How to Cancel a PayPal Payment

PayPal as a financial institution gives you the ability to cancel payments that haven’t been accepted by the recipient, especially those that don’t have an active PayPal account yet.

Cancelling a PayPal payment is only available when you mistakenly make payment to an email or phone number that isn’t registered on the app yet, however, if the details are already registered then you’ve to resort to other options like chargebacks or sending a refund request via mail.

This issue is similar to the case of an already accepted cash app payment because it can only be cancelled when the payment hasn’t been claimed.

The recipient will also get a payment made to them via email/SMS alerting of the payment made to them on PayPal with a link to accept it by creating a PayPal account.

Whatever, the case may be I’ll show you how to cancel an already sent PayPal payment and get back your money on both iPhone and Android devices.

I’ll also show you how to cancel a recurring PayPal payment to avoid further charges from the merchant in the future. 

Why can't I cancel a payment on PayPal? 

Before we go into the topic of today, let’s see some scenarios where you can’t be able to cancel a payment on PayPal. 

  • The email or phone number the payment was sent to isn’t attached to a PayPal account 
  • The email or phone number hasn’t been verified by the account owner. 

That are the only two scenarios that’ll make a payment eligible for cancellation on the PayPal platform. 

Moreover, making payments to a non-existent email/phone on PayPal will keep the money hanging for 30 days and if the payment isn’t accepted during that time frame will automatically be cancelled and refunded to your PayPal account. 

Nevertheless, if the recipient quickly creates a PayPal account with that email address then the payment should be automatically completed and transferred into the account. 

How to Cancel a PayPal Payment

PayPal has made it easy to cancel payments both on the app and on the web version, they’re almost alike but I’ll discuss both separately. 

It might sound confusing at first but you’ll find it easy on the next trial, all that’s required is to make sure the payment isn’t accepted yet. 

Once there’s a cancel link attached to the payment then all you need to do is click on the transaction and intimate the cancellation process. 

However, if there’s no cancel option then I’ll drop some suggestions for you to get back your money but in the meantime, let’s continue... 

How to Cancel PayPal Payment on Mobile App 

  1. Log in to your PayPal account 
  2. Scroll down to the recent activity  
  3. Click on See All Completed and Pending Transactions
  4. Locate the payment and click on it
  5. Click on the “Cancel” button attached to the payment. 

That’s it.  

Now, for those who don’t make use of the PayPal app, let’s see how to cancel a payment from PayPal web. 

How to Cancel PayPal Payment on PayPal Web 

It's almost the same procedure, whether you’re doing the payment cancellation from your desktop or mobile browser. 

  • Log in to your PayPal account 
  • Go to the activity tab > Click on View All 
  • Locate the sent payment under the completed tab 
  • Click on the "Cancel" button attached to the payment. 

That’s all. 

You should now receive the fund back to your funding source, although most times PayPal do refund the cancelled payment to your PayPal balance instead of the funding source. 

You can then decide to transfer the funds back to the source or proceed to use them for PayPal transactions. 

You can also watch the below video for more understanding of how to cancel a payment on PayPal.

Can you Cancel a PayPal Payment? 

Yes, If the payment is sent to an email or phone number that isn’t registered on the PayPal app. Also, you’ve to take action quickly since the payment notification might cause the recipient to create a PayPal account instantly, thereby accepting the payment. 

How to Cancel a Recurring PayPal Payment (Subscription) 

If you’ve used your PayPal account to pay for services on some merchant sites then you’d be asked if you’ll like to turn on recurring payments from the source. 

If you’ve been using your PayPal account for a subscription and would like to change your mode of payment or opt out of the service finally then here is a quick guide to doing that. 

Before now, subscriptions can be cancelled on the PayPal app but at the time of publication, recurring payments can only be cancelled on the PayPal website.

  • Login to your account 
  • Click on the 3 vertical lines at the top right corner of the app and select “Pay & Get Paid” 
  • Scroll down and click on “Subscriptions” under the “Accept Payments” tab 


You can go follow this guide. 

  • Log in to your PayPal account 
  • Click on the 3 vertical lines at the top right corner of the screen > Select “Account Settings “ 
  • Click on “ Money, Banks and cards” options 
  • You can now manage automatic payments by scrolling to the last option. 

That’s it. 

Also, do well to cancel the payment on time at most 24 hours earlier if not you’ll likely be charged for that month. 

What to do if there is no option to Cancel PayPal Payment? 

If you weren’t able to cancel the PayPal payment on time maybe you didn’t notice it or don’t know how to go about the payment cancellation. 

Then there are a series of alternatives you can use to get back your payment but that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get it back, you can only try. 

Generally, payments sent to family and friends are usually hard to recover especially when the recipient is not willing to do so. 

Firstly, you could reach out to the recipient via mail asking them to issue you a refund from the app politely, and see what their response will be. If they’re honest, then you’ll get your refund. 

Secondly, you can report an issue with the transaction if it’s a goods and services payment, filing a chargeback will cause PayPal to take up the matter and make sure you get your refunds if you provide enough evidence. 

That’s all. 

Doing the above doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get your money back though, all you can do is try but PayPal does offer customer protection if you made the payment for goods or services. 


We’re all bound to make mistakes even when it comes to monetary transactions, which is why we’ve provided this article to guide you on stopping a sent PayPal funds. 

So, if you mistakenly send money to the wrong PayPal account and would love to cancel it as soon as possible then you can follow it to cancel PayPal payments on both the app and web platform. 

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