WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress site owners. Though the plugin is suitable for selling physical products, you can also easily sell digital downloads like eBooks, music, software applications, etc. When you sell digital items, it is necessary to setup download permissions for each of your product. In this article, we will explain how to set download permissions for WooCommerce products and why it is necessary.
Download Permissions in WooCommerce
Let us day, you are selling music track in your WooCommerce store. You can setup download permissions for that music track to restrict the followings after purchase:
- Download Limit – restricts number of times the purchased items can be downloaded by your customers (for example – 3 times).
- Download expiry – restricts the time before which the customer needs to download the product after purchase (for example – 3 days).
These two permissions allow you to have a control of digital product’s sale and handle complaints.
How to Set Download Permissions in WooCommerce?
It is easy to setup the permission when you are creating or editing a digital product item.
- Go to the “Product Data” meta box. If you do not see while editing, click on “Screen Options” showing on top right corner of the screen and select “Product Data” screen element.
- Go to “General” tab and set the permissions for “Download limit” and “Download expiry”.
- Leaving the boxes blank will allow customers to download unlimited time and no restriction on duration.
- Go to “Advanced” section and enter a note about the download permissions. This will send the information to customers after purchasing to make sure they are informed about the product permissions. You can also enter any other product or order related details in the note that you want to communicate to purchased customers.
- Publish or update your product to make the changes live.
WooCommerce will set these permissions for each order and restrict the customers as per the permissions set for the product. The product permissions will be applied when the order status changes to completed or processing.
How to Change Download Permissions for an Order?
Sometimes customers may not download the item before set expiry time. Some customers also might have deleted the downloaded file mistakenly and want to download the item beyond the set limit. In all scenarios, you can change or revoke the set permissions at order level.
- Go to “WooCommerce > Orders” section and find the order number that you want to change the permissions.
- Click on the order number to edit.
- Scroll down to the bottom and find “Downloadable product permission” box.
- In this box you can find the number of times customer downloaded the ordered product.
- Click on the product name to view additional details like the remaining downloads and time available as per the set permissions.
- Increase the number in “Downloads remaining” box and set the date to future to allow the customer to download the product again.
- If the customer asked for refund or filed a complaint, then click “Revoke access” button to remove the download access. This will avoid further downloading of your digital product till the time you resolve the dispute.
- It is also possible to provide access to additional products under the same order number. For example, you may want to send the updated eBook (which is a new product in your store) to an old customer. Or you can give some freebie product to make the complained customer happy. For this, simply enter the product name in the text box and click “Grant access” button.
- After making changes to the order permissions, scroll up and find “Order actions” meta box in the sidebar. Click the dropdown, select “Resend new order notification” and click “Update” button.
- You can also click “Copy link” button to get the download link and then manually send email. You could use this option, if the customer complained from different email id than the one used for ordering.
- If required, you can add a note under “Order notes” section by selecting “Note to customer” option from the dropdown before updating the order.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can simply select “Regenerate download permissions” from “Order actions” box and click “Update” button. This will reset the order permissions and send email to customer. You do not need to change the permissions under “Download product permissions” box.
Changing download permissions is NOT considered as editing order details. In fact, the permissions are applied only when the order is set to processing or completed. So, though the order shows “This order is no longer editable”, you can change the download permissions and update it.
Customer will not be able to download the product anymore until you regenerate or grant permissions again.
Though you can set download limit/expiry details when creating free products, they will not appear in customer orders. So, we assume there are no options to use download permissions for freely downloadable digital products in WooCommerce.