How To Cancel Automatic Payments On PayPal: In 4 Steps, With Photos

Cancel automatic payments on PayPal

How To Cancel Automatic Payments On PayPal: In 4 Steps, With Photos

For years now, PayPal has been one of the leading ways to make online payments. From the ability to safely store your card info to the option to securely integrate your bank account right into your digital wallet on the site, PayPal makes online payments quicker and easier than ever before. This convenience and ease manifest itself best in PayPal’s ability to support automatic payments. But what if you no longer want that automatic payment authorized? Or, worse, you never authorized it in the first place? Here’s how to cancel automatic payments on PayPal, complete with steps and photos.

Why Cancel Automatic Payments On PayPal?

If PayPal’s automatic payment feature is designed to make online shopping quicker and easier, then why would you want to cancel automatic payments on PayPal, to begin with? Well, as it turns out, they aren’t always a time and money saver. In fact, in some instances, they end up being quite the opposite. From erroneous automatic payment authorizations to outright fraudulent ones, it helps to know how to cancel automatic payments on PayPal to keep you and your precious financial information (not to mention your funds) safe from harm. Here are two of the most common reasons to cancel.

The Service Is No Longer Needed

More than anything, people tend to cancel their automatic payments on PayPal because the service is no longer needed. From subscription services to recurring shipments to monthly fees and everything in between, sometimes it’s really as simple as no longer needing the service you once paid for automatically. In these cases, it makes perfect sense to cancel the automatic payment. That way, you can ensure you don’t accidentally get charged for a product or service you no longer need. Canceling is essentially an additional safety measure.

Authorization Was Never Granted

Another possibility? You never authorized the automatic payment, to begin with. Despite how safe and secure the PayPal site is, there are still plenty of PayPal hackers and cybercriminals dead set on obtaining your financial information. For this reason, you may encounter your fair share of automatic payment scams — especially for older PayPal users who might not be as familiar with the basic safety standards of online shopping. In these cases, automatic payments can take up residence on a PayPal account and withdraw money on a regular. Canceling an automatic payment effectively halts scams.

How To Cancel Automatic Payments On PayPal App

There are two ways you can go about canceling an automatic payment: On the PayPal app, and on the PayPal website. First and foremost, we’ll go over the process of canceling automatic payments on the PayPal app. Then, we’ll review the steps necessary to cancel automatic payments on PayPal for the web. This process should work the same whether you’re using Apple or Android. However, for the purpose of this demonstration, we’re using an Apple device.

Step One: Log Into the App

Cancel automatic payments on PayPal
Open the PayPal app and sign in to your account.


Firstly, download the PayPal app (if you haven’t already). From there, open the app and sign into your PayPal account when prompted. If the app recognizes the device, you should get right in. If it doesn’t, it may ask you to complete a security measure or two-factor authentication before getting in. Follow the on-screen prompts as needed.

Step Two: Go To Wallet

Cancel automatic payments on PayPal
Find the Wallet tab in the bottom right-hand corner.


Secondly, once in the app, click on the Wallet tab in the bottom right-hand corner. This will take you to your PayPal Wallet — the place your automatic payments are stored on the PayPal app. You’ll also see the Activity tab at the top beside Wallet. Don’t switch over to that tab, or you won’t be able to find the automatic payments section in the next step.

Step Three: Select Automatic Payments

Cancel automatic payments on PayPal
In the Wallet tab, under Preferences, you will find Automatic Payments.


While still on the Wallet page, scroll down to the very bottom. The last section on the page is Preferences. Here, at the bottom of the list, is Automatic Payments. Tap that, and you’ll be taken to a list of your automatic payments (both active and inactive).

Step Four: Cancel The Automatic Payment

Cancel automatic payments on PayPal
Find the specific automatic payment you want to cancel.


Lastly, find the automatic payment you’d like to cancel. Tap it, then scroll to the bottom of the page. Here, you’ll see the option to contact the biller or Remove PayPal as the merchant’s preferred method of payment. You want the second option: Remove PayPal.

With this, the automatic payment will be canceled. Remember, though: This might not outright cancel your subscription entirely. If you’re unsure about your subscription status, visit the merchant’s site to make absolutely sure.

For a refresher of the steps we’ve outlined check out the video below which walks you through how to cancel an automatic payment on the PayPal app.

Cancel Automatic Payments On PayPal Website

Now that you understand how to cancel automatic payments on PayPal for mobile, it helps to explain the same process for PayPal’s website. After all, not everyone uses PayPal on their mobile phones. For this reason, it’s worth knowing how to cancel automatic payments on the web, too. These steps should remain the same regardless of your web browser of choice or your operating system. For the purpose of this guide, we’re using Safari on a Mac.

Step One: Log Into PayPal

Cancel automatic payments on PayPal
Sign into your PayPal account.


Firstly — as you might expect — you need to log into your PayPal account. Enter your email or mobile number, whichever you use for your login information. Then, enter your password and click Log In. As with mobile, you may be prompted to complete some two-factor authentication measures. Go ahead and do so when asked.

Step Two: Go To Settings

Cancel automatic payments on PayPal
Settings can be found by clicking the gear in the top right-hand corner.


Secondly, go to your PayPal Settings. You’ll find a shortcut to your settings page by clicking the gear in the top right-hand corner of the page. Here, you’ll be greeted with a number of different pages and tabs under the settings page. We’re looking for one in particular.

Step Three: Click Payments

Cancel automatic payments on PayPal
Locate the Payments tab.


Click the Payments tab (located between the “Data and Privacy” tab and the “Notifications” tab running horizontally at the top of the page). This will take you to the page designated for all your PayPal payment settings. Don’t scroll too far — the option we’re looking for isn’t far from the top.

Step Four: Manage Automatic Payments

Cancel automatic payments on PayPal
On the Payments page, you will find the Automatic Payments heading.


Next, scroll down ever so slightly from the top of the Payments page. Here, you’ll see a heading labeled Automatic Payments. That’s what we’re looking for! Click the button labeled Manage Automatic Payments below the heading. This will take you to a list of your active and inactive automatic payments, just like on the app.

Step Five: Cancel The Automatic Payment

Cancel automatic payments on PayPal
Find the relevant automatic payment you want to cancel.


Lastly, we have arrived at automatic payments. Scroll through your list of active automatic payments until you find the one you’d like to cancel. Click on it, then scroll down a bit until you see a heading labeled Status. This will tell you whether the automatic payment is active or inactive. If it’s active but you’d like it to be inactive, click Cancel.

Follow the on-screen prompts, and your automatic payment will be paying automatically no more. As we said in the previous section of this guide, this may not outright cancel your subscription. Always check the merchant’s site to be sure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an automatic payment on PayPal?

On PayPal, an automatic payment is one that lets an online merchant automatically charge your PayPal account for a purchase without needing you to sign in first. One popular use for automatic PayPal payments? Monthly or annual subscription services.

Does canceling an automatic payment on PayPal also cancel your subscription?

Canceling an automatic payment on PayPal doesn’t always mean you’ll be canceling the subscription charging you monthly or annually. In many instances, it’s common for the subscription to continue on — even with the automatic payment stopped on PayPal’s end. In these cases, it’s best to cancel the subscription on the provider’s sit, then cancel the automatic payment on PayPal.

How can you detect fraudulent automatic payments?

To prevent any fraudulent automatic payments from slipping through the cracks, check your automatic payments page on your PayPal account and cancel any that look suspicious or that you do not remember authorizing. This will help keep your finances in check and away from the wrong hands.

Can you dispute an unauthorized automatic payment on PayPal?

Visit the PayPal Resolution Center to dispute any automatic payments you did not (or do not recall) authorizing on your account. PayPal’s Resolution Center should help you clear things up quickly and return your account and your finances to good standing.

Does PayPal refund automatic payments you didn't authorize?

Oftentimes, PayPal is very accommodating with errors pertaining to automatic payments. This can include (but is not limited to) refunds. Additionally, PayPal will automatically give you your money back if a payment is pending or unclaimed for longer than 30 days. You don’t even have to take any action on your end — they’ll do this for you automatically.

To top