A Simple Guide to Cancelling PayPal Transactions


Balance Pro Staff

updated on

March 26, 2023

PayPal has revolutionized the way we pay for things online. It's simple, easy to use, and integrates with many other types of software. However, sometimes you may need to cancel a PayPal transaction. Whether you accidentally paid the wrong person or the deal fell through, here's a guide on how to cancel a PayPal transaction, and what to do if cancellation isn't possible.

PayPal Payment Cancellation Basics

Canceling a transaction on PayPal is a straightforward process.

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Click on the "Activity" button on the top menu.
  3. Find the transaction you want to cancel and click on it.
  4. If the transaction is still in "Pending" or "Unclaimed" status, you will see a "Cancel" link next to it. Click on that link.
  5. Confirm that you want to cancel the payment by clicking on "Cancel Payment" in the confirmation window.
  6. Your payment is now cancelled.

If the payment is already complete, you will not see a "Cancel" link next to it. Instead, you will need to request a refund from the seller or file a dispute through PayPal's Resolution Center.

Which PayPal Transactions Can Be Cancelled?

Unfortunately, not all PayPal transactions can be canceled. Most transactions process instantaneously, and are therefore non-cancellable. You can only cancel PayPal payments that are in Pending or Unclaimed status. PayPal automatically refunds pending and unclaimed payments after 30 days. However, if you sent the payment to an invalid account, or the vendor manually approves certain payments, the transaction may get stuck in one of these statuses.

How to Cancel a Recurring PayPal Transaction

If you want to cancel a recurring or automatic payment, it's easy to do so on PayPal. Log into your account, and navigate to your account overview. Click on the "Summary" button, then select "Pre-approved payments" and "Manage pre-approved payments." You'll see a list of all pre-approved payments for your review. Select the payment you want to cancel, and click on "Cancel Payment" in the popup.

How Do I Ask for a Refund?

If the payment has already been completed and you cannot cancel it, you can request a refund for up to 180 days after the purchase. The first step is to ask the other person for a refund. They can use the "Issue a refund" link next to the transaction on their end, and you'll receive your money back within a few days. If the seller refuses to return your money, you can file a dispute in PayPal's Resolution Center within 180 days of purchase. In the event that the seller denies your dispute, you can escalate further by filing a claim with PayPal. PayPal will render its decision within 45 days, and it will be final.


PayPal transactions are easy to cancel, as long as the transaction is still in Pending or Unclaimed status. For completed transactions, you'll need to request a refund or file a dispute. If the seller is willing to refund your money, you can expect to receive it within a few days. Credit card returns may take up to 30 days. Remember to always double-check before sending a payment, and make sure you have the correct details before completing any transactions on PayPal.

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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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