PayPal File Download — FAQ/Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting / Something’s wrong.

The receipt/download email is not sent to the customer.

This could be a result of a number of problems. Go down this list to see which one it is.

  • Did you follow the Getting Started guide and set up your PayPal account correctly? Click here to go to the getting started guide. Make sure you are enrolled into PayPal Website Payments Standard.
  • Is PayPal IPN enabled? Log into PayPal and click Profile, Selling tools, and then update next to Instant payment notifications (or click here to go directly there.) Message delivery should be marked as Enabled. If not, click here to go to the getting started guide.
  • Is your website in maintenance mode, has password protection enabled, or is inaccessible from the public? If so, then PayPal can’t access your server to tell you that a transaction has been made (which is called IPN, or Instant Payment Notifications). Make sure your site can be accessed publicly.
  • Is there a transaction logged in the Transactions section of the plugin? If a transaction is logged but no email is sent, either a) your server is not set up to send mail (which your web host will have to enable), or b) the email is in the user’s spam folder.

Downloads aren’t working.

If your downloads aren’t working or are downloading files that don’t work, your server might not be allowing you to serve files with the current download method.

If you don’t yet have a working download link to test on, go to your Products page and click Generate Download Link for one of them to obtain a download link to test with.

Then, try each download method until you find one that works and downloads your file correctly. View this FAQ to see how: What are the available download methods, and how do I switch to one?

I have large files, and downloads aren’t working.

Servers frequently choke on large files. Read the troubleshooting entry directly above, and then try each of the download methods until you find one that works. For large files, the best ones are Streaming, Streaming cURL, and Direct download.


What are the available download methods, and how do I switch to one?

The available download methods are:

  • WordPress Remote (Default). This should work well with most small files, and uses WordPress’s default file download methods.
  • Direct download (Works with all servers). This redirects the customer to the source file you defined for the product, which doesnot mask the file’s original URL.
  • Streaming (Best for large files). If you’re selling a very large file, try the streaming option if WordPress Remote doesn’t work.
  • Streaming cURL (Experimental). Try this if you have a large file and the regular Streaming method doesn’t work.
  • file_get_contents. Try this if you know your server has file_get_contents enabled.
  • PHP/cURL. Try this if you know your server has cURL enabled.

To change your download method, go to Settings and scroll down to the very bottom, where you will see Download method.