How to stop automatic subscription payments in PayPal [with pics]

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Maybe you want to get Minecraft Realms. Or any other recurring product or service that you can buy online, whether it's a magazine, books, gaming, food, whatever. But you don't want the recurring subscription to keep going month after month. Don't worry - here is a step by step guide for how to stop automatic subscription payments in PayPal, with images.

The problem with using a credit card for subscriptions

And you're quite right to be concerned - if you were using a standard credit or debit card, it can be difficult to find out how to stop the subscription. Usually you would just log into the store's account where you made the subscription, and then cancel it, but many stores purposely make that hard to find. To make matters worse, often the bank that issued your credit card won't make it easy to cancel recurring payments at their end of things, and will ask you to deal directly with the store first. In the meantime, money is coming out of your account.

The alternative - PayPal

Don't worry - instead of using your credit card for this, it's best to pay any subscriptions with PayPal. The beauty of paying subscriptions with PayPal is that it gives you the ability to cancel recurring subscriptions. Below we show you how to do that, including pics.

Don't have PayPal yet?

If you don't already have a PayPal account, you should consider signing up for one at PayPal.com. A personal account is free. You can still use your normal credit or debit card in your PayPal account; you don't need a whole extra card. Plus, if you don't have a credit or debit card, that's OK - you can use PayPal to pay with your bank account. Besides offering more ways you can pay for online purchases, PayPal most importantly allows you an extra layer of protection between your credit card and the store you're subscribing to. I always use PayPal for subscriptions for this exact reason.

How to cancel automatic subscription payments in PayPal

So, let's assume you've gone ahead and purchased your subscription using PayPal. Then, after you purchase your Realms (or whatever it was), you decide you don't want the recurring payments, and you want to stop. Here's what you do in a step-by-step illustrated guide. It's best done on a computer or laptop than on the phone app.

Your screen layout may look slightly different at your end of things depending on the size of your browser window etc, but the steps will still be the same.

1. Log into your PayPal account and click on the gear icon at the top right

Screenshot of PayPal menu with gear button - how to stop automatic subscription payments

2. Click on the "Payments" tab in the menu below the gear icon

Screenshot of the Payments menu in PayPal - how to stop recurring subscriptions

3. You will arrive at this screen; click on the "Manage Automatic Payments" button

Screenshot of Manage Automatic Payments option in PayPal - how to stop subscription payments

4. Look on the left at the list of places where you have a billing agreement

You'll see something like the pic below. Important: don't panic if you see a lot of stuff there! Some of these are what's called a "billing agreement" and not a monthly subscription. A billing agreement may have happened when you shopped online at a store. Some stores take PayPal the regular way and so you won't see them listed here; others create a 'billing agreement' that basically makes it easier if you shop there again. While you're in this part of your PayPal account, it's a great idea to see if there's anything else on the list that you want to get rid of besides whatever subscription you wanted to delete. Don't worry, you can still shop again at any of those places even after you cancel it here. Any charges they try to make in the time between canceling and shopping again simply won't go through. Great, huh? OK, let's take a look at my screen:

Screenshot viewing list of automatic payments in PayPal - how to stop automatic payments

As you can see, the pizza place I order from is listed there. I'm OK with that, but I'd like to delete a bunch of other places where I don't shop so often. And of course, the whole point of this is that I want to delete the Minecraft Realms subscription, which in my case is the one that says "Microsoft Corporation".

5. Click on the company that you wish to stop automatic subscriptions from

Screenshot of PayPal automatic payments settings

In this case, I'm clicking on Microsoft Corporation because that's where my Minecraft Realms subscription came from.

6. Then click on "cancel" in that company's payment info

Screenshot of PayPal account - cancel button to stop a recurring payment

7. Agree to cancel it and you're done!

When you press cancel, a confirmation window will come up to check that you really want to do it. So long as you selected the correct company from which you wanted to stop the subscription, then agree you want to cancel the billing agreement and you're good to go!

This page was last updated on 05 Jun 2020.