How to Check for Active Paypal Subscriptions and Recurring Payments and How to Deactivate Them

Pre-approved payments on Paypal can be in form of a billing agreement, recurring payments or a subscription. It is always a good practice to keep a track of your pre-approved payments because if not, there is a huge possibility that you could be making payments to services that you don't even use anymore. In this article let's see how to check for pre-approved payments on paypal and how to cancel ones that you no longer want to keep active.

There are a couple of methods to check for your active pre-approved payments depending on if or not you are using the latest or classic Paypal interface. Let's have a look at these methods:

Checking Pre-approved Payments Page (New 2016 Paypal Interface)

If you are using the new paypal interface then here are the steps to check for pre-approved payments:

Step 1: Login to your Paypal account and go to your Profile Page by clicking on the gear icon on the far right corner as shown in the image below.

Step 2: On the Profile Page click on the Payments tab.

Step 3: On the Payments page click on the Pre Approved Payments link as shown in the image below:

Paypal profile page

Step 4: On the Pre Approved Payments page, filter your results by 'Active' to see all your Active pre-approved payments, billing agreements and subscriptions. (refer image below)

Step 5: Click on each payment link (under the Merchant column) to be taken to the details page. You should be able to cancel subscriptions on this page. (refer image below)

Paypal active pre-approved payments page

Cancelling Pre-approved Payments

Step 6: If you want to deactivate/cancel an active pre-approved payment, click on the Merchant Name to go to the details page as mentioned in Step 5 above.

On the details page, if the billing agreement is active, you will see the word Active under the Status of the link. If you wish to cancel this agreement, click on the cancel button and then click Ok as shown in the image below.

Cancel Paypal Billing Agreement

You can cancel recurring payments and subscriptions in a similar way.

For Older/Classic Paypal Interface

Note: If you are using the old/classic paypal interface, then you can follow either of the following two methods to reach the pre-approved payments page:

Method 1: Via Profile Page

Step 1: Login to your Paypal account and click on Profile link. On the profile page, click on My selling tools as shown in the image below.

Paypal - My Selling Tools Page

Step 2: On the My selling tools page, under the 'Getting paid and managing my risk' section, look for 'My automatic payments' and click Update as shown in the image above.

Step 3: This will take you to the Recurring payments dashboard page. On this page, click on the My pre-approved payments link as shown in the image below:

Paypal - Recurring Payments Dashboard

Step 4: The My pre-approved payments page will list all your pre-approved payments, billing agreements and subscriptions. Check the status section to see if the pre-approved payment is active, inactive or cancelled.

Paypal My Preapproved Payments Page

To check only for active pre-approved payments, select Active from the View All menu. If you want to deactivate an active pre-approved payment, click on the Merchant Name to go to the details page. You should be able to deactivate your billing agreement from there.

Method 2: Checking History

This method involves searching for your past transactions using Paypal history. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Login to your Paypal Account and go to History > Basic Search.

Step 2: The second step is to select a large date range (anywhere between 2 to 5 years) and click Show. This way you can check for all your recurring payments without missing out on any.

Paypal Subscription and Recurring Payments History Page

Step 3: Go to More filters > Subscriptions and agreements as shown in the image above.

Step 4: From the Subscriptions and agreements menu, individually check every link starting with Billing Agreements, Recurring Payments > Transactions, Recurring Payments > profile and Subscriptions.

Here's a rough explanation of what these links mean:

  • Billing Agreements: The billing agreement page lists all your billing agreements. Billing agreements are agreements you entered with service providers so they can automatically charge your paypal account if need arises. These can be recurring payments or payments made only when a certain event occurs. Like for eg: a domain renewal.
  • Recurring Payments > Transactions: This page lists transactions related to your recurring payments.
  • Recurring Payments > My profiles: This page lists all your recurring payments with details of when the recurring payment was created and when it was cancelled.
  • Subscriptions: The subscriptions page displays all your active and cancelled subscriptions. These include subscriptions where you receive payments and subscriptions where you send payments.

Click every link and check if transactions are present. For eg, click on Billing Agreements and see if you can find any transaction. Then go to Recurring Payments > Transactions and so on.

If you find a transaction click on the Details link to see more information about that transaction. You can then cancel the subscription from here.

If you have a query please feel free to leave it in the comments section below. If you found this tutorial useful, please share it or link to it.



  1. Thanks a lot you've really helped me.....I've been tying to find a way to cancel a subscription I had with with a merchant, which before now was a futile search until I came across this article. Thanks for writing an article that settled the issue of auto renewal for both the old and new Paypal interface, especially the new Paypal interface. More grease to your elbow.

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