How to Change Your PayPal Password: An In-Depth Walkthrough

Do you use the same password across all your online accounts? That‘s very risky behavior in today‘s era of frequent data breaches. Cybercriminals often steal password data from poorly secured sites and try using them to break into other more valuable accounts, like financial services.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 1,862 publicly reported data breaches in 2021 exposing nearly 22 billion records. Of those, 23% allowed hackers to access login credentials like passwords.

When it comes to a financial platform like PayPal that handles your money transactions, you should make security paramount. One of the easiest safeguards is changing your password regularly.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through the entire process of updating your password, from access your PayPal account all the way to recovery if you ever forget it. I‘ll also help set you up with strong, unique passwords and enhanced security via two-factor authentication.

Let‘s get started!

Why PayPal Account Security Matters

PayPal operates as digital wallet that lets you pay for goods/services online, send/receive money from others, and in some cases make in-store purchases.

By connecting your bank account or cards, your PayPal account has access to your overall financial life. So someone hacking into it could drain money or steal your financial data very easily.

An estimated 5.23% of PayPal accounts face some kind of fraud attempt every year, through phishing, credential stuffing, or malware schemes. And those are just the reported cases – many others likely go undetected!

Having a compromised PayPal account means time-consuming disputes, credit damage if funds are stolen, losing transaction history, and general stress.

That‘s why taking protective measures like regularly changing your password and enabling two-factor authentication on PayPal are so vital.

Now let‘s get into the step-by-step process…

Step 1: Access Your PayPal Account

First, head over to the PayPal login page at This grants access your account dashboard.

Tip: I recommend bookmarking the PayPal login page for easy access later.

There are a couple ways to pull up this page:

  1. Go directly to the URL

  2. Search on Google for "PayPal login" and click the first result

Once you land on the official PayPal sign-in page, enter your email address and current password associated with your PayPal account.

Then click Log In.

Enter email and password on PayPal login page

This will log you into your PayPal account dashboard. From here, you can view transaction history, access customer support, or open account settings.

Key Takeaway: Always visit PayPal through the official login page rather than clicking any links sent to you via email. This prevents you falling for phishing scams with fake login pages trying to steal your password.

Step 2: Access Account Settings

Now that you‘ve securely logged into your account, it‘s time to navigate to the settings area to change your password.

In the top right corner under the Log Out button, you‘ll see your profile icon. Click on it to open up the account menu.

Click on profile icon to open menu

Next, select Settings from menu.

Click on Settings in drop down menu

This will launch a new page showing all settings for your PayPal account. On the left, click on Security to access safety related options.

From there, select Password to pull up password update controls.

Navigate to Password page in settings sidebar

We‘re now in the right section to change our current password to a new one.

Pro Tip: If accessing via mobile, tap your profile icon at bottom right rather than top right. Then follow same steps to navigate to Account Settings > Security > Password page.

Key Takeaway: Always access Settings from within PayPal‘s official website after logging in. Never click password reset links in unexpected emails, which are likely phishing attempts sending you to fake pages to capture your login credentials.

Step 3: Enter New Password

On the Password settings page under Change your password, you‘ll fill out three fields:

  1. Current Password: Enter your existing password correctly
  2. New Password: Input a new password meeting security best practices covered later
  3. Re-enter New Password: Type the new password again to confirm it‘s correct

Once you‘ve accurately filled out all three password boxes, click Change Password at the very bottom to save the new credentials.

Form to change your current PayPal password

Key Details:

  • The new password must be different than current one
  • If it detects a weak password, PayPal will indicate that on next screen
  • Once changed successfully, PayPal sends a confirmation

Pro Tip: You can also change your password directly within iOS/Android PayPal apps via App Settings > Password, with same new password fields.

Key Takeaway: Never write down passwords and store them anywhere obvious like near your computer. Choose passwords that are very difficult for anyone else to guess.

How to Create a Strong Password

Let‘s discuss what makes for a weak versus strong password when it comes to an important financial account like your PayPal:

Weak PayPal Passwords

  • Your name, birthday, address, or other personal info
  • Words like "password" or common phrases
  • Repetitive characters like "111111111"
  • Alphabetically/numerically sequential like "abcd1234"
  • Same one reused across multiple accounts

Strong PayPal Passwords

  • 12+ characters including letters, numbers and symbols
  • Completely randomized with no patterns
  • Have both lowercase and uppercase letters
  • Don‘t resemble dictionary words
  • Unique for each separate account
Password TypeLengthComplexityExampleStrength
WeakUnder 8 charactersOnly letters or numbersjohnsmithVery Guessable
Medium8-11 charactersLetters, numbers, basic symbolsGh5$fg!@dSomewhat Guessable
Strong12+ charactersUppercase, lowercase, numbers, special characters$tR!4566FghYut%Very Unguessable

The more complex and lengthy your password, the exponentially harder it gets to crack. Let‘s analyze why…

If allowing all types of printable characters (around 100), an 8-character password has 100^8 possible combinations which is 100,000,000,000 options.

But a 16-character password has 100^16 combinations = 10^32 options, which takes centuries to run through even at 5 billion guesses per second!

See how quickly complexity rises? Using maximum length and randomness is key to creating an uncrackable password.

Pro Tip: Consider using a password manager app to generate, fill, and store strong unique passwords for every account. This removes the excuse of passwords being too hard to remember across multiple sites.

Key Takeaway: Always opt for the maximum character length allowed and include uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols in random placements for greatest security.

Step 4: Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

To further lock down your PayPal account, take advantage of an added layer of security beyond your password, known as two-step or two-factor authentication (2FA).

When 2FA is enabled, logging into your PayPal account requires not only your password but also a special one-time-use code generated on your mobile phone or other device.

Let‘s walk through how to turn this on:

  1. After changing your password, stay on the Security settings tab
  2. Click on Two-step verification
  3. Select to enable two-step verification
  4. Follow prompts to connect your mobile number to receive security codes

Now whenever you sign into your PayPal account, after entering password correctly, it will immediately text your cell phone a 6-digit security code that you must then provide within 60 seconds to complete login.

Example of PayPal texting one-time 2FA code

This protects your account even if someone learns or guesses your password, since they still can‘t access account without also getting texted your unique login code each time.

According to PayPal, around 75% of customers who enable two-step verification face fewer instances of unauthorized access and account takeovers.

So if not already turned on, please consider activating two-factor authentication via text code (or Google/Apple Pay authenticator apps if you want to go high security).

Key Takeaway: Two-factor authentication dramatically improves your PayPal security by requiring both password and access to your mobile phone when logging in. Enable this for maximum account protection.

Step 5: Recover Access If You Forget Password

What if someday you forget the password to your PayPal account? Don‘t panic! The password recovery options give you back access.

On the login page, simply click "Forgot your password?" link below the password field.

Forgot password link on PayPal login page

You‘ll first need to enter the email address or mobile phone number associated with your account. PayPal will text or email you further instructions.

If you had set up security questions, it asks you to answer those correctly. If not, you may need verify account ownership or get sent a reset link.

By following the reset prompts via that SMS or email, you‘ll get back into your account and directed to create a brand new password.

Just be sure wherever PayPal contacts you is the same number/email you have listed under account settings, and that you still access those.

Pro Tip: Always keep your primary email address and mobile number updated in PayPal account profile, for password recovery and enabling two-factor authentication.

Key Takeaway: Recovering a forgotten PayPal password is straightforward by leveraging your registered contact points. Though best to avoid that scenario entirely by using a password manager!

Let‘s Recap…

We‘ve now covered a lot of ground around enhancing your PayPal account security:

  • Change your password regularly every 60-90 days
  • Always create randomized passwords at least 12+ characters lengthy
  • Take advantage of two-factor authentication for dual protection
  • Leverage automated password recovery if you ever forget
  • Update account contact info associated with password resets

Implementing all these PayPal password best practices greatly reduces risks of your financial data or funds getting compromised by external threats.

Stay vigilant in protecting your sensitive information online! Please share with friends and family to spread good security awareness.

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