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How To Delete Your PayPal Account Permanently: A Step-By-Step Guide with Screenshots

Hey there! Are you looking to delete your PayPal account permanently?

Closing a PayPal account is a straightforward process – but there are some important steps you need to take before you delete it for good. This guide will walk you through how to close your PayPal account step-by-step, so you can sever all ties with their service.

I‘ll also provide tips to make sure you don‘t lose any money, access any important records, and avoid headaches down the road. By the end, you‘ll know exactly how to remove PayPal from your life forever!

Why You Might Want To Delete Your PayPal Account

Before we dive in, let‘s first go over some reasons why you might want to delete your PayPal account in the first place:

  • You no longer use PayPal: If it‘s been ages since you last logged into your account, it‘s probably best to close it for security reasons. Leaving dormant accounts open leaves you vulnerable to potential hacking or fraud.

  • You prefer other payment methods: With all the digital wallet and payment app options nowadays like Apple Pay and Venmo, PayPal may no longer be your go-to. So you likely want to remove any unused services.

  • You had a poor customer experience: From account limitations to frozen funds, PayPal is not immune to customer service headaches. If you had a bad experience, closing the account may give you peace of mind.

  • You only needed it temporarily: Some people open PayPal accounts to receive money from a friend or to sell something quickly online. If you don‘t plan to use it again in the future, closing it removes the security risk.

According to a 2022 survey by Bilendi Research, 7% of PayPal users planned to stop using the service within the next 12 months. So if you want to join the millions deleting their accounts, this guide will help!

Key Things To Do Before Deleting PayPal

Before you delete your PayPal account, there are some important steps to take:

Withdraw Any Funds

First, you’ll want to withdraw any money remaining in your PayPal account to your linked bank account or debit card. According to PayPal‘s terms, any balance left over will be lost when your account is closed.

To withdraw a balance, go to your Wallet page, select Withdraw, choose the delivery method, enter the amount, and complete the withdrawal.

Download Your Statements & Records

Another key task is to download any tax forms or account statements you may need for your records. You can access previous years’ tax documents under Settings > Statements and Taxes.

You can also download activity statements containing your full transaction history. Go to Statements > Download Statement and select a date range to get account records before they disappear forever.

Delink Connected Accounts

Next, log into your account settings and unlink any connected cards, bank accounts or other services like eBay or Venmo. This will remove lingering connections between your financial accounts and PayPal.

To do this, go to Wallet > Manage Payment Methods. Click the settings icon for any linked account and select Remove. Repeat this for every linked account to sever all ties.

Cancel Pending Activity

Be sure to cancel any pending payments or transactions in your account as well. Under the Activity tab, you can view pending invoices, payments, or holds that need to be canceled before closing the account.

Leaving these open will prevent account closure. So resolve or cancel any outstanding activity first.

How Many PayPal Accounts Are There?

To give you an idea of how widely used PayPal is, let‘s look at some key statistics:

  • 426 million active registered accounts worldwide as of Q2 2022
  • Processed $671 billion in total payment volume in 2021
  • Available in 200+ markets and 25 currencies around the world
  • Handles an average of 42 million transactions per day

As you can see, PayPal has hundreds of millions of active users globally. So if you want to join the millions deleting their accounts, this guide will make it easy.

Step-By-Step Guide To Deleting Your PayPal Account

Ready to delete your account for good? Here is a step-by-step walkthrough with visuals to guide you:

Step 1: Log Into Your PayPal Account

First, access the PayPal website and log into your account using your email and password. Make sure you are logged into the specific account you want to delete.

Login to your PayPal account

Once you are logged in, you will be brought to your PayPal account Overview page displaying your balance, activity, and profile menu.

Step 2: Access Your Account Settings

Next, click on the profile icon in the top right corner and select Settings from the drop-down menu.

Click on the profile menu

This will open your PayPal Account Settings page, where you can manage everything related to your account.

Step 3: Scroll Down and Click "Close Account"

Now scroll all the way to the bottom of the Account Settings page until you see the option to Close your account.

Scroll down and click Close Account

Go ahead and click on Close your account to start the account deletion process.

Step 4: Choose a Reason and Confirm Closure

A popup will appear asking you to select a reason for closing your account. Choose one of the reasons provided or enter your own.

Select a closure reason

Next, check the box if you would like PayPal to go ahead and delete your account data.

When you‘re ready, click Close Account at the bottom to confirm your decision.

Confirm account closure

That‘s it! Once you confirm the closure, your PayPal account will be permanently deactivated.

You‘ll immediately be logged out and redirected to the PayPal login page. Just like that, your account is gone!

Having Trouble Closing Your PayPal Account?

In some cases, you may go through these steps but run into issues actually closing your PayPal account.

Here are some of the common reasons why you may be unable to delete your account, and how to resolve them:

Pending Transactions

If you have any pending payments or uncleared transactions, your account closure request will be denied.

Go to your Activity page and cancel any pending payments or holds. Transactions should clear within 7-10 days at which point you can try closing the account again.

Account Limitation

PayPal may place limits on accounts deemed high risk or in violation of their policies. You cannot close an account with active limitations.

You will need to resolve the limitation issue first by providing requested info and getting the restriction lifted before closing the account.

Linked Payment Methods

According to PayPal, you need to unlink any cards or bank accounts connected to your profile first before closing the account.

Double check that you have removed all linked payment methods under Wallet > Manage Payments. Once fully unlinked, you should be clear to delete the account.

Credit Balance

If there is still money in your PayPal account balance when you attempt to close it, the request will be declined.

You‘ll need to fully withdraw any remaining funds to your bank or card before attempting to delete the account again.

Technical Issues

In rare cases, a technical glitch may prevent account closure, and you‘ll see error messages when trying to delete it.

If that happens, try again a bit later or contact PayPal support. They can look into any system issues blocking account closure on their end.

The good news is all of these issues are fixable! It just may require a bit of troubleshooting to get your account into a closure ready state.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Deleting PayPal

Before you permanently delete your PayPal account, let‘s quickly summarize some of the key pros and cons:

Pros of closing your PayPal account:

  • Removes unused or dormant accounts you no longer need
  • Eliminates security/fraud risks of keeping accounts open
  • Frees you from PayPal limitations or poor customer service
  • Forces you to clean up old records and online accounts
  • Allows you to move on to other payment processors
  • Can feel very satisfying to cut ties!

Potential cons of closing your PayPal account:

  • You lose transaction history and records permanently
  • Cannot reopen that account in the future (must start fresh)
  • Lose any PayPal buyer/seller protections and benefits
  • Need to update any sites linked to your PayPal account
  • Any remaining account balance will be lost
  • PayPal may be required by some clients or employers

Overall there are usually more advantages to closing unused accounts, but make sure you weigh the pros and cons before deleting it forever.

What Exactly Happens When You Delete PayPal?

After going through the closure steps, here is an overview of what happens next when your PayPal account is deleted:

  • Immediate logout: You‘re logged out and redirected to the PayPal login page.

  • Permanent deactivation: Your account is closed and deactivated in PayPal‘s systems.

  • Data deletion: Your personal info, financial data, and transaction history is erased.

  • Account inaccessibility: All account services like the wallet, sending/receiving money, payment cards, etc are disabled.

  • Pending transactions canceled: Any pending payments or holds will be immediately canceled when the account closes.

  • Automatic disconnection: Any linked bank account or cards will be automatically unlinked from PayPal.

  • Email cannot be reused: The email address on your closed PayPal account can never be used again to open a new PayPal account.

  • No reversals: Once successfully closed, accounts cannot be reopened. There is no way to undo or reverse the closure.

  • New signups required: If you want to use PayPal again in the future, you‘ll have to open a brand new account with a different email.

Essentially all ties are cut and your relationship with PayPal will come to an end. Be 100% sure before you close it!

Parting Thoughts

Closing a PayPal account is a relatively quick and straightforward process if you follow the proper steps. The most important things are withdrawing any balance, downloading needed records, canceling pending transactions, and unlinking connected accounts beforehand.

While closing an old account can feel great, be absolutely certain before you delete your PayPal for good. Once that account is gone, it‘s gone – so don‘t rush into it if you think you may need access again down the road.

I hope this guide gave you a clear overview of how to permanently delete your PayPal account from start to finish. Let me know if you have any other questions!