring payment on PayPal, make sure you have a PayPal account. Even if you don't have an account, businesses can still set up subscription payments with you. However, canceling automatic payments will be much easier if you have a PayPal account.

If you don't have a PayPal account, you'll need to reach out to the business directly to cancel your automated payments.

How to Cancel an Automatic Billing in PayPal

To cancel an automatic billing on PayPal, follow these simple steps:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account using your regular credentials.
  2. Locate the "Account Settings" tab at the top of the page and click on it.
  3. In the "Account Settings" menu, click on "Payments."
  4. Under the "Payments" section, select "Manage Automatic Payments." Here, you can view all your scheduled and recurring payments, as well as the preferred payment method for each one. This is a useful place to review all your recurring PayPal payments, so you can identify any unwanted subscriptions or scheduled payments you may have forgotten about.
  5. Find the payment you wish to cancel and click on the button to cancel automatic charges. The button could say "Cancel" or "Cancel Automatic Billing."
  6. Click on "Cancel" and follow the prompts to confirm the cancellation of your subscription.

Canceling Recurring Payments on PayPal as an Online Merchant

As an online merchant, it's important to know how to cancel recurring payments on PayPal if a customer requests it. While losing a client is never pleasant, it's crucial to cancel automatic billing promptly to avoid frustrating your customer and going through the refund process. Additionally, understanding PayPal's cancellation charges is essential.

Canceling a recurring payment arrangement from your end is a straightforward process:

How to Cancel a Customer’s Automatic Billing in PayPal

If a customer requests to end their recurring payments to you, as an online merchant, it's important to know how to cancel their automatic billing on PayPal. The following steps will guide you through the process:

  1. Log in to your PayPal business account using your regular credentials.
  2. On your PayPal dashboard, locate the "Recurring Payments" section. If you don't see it, hover over the "Pay and Get Paid" tab, and click on "Subscriptions."
  3. On the subscriptions page, you'll see all your active subscriptions, also known as "active profiles." Find the name of the customer who wants to cancel, or search for their subscription ID.
  4. Click on the subscription plan that you want to cancel to view its details. You'll see a cancel button for the subscription.
  5. Follow the prompts to confirm the cancellation. Your customer will receive a notification from PayPal stating that their subscription will end at the end of the current billing cycle. This means that if your customer cancels in the middle of the current payment period, they will still receive the benefits of their subscription until the cycle ends. Note that this applies to both automatic monthly payments and biweekly payments, but your payment contract may vary.

Important: Once a customer cancels their subscription, you can't reactivate it from your end. This is a security measure to prevent fraud. However, the customer can rejoin with the same email address and details as if they were a new customer after the current payment cycle runs out. The subscription will then continue to run and charge automatically unless they decide to cancel again.


PayPal is an excellent tool for managing pre-approved payments, especially for businesses that rely on subscription payments as a steady source of income. Fortunately, canceling automatic payments is just as easy as setting them up. Whether you're a PayPal business account holder, a business owner sending recurring charges to customers, or an individual looking to save more money each month, understanding the cancellation process for automatic payments is crucial.

If you're a small business owner looking for a reliable payroll tool to simplify your workload, FreshBooks is the solution for you. Our cloud-based payroll software can help you manage your most consistent automatic charge: paying your employees. Plus, it seamlessly integrates with PayPal, making the entire process even easier.

Why Can’t I Cancel a Payment on Paypal?

If you're unable to cancel an automatic payment through your PayPal account, it's possible that the funds have already been transferred for your current billing period. Canceling a recurring charge in advance is relatively easy, but it can be more complicated after the transfer has been made. In this case, you'll need to contact the business you paid to discuss a refund.

How Do I Turn on Automatic Payments in Paypal?

As a customer, the business you're dealing with sets up automatic payments for bills and subscriptions. To sign up for their subscription, you can follow the normal process for subscribing to their service.

For businesses, setting up automatic payments on your PayPal account is easy. First, log in to your PayPal business account and click on "Tools." Next, select "Recurring Payments" and follow the instructions to set up automatic payments for your business account on PayPal.

How Do I Cancel a Pre-Authorized Payment?

If you need to cancel a pre-authorized payment on PayPal, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to your account settings and select "Financial Information."
  2. Click on "Manage Automatic Payments."
  3. Locate the active payments you wish to stop and click on "Cancel."
  4. You can also update your payment method for specific automatic payments.

Can I Block an Automated Payment That’s Pending?

If you have a pending automated payment on PayPal, you cannot cancel it directly. However, you can cancel pending regular payments (i.e., one-time transactions) through PayPal's website or app. To avoid unwanted recurring PayPal payments, it's essential to keep an eye on your account and cancel any recurring payments before they are automatically sent.

How Do I Unblock Automatic Payments on Paypal?

If you've canceled automatic payments or bills on PayPal, you cannot unblock them using the PayPal app. To resume your service, you'll need to contact the business you subscribed to and request that they reinstate your account.

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This post is for informational uses only and is not legal, business, or tax advice. Please consult with an attorney, business advisor, or accountant with concepts and ideas referenced in this post. Balance Pro assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained in this article.

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