An Amazon employee handling a package on a conveyor belt.
Frederic Legrand – COMEO/

Amazon almost makes it too easy to place an order sometimes. If you’ve placed the wrong order or even just changed your mind, we’ll show you how to cancel it and make sure you get your money back.

The General Rules of Amazon Refunds

Before we get into cancelling, we’ll look at how Amazon typically deals with cancellations across the various stages of an order.

If you’ve just placed your order in the last 20 minutes or even hour, it’s possible that Amazon hasn’t started processing it yet. The company doesn’t charge your payment method until it ships your item, so as long as you cancel before it ships, you shouldn’t have to worry about being charged.

Once your order begins processing, Amazon will inform you that it can’t guarantee that your order can be cancelled. You can try to cancel an order, and this is often still successful, but it’s possible that your order will ship.

After an order has shipped, you can’t cancel it any longer. Don’t worry, though, you can still return it. If your box is unopened, it’s even easier, but even if you’ve opened it, in most cases you can return the items to Amazon for a full refund.

How to Cancel an Amazon Order That Hasn’t Shipped

As mentioned above, if your order hasn’t shipped or is still in the process of shipping, you can usually cancel before you’re charged. If Amazon has already placed a hold on your card, it should disappear after your order is successfully cancelled.

Cancel an Amazon Order on Your Computer

Open the Amazon website in the browser of your choice. If you aren’t signed in already, click the button labeled “Hello, Sign in” to sign in to your account. Once you’ve signed in, select “Returns & Orders” in the top-right of the window.

Returns & Orders on Amazon website

Now search for the order you wish to cancel. Once you find it, click the “Cancel items” button on the right side. On the next page, select which items in the order you wish to cancel.

Starting to cancel an item or order on Amazon

On the left side of the screen, you can select the reason for cancellation in the dropdown box, but this is optional. Once you’ve selected the item or items to cancel, click the “Cancel selected items in this order” button.

Confirming cancelled items in an Amazon order

Cancel an Order on Amazon With Your Phone or Tablet

If you have the Amazon app on your phone or tablet, open it. Otherwise, go to the Amazon website in your device’s web browser. In either case, log in if you haven’t already.

In the app, tap the icon that looks like a person at the bottom of the screen.

Orders & Returns in Amazon mobile app

Then tap the “Your Orders” button.

On the Amazon website, tap your name next to the person icon in the top-right of the screen, then tap the “Track & Manage Orders” button.

Tap the order you wish to cancel, then further down the screen, select the “Cancel order” button. Check the items you wish to cancel and choose a reason for cancellation from the dropdown menu, if you want.

Starting to cancel an order in the Amazon app

Tap the “Cancel checked items” option at the bottom of the screen to finish cancelling your order.

Finalizing an Amazon order cancellation in the mobile app

How to Get a Refund on an Amazon Order After It Ships

If an order has already shipped, you can’t cancel it any longer, but that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it. Whether an item arrives damaged, you get the wrong item, or you just decide you don’t want the order by the time it arrives, in most case, you can return the items for a full refund.

To get started, head to your Amazon orders page on the web or in the Amazon app. Find the order you wish to return. On a computer, click the “Return or Replace Items” button. On a mobile device, tap the order, then tap the “Return or replace items” button near the bottom of the screen.

Replace or return items in Amazon order

Select the items to return, then choose the reason you’re returning the item. Now click or tap the “Continue” button. On the next page, select how you want to receive the refund. You can either have the payment refunded to your original payment method or your Amazon balance.

Choosing how to receive an Amazon refund

Select “Continue” again, then follow the prompts to print a return label and finish the return process. Once this is finished, you’ll have a window in which to return your items for a full refund.

Note that Amazon offers a return window that closes roughly one month after the initial purchase, so if you want to return items, you’ll need to act fairly quickly.

What About Digital Orders and Rentals?

Things work differently with digital purchases compared to physical goods. In most cases, you can cancel any accidental purchases and easily get a refund. If you intentionally purchased a book, movie, or another digital item, and you’re not happy with it, you’re probably not able to get a refund.

To get a refund on an accidental digital purchase, go to the Your Orders page on Amazon, either on your computer or on a mobile device. Here, click Digital Orders, then search for the item you accidentally purchased.

Digital Orders on Amazon desktop site

Once you’ve found it, select Cancel Your Order or Return for Refund, and enter the reason for cancellation if you wish. If you can’t cancel the item, it means you’re outside the return window. Your best bet here would be to contact customer service. Note that Amazon also may limit your ability to return digital orders if you do it too frequently.

Return for Refund on Amazon

Subscriptions work differently as well. Fortunately, we already have several of these covered, like our guide to cancelling your Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription.

If you’ve decided to go less all-in on Amazon, we can help you there too. WIth the price increasing all the time, more people are deciding not to keep Amazon Prime. If that sounds like you, have a look at our guide to cancelling Amazon Prime before you get charged again.

Profile Photo for Kris Wouk Kris Wouk
Kris Wouk is a freelance tech writer and musician with over 10 years of experience as a writer and a lifetime of experience as a gadget fan. He has also written for Digital Trends, MakeUseOf, Android Authority, and Sound Guys. At MakeUseOf, he was Section Editor in charge of the site's Mac coverage.
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