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How to Cancel a Pre Approved PayPal Payment

Want to know how to cancel a pre approved PayPal payment? I speak from experience!

PayPal is a fantastic service, one I use every day for both my personal and business life. I run multiple pre-approved transactions on there, for subscriptions to a variety of services.

Today I wanted to share with you how to cancel a pre-approved payment on PayPal if for example you've decided you no longer require the service.

Regardless of the point, you are within the transaction process.

Cancelling Prior To The Transaction Going Through

If the transaction hasn't already gone through, and instead you've simply just pre-approved the payment. You can cancel the authorisation by following these simple steps;

Step 1: Login. The first thing that you need to do is to login to your PayPal account.

Step 2: Click on ‘Settings.’ The ‘Settings’ icon is located in the upper-right hand side of your screen. The icon looks like a gear icon.

Step 3: Payment Settings. Under ‘Payment Settings,’ you will need to find the ‘Manage Pre-approved Payments’ section and select it.

Step 4: Find the Payment. Locate the payment that you are trying to stop. It should be included in a list.

Step 5: Cancel. You should have the option to cancel it right there. Once you click on it, a window should pop up confirming your cancellation. It likely will say ‘Cancel Profile.’

When you cancel a pre-approved payment, all of the upcoming scheduled payments of the subscription have also been cancelled.

You will have the option to cancel right up until the day before the scheduled payment is due to be withdrawn to cancel.

When The Payment Has Already Gone Through

You might have had the intention of cancelling a payment with plenty of time to spare and later discovered that you were a day late.

If this happens, do not despair. You can always try to request a refund on the payment. This is how;

See If You Can Cancel It

The first thing to try is to cancel it on the Activity page. If you can cancel, it will have a button available for you to click on it.

This will only work if the payment is still pending or processing and hasn’t gone through yet.

Contact The Seller

If you are past the point of being able to cancel it, you can contact the seller directly.

You can do this by going to the Summary page and locating the transaction and the seller.

You will have an option to email the seller directly from there and explain why you need the refund.

Your seller might even be able to stop the pre-approved payments for you if you have not done that yet.

ProTip: Alongside contacting them via PayPal you could also contact the service or product provider via a customer support method by email / on their website.

Dispute The Transaction

In the case that the seller has either refused to refund you or simply hasn’t responded to your requests, you can open a dispute in the Resolution Center.

This is the same place where you would open a dispute if a purchased item never made it to you.

Then it is in the hands of PayPal to review whether they can assist you or not.


When you do get a payment that has been approved to be refunded back to you, you will be refunded through the method that you used to pay.

So, if you used your debit or credit card, the refund will come back to the card that was used.

Likewise, if you used your bank account, the refund will be going back to your bank account.

Pro Tip: This process is not quick. It can take up to 30 days for a refund to be processed and to appear back in your account.

The exception is if you were using PayPal funds that you had available.

They should appear much quicker than the other payment options since there is not a third party involved on your side of things.

Currency Conversions

PayPal handles the currency question differently depending on how quickly you requested the refund.

If you requested it immediately after the transaction went through, the same exchange rate is used.

However, if you request it a day after the date of the original payment, the exchange rate used will be what was current on the date of the refund.

Hotels and Future Purchases

Hotels and other reservations can also be held using a pre-approved PayPal payment.

While the payment was pre-approved, it will not be processed until you arrive and check-in for your reservation.

If you cancel a reservation, the payment will not be processed.

Orders and authorizations like these normally expire within 30 days if they are not used, so you should not need to worry here.

Since the payment has not actually gone through, PayPal does not need to be contacted at all since they don’t have the ability to do anything. It is between you and whomever you made a reservation through.

When All Else Fails

When all else fails, talk to PayPal’s customer service.

They have seen and heard it all undoubtedly and will know what steps you need to take to cancel a payment or get a refund on it.

They are there to help you and should be knowledgeable enough to get the job done the right way.

PayPal's Help Center page can be accessed here and you will have a choice to select what you really need help with to be directed to the right place.

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