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If your Paypal payments show as pending when received in Woocommerce it is likely that you are using the standard Paypal payment gateway in your checkout. The standard Paypal gateway takes the customer out from your website to the Paypal website, rather than letting them enter their details into the website’s checkout. There is nothing wrong with having it set up this way but you do need to follow some steps to make Woocommerce and Paypal talk to each other when successful payments are made.

Essentially what is happening is that the money is being taken by Paypal and the order is being completed, so it updates the stock and shows in your order reports. But the payment status cannot be updated because you are not sending the information back to Woocommerce. The following steps will allow you to send that data back to your online store and update the payment status. Then you will be getting notified about your Paypal orders again and not have to manually check and update the payment statuses.

You can confirm if this is working in the order section of WooCommerce under the order notes. You can see below that the order is being changed from the pending to processing status, adjusting the stock levels, and then the IPN payment is completed.

Paypal IPN update from processing payment to payment completed
1. Log in to Paypal directly through the Paypal website
2. Go to the website section of the Paypal admin here
3. Click ‘update’ next to the Instant Payment Notifications (IPN) option
4. Click ‘Choose IPN settings’
5. Use the link here and but with your website’s domain URL – https://your-website-url.com/?wc-api=WC_Gateway_Paypal
6. Copy and paste this URL into the Notification URL field
Receive Paypal IPN Messages
7. Select ‘Receive IPN messages (Enabled)’
Add Paypal IPN Callback URL

I hope this helps and happy selling.


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