How to Close a PayPal Account

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • To close your PayPal account, log in on a computer and go to the Settings menu.
  • For a personal account, click on the Account tab and select “Close Your Account.”
  • For a business account, contact customer service to downgrade to a personal account before following the same steps.
  • Ensure there are no unresolved issues, withdraw your balance, and save your transaction history.

PayPal accounts can be very useful. They are an easy and free way to send money to family abroad or pay for things online. You can even set up an account for your business so your clients or customers can pay you.

If for whatever reason, you find you no longer want your PayPal account, closing it down is a quick and hassle-free process that can be completed in just a few minutes. Read on to find out how to close a PayPal account.

How to Close Your PayPal Account

Once you have saved a copy of your transaction history, fixed any unresolved issues tied to your account, and collected the entirety of your PayPal balance, it is time to start the process of closing your PayPal account.

Even though closing your account is permanent, the full process actually takes just a few minutes. The process you’ll need to follow is slightly different for a personal account and a business account.

How to Close Your PayPal Personal Account

Here is how to close your PayPal account:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account on a laptop or computer
  2. Click on the gear icon at the top right of your screen (next to the Log Out option) to access the Settings menu
  3. If you’re not there by default, click the Account tab
  4. Click Close Your Account at the bottom of the page

How to Close Your PayPal Business Account:

If you have a business account, it is also possible to downgrade to a personal account, but you will have to contact customer service to do so. Use the following steps to close your downgrade your business account:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account on a web browser on a personal computer or laptop
  2. Click the Profile button at the top right of your screen (next to the Log Out option)
  3. Click Profile and Settings button
  4. Click on Account Settings
  5. Click the Close Account button (to the right of the Account Type line)

Why You Might Want to Close Your PayPal Account

The good news is even an unused PayPal account doesn’t cost any money to maintain. But if you’re not planning to use your PayPal account again, it might be a good idea to delete it. PayPal is secure, but any place on the web where your personal and financial details are listed can be breached. Deleting your details from places you no longer use decreases your risk of having this information breached.

Compromised Account

Some people close their PayPal accounts because it has been compromised and they want to close it down for safety reasons. Business users may want to close an account that was opened for a business that is no longer trading. Users may also choose to close their PayPal account because they’ve switched to an alternative payment gateway, like Venmo or Stripe.

Different Email

Or maybe you just want to open a new PayPal account with a different email address. If any of these reasons apply to you, you would want to know how to close a PayPal account.

What to Know Before Closing Your Account

The most important thing to know before closing your PayPal account is once it’s closed, it will be permanently closed. You are not deactivating your PayPal account. Deactivating often means that an account can be reactivated later if needed. This is not the case with a PayPal account. Once an account has been deleted, it is permanently closed.

Everything Will Be Permanently Deleted

Because you are permanently closing your PayPal account, everything tied to your account will be permanently deleted. This means your transaction history will be lost. It might, therefore, be a good idea to screenshot, print out or otherwise save your transaction history if you think you will need it at a later date. Once the PayPal account is closed, you will not be able to access this information again, even if you open a new PayPal account using the same email address.

Account Must Be Deleted from the Web

Also to close your PayPal account, you will need to use a laptop or computer to access your PayPal account from the web. You cannot delete your PayPal account from the Android or iOS app.

You Must Resolve All Account Issues

Before you try to close your PayPal account, make sure that there are no unresolved issues on your account. This includes outstanding balances that need to be paid or unresolved problems that need to be taken up with customer service. You will not be able to close a PayPal account if there are unresolved issues tied to your account. Any unpaid money requests will also automatically be canceled.

Make Sure to Withdraw Your Balance

The last thing to do before closing your PayPal account is to withdraw or collect the entirety of your PayPal balance. You can do this by spending your balance, or by transferring it to another PayPal or bank account. You can also request a check from PayPal, but you will have to pay a small fee on this option.

What Happens After You Close a PayPal Account?

Once you have closed your PayPal account, you will not be able to access it again. Your transaction history with PayPal will be lost. Any unpaid money requests are automatically canceled. Future online payments cannot be made using a deleted PayPal account. You also lose unused redemption codes or coupons.

If you need to, you can create a new PayPal account (you can even use the same email address), but you will not be able to view any information from the previous account.

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How to Close a PayPal Account FAQ

Why would I want to close my PayPal account?

There could be various reasons for wanting to close your PayPal account, including:

  1. No Longer Using PayPal: If you no longer use PayPal for online transactions or have switched to a different payment method.
  2. Security Concerns: If you suspect unauthorized activity or security breaches on your PayPal account.
  3. Privacy Concerns: If you value your privacy and want to limit your online presence.
  4. Account Issues: If you encounter issues with your PayPal account, such as frequent errors or problems with transactions.
  5. Change of Email or Personal Information: When your contact information changes, and you prefer to close the old account.

Can I close my PayPal account online?

Yes, you can close your PayPal account online. Here’s how:

  1. Log In: Go to the PayPal website and log in to your account using your email address and password.
  2. Access Account Settings: Click on the gear icon (Settings) in the upper-right corner of the PayPal dashboard to access your account settings.
  3. Profile and Settings: Under the “Account Settings” section, click on “Account settings.”
  4. Close Account: Scroll down to the “Account type” section, and you’ll see the option to “Close your account.” Click on it.
  5. Follow Instructions: PayPal will provide you with instructions on what will happen when you close your account. Review this information carefully.
  6. Close Account: To proceed, click on the “Close Account” button.
  7. Confirm: You may be asked to confirm your decision by entering your password again. After confirmation, your PayPal account will be closed.

What happens when I close my PayPal account?

When you close your PayPal account, the following may occur:

  • Any remaining balance in your PayPal account will be transferred to your linked bank account.
  • All active and recurring transactions linked to your PayPal account will be canceled.
  • You will lose access to your transaction history, messages, and any unresolved disputes or claims.
  • You won’t be able to use the same email address or financial information to open a new PayPal account.
  • Any subscriptions or automatic payments set up with your PayPal account will be canceled.

Can I reopen a closed PayPal account?

Once you close a PayPal account, it cannot be reopened. You would need to create a new PayPal account if you wish to use the service again.

How can I withdraw my remaining balance before closing my PayPal account?

Before closing your PayPal account, it’s important to withdraw any remaining balance. Here’s how:

  1. Log In: Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Transfer to Bank: Click on “Transfer Money” in the PayPal dashboard.
  3. Transfer to Bank Account: Choose “Transfer to your bank” and select the bank account where you want to transfer the funds.
  4. Enter Amount: Enter the amount you want to transfer and review the details.
  5. Transfer: Click “Transfer” to move the funds to your bank account.
  6. Confirmation: Confirm the transaction, and the funds will be transferred.

Once your remaining balance is transferred to your bank account, you can proceed to close your PayPal account.

Are there any fees for closing a PayPal account?

There are no fees for closing a PayPal account. However, if you have a remaining balance in your PayPal account, you may want to withdraw it to your linked bank account to avoid any potential fees associated with inactivity or maintaining a zero balance.

How long does it take to close a PayPal account?

Closing a PayPal account is typically a quick process. Once you confirm your request, your account will be closed immediately, and you will receive a confirmation email. However, it’s important to note that any ongoing transactions or disputes may need to be resolved before the closure is finalized.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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