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Here's why your PayPal payment is on hold

There are a few reasons why you haven't received your money yet.

Published onFebruary 18, 2024

If you have started receiving payments on PayPal from customers, or even from friends and family, you might notice that the money isn’t in your PayPal balance or account yet. Here’s why your PayPal money is on hold.


PayPal will place a payment on hold if it needs more information about your activity, transaction, or business. A delay could be because of unusual activity, a change in your selling pattern, or if it's a first-time transaction.


Why is my PayPal money on hold?

PayPal stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Your payment might be put on hold if PayPal detects any unusual activity with the account. If you are a first-time seller, PayPal will temporarily hold all your payments until you build a positive seller history.

Suppose you have been receiving PayPal payments for your business already. If multiple customers have filed refund requests, raised disputes, or issued chargebacks or bank reversals, PayPal will also place payments on hold. There could also be a payment hold if you sell high-risk items like gift cards, tickets, travel packages, or consumer electronics. If you haven’t sold anything for a while, you will also have to rebuild your seller history.

Additionally, PayPal will look out for sudden changes in selling habits. Expect holds if your sales see a very sudden spike or a change in average selling prices. Additionally, it’s more common for PayPal to place payments on hold for seven days when transferring money as a payment for “goods and services.” This is much less likely to happen if the sender sends it as a “friends and family” transaction.

How long will PayPal hold my money?

paypal payment how to remove hold

PayPal will hold your money for up to 21 days, but there are ways to get your funds released quicker.

If you are a first-time seller and a payment you received is on hold, you can get your funds sooner than the 21-day waiting period by using PayPal Supported Carriers to send the product. You can print a shipping label from your PayPal account. The tracking information and delivery confirmation will automatically be updated on your account, and PayPal will release the funds to you one day after the delivery is completed.

You must manually upload the tracking information if you use a supported carrier and handle the shipping yourself. PayPal will release your funds within a day of the courier confirming delivery. You can manually update the status of the purchase by going to Activity, find the purchase you want to update and click on Get your money.

If the transaction is for a non-tangible service, such as an archery lesson, you should update the transaction manually. Set the order status as Completed, and you should get the funds seven days later. Fill out the info and click on Submit.

How to prevent PayPal from holding funds

PayPal stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

You can prevent future payment holds by building a positive seller history. Avoid refunds, disputes, and chargebacks, work with your customers to clear any issues, and set up a customer service message to prevent conflicts and claims. For example, if there’s going to be a delivery delay because of inclement weather, let your customers know. In short, practice good customer service habits and ensure nothing odd or unexpected happens with your account.

How to get help with PayPal holds?

Aside from the methods listed above, there isn’t much else you can do to get help with PayPal payment holds other than to call customer service. Go to the PayPal Contact Us page and scroll to the bottom. You’ll see some options to contact PayPal. Click on Message us or Call us and follow the instructions to contact the company’s customer support team.


You will not be able to access any funds on hold until PayPal clears the payment.

PayPal may decide when to release funds at its own discretion. The maximum number of days it usually holds funds for is 21 days, though.

If you receive a payment from a friend or family member for the first time or after a long time, it will register as unusual account activity. In that case, PayPal might put the payment on hold for up to 21 days. Also, the sender may have accidentally sent the money as a transaction for goods and services. This will also usually trigger a hold.

Calling customer service to release fund holds is always worth a try, but the chances of them going against their rules are slim. At the very least, they can explain to you how to officially speed up the process.

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