How To Cancel PayPal Payment: In 5 Steps, With Photos

How To Cancel PayPal Payment: In 5 Steps, With Photos

PayPal is a reliable, secure way to send and receive payments. With a verified PayPal account, you can send up to $60,000 in one transaction. But there is always a chance for human error, just like in every other monetary transaction. You might have to reverse a payment after making a small error in the estimation or entering an incorrect amount. Our simple guide will show you how to cancel a PayPal payment.

Rules for Canceling a Paypal Payment

Not all PayPal cancellations are approved. Some rules dictate whether a payment can be canceled or not. Below are some things to know about PayPal payment cancellations.

  • You cannot cancel a PayPal payment if the receiver has claimed it.
  • Because most PayPal payments are processed instantly, cancellations are unavoidable.
  • If you cannot cancel the PayPal payment, ask the receiver to reimburse or dispute it with PayPal.

If your PayPal payment fulfills the above rules, your cancellation will be approved. But you must navigate the PayPal website and request a payment cancellation. Follow the steps below to cancel a PayPal payment.

Canceling a PayPal Payment

Knowing how to cancel a PayPal payment is crucial in ensuring you get your money back. Our guide will walk you through the steps to cancel a PayPal payment. This way, you can avoid frustrations or disappointment.

Step 1: Log In to Your PayPal Account

Open your web browser and log in to the official PayPal website (https://www.paypal.com).

On the official PayPal home page, you will see the unique trademark P-shaped PayPal logo at the top left corner.

Click on the PayPal logo.

The PayPal website will open if you have not logged out. Otherwise, click the Log In button at the top right corner.

Click the login button.

Once the login dialog box opens, you must enter your exact details. Ensure that you enter your details correctly. The details include the following:

  • Your PayPal email address or phone number
  • Your PayPal password

An incorrect entry means you won’t be able to access your account, and PayPal will flag it immediately. Take time to fill out the dialog box that looks like this correctly:

Enter your login credentials.

Once you log in to PayPal, the user interface will open and direct you to the dashboard page. The dashboard displays your balance and multiple options. You can perform all your PayPal actions on this same page.

On your PayPal dashboard, you can view your account balance.

Besides the Dashboard, other options on this page include Send and Receive money, Activity, Wallet, and Help. These are the primary tabs for operating a PayPal account.

From your PayPal dashboard, you can navigate your account using the tabs on the menu.

Step 2: Click on the Activity Tab at the Top of the Screen

Click on the one labeled Activity among the tabs at the top of the page.

Activity tab is on the main menu.

The Activity option is the tab that displays all your transactions. Most likely, you will see your transaction among the listed ones.

Step 3: Locate the PayPal Payment You Wish to Cancel

Once you click the Activity tab, PayPal will display all your transactions. The payment that you wish to cancel will be among those listed. This list includes the Pending and the Completed sections of the Activity Tab.

But PayPal will only display this list if you have recent PayPal payments. You cannot cancel a PayPal payment that you did not make. So, PayPal will show you a different dialog box if you do not have any transactions.

You can view recent transactions.

However, this is not the case if you have a valid transaction that you wish to cancel. Look for the transaction you want to cancel and click on it. Usually, PayPal lists different transactions this way:

Under Activity, you can view your payment history.

Once you click on the payment you wish to cancel, it will open up and display your transactions. Ensure that the payment you intend to cancel is in the Pending section of the Activity Tab. You cannot cancel any PayPal payment in the Completed area. Any completed payment means that the receiver has claimed it.

Step 4: Click on the PayPal Payment You Intend to Cancel

Once you click on the payment in the Pending section, it will open up the transaction details. You will notice that PayPal automatically recognizes that the payment has no claim. You will see the words Status: Unclaimed at the bottom of this page. Such a status shows you that PayPal can cancel this payment. 

Below this, you will see a link that says Cancel. Press this Cancel button to initiate the cancellation process.

Click the cancel payment button

Step 5: Confirm You Want To Cancel the PayPal Payment

PayPal automatically asks you whether you wish to proceed with the cancellation. You will see the full payment details as shown below.

According to PayPal rules and regulations, you can only cancel unclaimed payments.

PayPal will display the date and time of the transaction and its status. Notice that the status is labeled Unclaimed.

As the last call to action, press on the Cancel Payment prompt at the bottom. Pressing the Cancel Payment button gives PayPal the go-ahead to cancel the transaction. PayPal will reimburse your funds to your account.


Making a mistake when sending payments can result in a wrongful PayPal payment. But this does not mean that all is lost. You can ask PayPal to cancel the payment. However, PayPal will only allow you to cancel an unclaimed payment. Follow the steps above to cancel a PayPal payment whenever you make a mistake, and the funds will be reversed to your account.

To see the steps in action then check out the video below which will also walk you through the process of cancelling a PayPal payment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cancel a PayPal payment sent to a nonexistent PayPal email address?

Of course, you can. You have to follow the steps for canceling the PayPal payment shown above. Even better, PayPal has regulations that protect you in this case. After 30 days, PayPal will automatically refund any unclaimed or pending money. So you will receive your funds back even if you do not cancel PayPal payments sent to a nonexistent email address.

Will PayPal refund money to my bank account after I cancel a PayPal payment?

Once you cancel a Paypal payment, PayPal will return your funds. However, the money will return to your PayPal account in the balance section on the dashboard. The money does not go to your bank account. You can find it in your PayPal account and send it to your bank account.

What my other options if I cannot cancel a PayPal payment?

Sometimes you may find that the receiver has already claimed the funds you wish to cancel. You still have two options to help you out of this sticky situation. These options are:

  1. Ask the receiver to refund the money.
  2. Report the issue to the resolution center offered by Paypal.

Option 1 is much quicker, but it all depends on the receiver. In an ideal situation, a trustworthy receiver will return the money to you. The receiver will do this by canceling the funds in the Activity Tab. However, this may be different for an unscrupulous receiver. As such, this method only works for receivers you know or trust.

Your other recourse involves reporting the payment to PayPal’s resolution center. After this, Paypal has customer representatives to review your case and give a verdict. If your claim is within reason, PayPal will act accordingly.

Does PayPal charge a fee to cancel a PayPal payment?

Like any noteworthy service provider, PayPal safeguards its users’ interests. Therefore, it does not surcharge any user who wishes to cancel a wrongful PayPal payment. It is completely free to cancel a PayPal payment.

In what instance can I cancel a PayPal payment?

You are allowed to cancel a PayPal payment in the following scenarios:

  • When the email of the receiver is not verified
  • If the recipient does not have a verified Paypal account,
  • When the receiver does not automatically claim a payment


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