Delete your PayPal account

PayPal is a popular payment platform that provides a multitude of benefits. In particular, it’s widely accepted as a payment method and is a secure and convenient way to send and receive money online. However, it’s not without its flaws. For example, it has particularly high international costs. It’s also quite slow to withdraw funds to your bank account (unless you’re willing to pay PayPal’s instant withdrawal fee).

If you feel that PayPal’s pros are outweighed by its cons, you may wish to delete your PayPal account. Websites and services don’t always make this easy. It can often be tricky to find the appropriate option within your account and its various settings. To save you some time, we’ve found out exactly how you can delete your PayPal account. All you need to do is follow the step-by-step instructions laid out in this post.

How to delete your PayPal account

The good news is that PayPal makes it relatively quick and easy to delete your account. Before you proceed to the steps listed below, know that you must first remove any money from your PayPal balance. PayPal also states that if you want to delete your account, you can’t have any account limitations or unresolved issues.

We’ll first cover how to delete your PayPal account. We also give instructions on how to withdraw your money and download PayPal statements and reports further down.

It’s possible to delete your PayPal account via desktop or mobile and we’ve provided instructions for both.

Here’s how to delete your PayPal account on desktop:

  1. Go to the PayPal website.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Find Account options and then select Close your account.

Here’s how to delete your PayPal account on mobile:

  1. Tap on the profile icon in the top left.
  2. Look for Close your account.
  3. Select Close your account.

How to withdraw funds from your PayPal account

If you’ve still got money in your PayPal account, you’ll need to withdraw the funds before closing it. This can be done via the PayPal website or app. You’ll then have the option of withdrawing to your bank account or a linked debit card.

Here’s how to withdraw funds from your PayPal account on desktop:

  1. Visit the PayPal website and log in to your account.
  2. Go to Wallet.
  3. Select Transfer Money followed by Transfer to your bank.
  4. Choose the linked bank account you’d like to send money to. You’ll need your bank account number and bank’s routing number or SWIFT code if you haven’t set one up already.
  5. Enter the amount you want to transfer. This should be the full balance if you wish to delete your account. Check the details and then confirm.

Here’s how to withdraw funds from your PayPal account on mobile:

  1. Open the PayPal app.
  2. Tap Transfer Money.
  3. Choose the account you want to send money to.
  4. Enter the amount to be transferred (the full balance). Click to confirm.

How to download your PayPal statements and reports

One of the complications you might face after deleting your PayPal account is no longer having access to past statements and reports. However, the good news is that you do have the option to download this information before deleting your account.

Here’s how to download your PayPal statements and reports:

  1. Go to Activity.
  2. Click on the download button next to the search bar.
  3. Select Custom followed by Activity Download.
  4. Select the transaction type, date range, and file format.
  5. Go to Custom report fields and select the information you want in your report. Click Save.
  6. Finally, click Create Report and when it’s ready, select Download.

Deleting your PayPal account: FAQs

Why would I want to delete my PayPal account?

One of the main reasons to delete your PayPal account is because you no longer use it. It’s generally good practice to delete unused accounts to protect yourself and your sensitive data from security threats. PayPal is considered to be highly secure but even websites and services with strong security aren’t immune to data breaches.

Another reason why some people choose to delete PayPal is due to its fees, some of which are particularly high (such as if you’re sending money internationally). If your invoices are being paid via PayPal, you may even be losing hundreds of dollars a month. Needless to say, this can be a strong motivating factor, particularly if you find a more affordable alternative (more on the alternatives further below).

Can I recover my deleted PayPal account?

No, once you delete your PayPal account, it can’t be recovered. However, this doesn’t prevent you from opening a new account should you change your mind. It’s for this reason that it’s important to be sure that you want to delete your PayPal account before proceeding. You should also consider downloading your data including your transaction activity just in case you need to refer to it at a later date.

What are the alternatives to PayPal?

You’re not short of options when it comes to PayPal alternatives. One of your best bets is Wise Business, which allows you to send and receive international payments. It offers cheaper fees and much faster money transfers — in many cases these transfers are instantaneous — something you have to pay extra for with PayPal (1.75 percent up to $25).

However, some further PayPal alternatives include the following:

  • Stripe: Offers businesses a variety of payment management options. It provides plenty of software tools to meet different clients’ needs. Not for personal customers.
  • Skrill: An established digital wallet provider offering personal and business accounts. Transfers between Skrill customers are fast and free. Inactivity fee of $5 or equivalent.
  • Google Pay: Payment service that makes it quick and easy to make online payments as well as send money to family and friends. International transfers are limited.
  • VenmoOffers a social way to send money and make payments with the option to like and comment on them. It’s only available in the US and some US territories however.

Related: How to delete your digital footprint