Recent studies showed that prospective memory (PM) intentions might not be deactivated directly after completion. The residual activation leads to aftereffects which are reflected as interference in performance when former PM cues of old intentions are interspersed in the new task (i.e., intention deactivation failure, Walser et al., J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 38(4):1030–1044, 2012). In the present study, we investigated potential mechanisms that might support the deactivation process of completed intentions by manipulating the task demands (e.g., working memory load) between intention completion and measurement of aftereffects. Aftereffects on repeated PM-cue trials were found when working memory load was low (control condition), but were reduced when available resources were sparse (working memory load condition). When participants were asked to reflect upon the to-be-deactivated PM cue, subsequent aftereffects were increased. Further, overall aftereffects were larger for participants low in self-reported action control. Results show that the nature of the filler-task activity determines whether the representation of the completed intention is destabilized (working memory load) or strengthened (intention reflection). The (at least partial) overwriting of completed intention representations by new working memory task representations seems therefore to reflect a supporting factor for the deactivation of completed intentions.