I'm using PayPal on a Magento site. When a new order from a guest is placed using PayPal the order doesn't receive payment authorization. The status remains at "pending".
This doesn't happen in all cases, we have plenty of PayPal orders that go through, so perhaps it's for users who didn't have PayPal accounts authorized or needed to add funds to them. The customer information doesn't show up in PayPal either.
In the end we have a Magento order # with a status of pending waiting for a PayPal authorization that doesn't seem to be coming. Any ideas?

  • What do you mean the customer information doesn't show up in PayPal? Does PayPal successfully capture the payment or not? Is it just Magento that doesn't update the status?
    – Erfan
    Commented Apr 24, 2013 at 8:11

1 Answer 1


You need to configure the IPN location of your Magento install within your Paypal configuration panel.

Source: https://www.paypal.com/ipn

What is an IPN?

From Paypal's manual pages:

Instant Payment Notification (IPN) is PayPal's message service that sends a notification when a transaction is affected. Once IPN is integrated, sellers can automate their back office so they don’t have to wait for payments to come in to trigger order fulfillment.

Enabling in Paypal

The below instructions are from the Magento Wiki, and are intended for the Sandbox Developer site - however they would be applicable for your production site as well.

Go back to your Paypal Developer Account and login if necessary. Click on to “Test Accounts”: Choose your “seller account” (this should be a premier account) Click the button to “Enter Sandbox Test Site” This will log you in as that user.

You need to go to Profile and turn on IPN (My Account>Profile)

Starting with Magento, the ipn url is now : http://www.yoursite.com/paypal/ipn/standard/, however since it changed again to be just http://www.yoursite.com/paypal/ipn/

But in fact this is not important because magento passes the notify_url thru the API to Paypal and the notify_url parameter overrides the Paypal account IPN url. It is why if you have multiple websites on a single magento instance, it can work with one single Paypal account.

IPNs will send information about payment status and can move orders into different states/statuses depending upon the payment's decline/accept. You can configure a number of options in Paypal, such as the frequency of retries upon failure. If you have a business account with Paypal please give them a call and ask for Merchant Technical Services, they should be able to assist you with getting this set up if you feel the above is too technical.

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