This article is for clients looking to cancel a project they’ve purchased. If you’re a freelancer looking to learn how to cancel a project, click here.

We understand that plans change.

To cancel a project order:

  1. Log in to your Upwork account
  2. Find the contract you’d like to cancel under the Jobs tab
  3. Select Cancel Contract in the top right corner of the Contract Workroom
  4. Send an escrow refund request to the freelancer

After canceling, if the freelancer approves your request, we will return the money you placed in escrow to you in full if the freelancer approves (please allow up to five business days).

Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee a refund. Freelancers may have already begun work on your project or may have even finished it. We will ask the freelancer to refund your money, but the decision will be theirs.

Pro Tip:

In many cases, freelancers are more than happy to work with you if your approach to the project has changed. Rather than cancel the project, consider messaging your freelancer to discuss how to move forward.

If you can’t resolve the issue with your freelancer, you may be able to file a dispute. Learn more about our dispute process here and our refund process here.

If your money is returned from escrow without having been released to the freelancer, we will refund your Contract Initiation Fee. If the money is already released to the freelancer and you dispute, the fee will not be returned even if you win the dispute.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I cancel a project?

To cancel a project:

  1. Log in to your Upwork account
  2. Find the contract you’d like to cancel under the Jobs tab
  3. Select Cancel in the top right corner of the project details
Will I get my money back?

If the freelancer approves your escrow refund request, we will return your money to you in full (please allow 5 business days), including your Contract Initiation Fee.

We encourage you to work things out with your freelancer. However, if that is not possible, you can also file a dispute.

Note that when a contract goes to dispute, or if money is refunded from the freelancer after it has already been released from escrow to pay them, we will not refund the Contract Initiation Fee.

Any refunds may take up to five business days to be deposited back into your account.

The project I bought was canceled. Now what?

Freelancers can cancel a project within 24 hours of receiving your requirements. Sometimes, a freelancer becomes overbooked or can’t take on the work, or they may realize that they are not the right fit to help you. You may message the freelancer to see if they can take the project at a later time, or choose another project entirely.

Also, if you didn’t submit the project requirements within 48 hours after purchasing the project, we automatically cancel the project.

Either way, we will refund your money, including the Contract Initiation Fee, in up to five business days.

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