How to close a PayPal account: the process

Zorica Lončar

If you no longer use, want or need your PayPal account, you can close it. But just how easy is it, and what do you need to do?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how to close a PayPal account, for both personal and business accounts. This includes the steps you need to take, whether you can close a PayPal account with a balance and anything else you need to know.

We’ll even throw in a handy tip at the end about an alternative payment solution which could fit your needs a little better - the Wise multi-currency account.

But first, let’s focus on getting that PayPal account closed down for you.

How to close your personal PayPal account: the process

You can close a personal PayPal account in just a few simple steps. Before you do though, you might want to withdraw any money held in your PayPal account to your bank.

Here’s what you need to do to close your account¹:

  1. Login to your PayPal account
  2. Click the ‘Settings’ icon - you’ll find it next to ‘Log out’
  3. Head to ‘Account options’
  4. Select ‘Close your account’
  5. If requested, enter your bank account number.
  6. Confirm by clicking ‘Close Account’.

And that’s pretty much all there is to it. Bear in mind though that once you’ve closed your account, any unpaid money requests will be automatically cancelled. You’ll also lose any coupons or redemption codes you haven’t yet been able to use.

There’s a slightly different process to follow if you close your PayPal account using the mobile app, but we’ll cover that in more detail later.

Can I just leave my PayPal account inactive, rather than closing it?

You might be considering just not using your PayPal account, rather than going to the effort of closing it down. After all, there’s a chance you might need it again for a purchase or payment at some point in the future.

If so, it’s important for you to be aware of PayPal’s inactivity fee. This is a fee of £9 and is charged to accounts that haven’t been active for at least 12 months².

So to avoid this charge, it could be a smart idea to close down your PayPal account rather than leave it open. This is unless of course you plan to use it within the next year, or are able to log in or make a transaction within the 12 months to avoid the inactivity fee.

How to close your business PayPal account: the process

The process for closing a PayPal business account is pretty much the same as closing a personal account.

You’ll need to withdraw any balance to your bank account first. An additional step is to make sure that any unconfirmed email addresses are removed from your account³.

Then, follow these steps³:

  1. Login to your PayPal business account
  2. Go to ‘Account Settings’
  3. Select ‘Account preferences’ - you’ll find it on the left-hand side
  4. Click ‘Close account’ next to the relevant account type.

You may also be able to change your account type from business to personal⁴, instead of closing the account altogether. You’ll need to contact PayPal to see if this is an option for your account, and if so, a customer service representative will guide you through the process.

How to close a PayPal account on the app

If you’d like to close your PayPal account using the mobile app, simply follow these steps

  1. Open the app and login
  2. Click on the Profile icon - you’ll find this in the top-left corner
  3. Scroll down until you find an option to ‘Close your account’
  4. Select it and click the ‘Close Account’ button.

For business accounts, the process is similar. You’ll find the option to close your account in the PayPal app under ‘Settings’ and ‘Account info’³.

Can you close a PayPal account with a balance?

If your PayPal account has a balance, unfortunately you won’t be able to close it¹. You’ll need to withdraw the money to your bank account first. Once the balance is down to £0, you can request the closure of the account.

The same goes for any unresolved issues or limitations on your PayPal account¹. These will need to be sorted before you can start the process of closing the account.

Send or spend internationally? Check out the Wise multi-currency account

Once you’ve closed down your PayPal account, you might be looking for alternative ways to manage your money.

If you regularly send or receive international payments, shop in different currencies or travel a lot, Wise could be the ideal solution.

Open a Wise multi-currency account and you can send money worldwide for low, transparent fees and the mid-market exchange rate. You can even receive money from other countries for free in 10 major currencies. There’s even an international Wise debit card for low-fee contactless spending in 200+ countries worldwide.

If you run a business across borders or are a freelancer getting paid by international clients, there’s even a dedicated Wise business account offering loads of extra features.

Join Wise today

Sources used for this article:

  1. PayPal - how to close a personal PayPal account
  2. PayPal - inactivity fee
  3. PayPal - how to close a PayPal business account
  4. PayPal - option to downgrade a business account to a personal account

Sources checked on 27-04-2022.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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