PayPal IPN Failures


You receive an email from PayPal® that states that a PayPal Instant Payment Notification (IPN) failed:

Hi Name, 
Please check your server that handles PayPal Instant Payment Notifications (IPN). IPNs sent to the following URL(s) failed:

If you don't recognise this URL, you may be using a service provider that is using IPN on your behalf. Please contact your service provider with the above information. If this problem continues, IPNs may be disabled for your account. 

Thank you for helping resolve this issue.

You may also see missing or incorrect transaction records within WHMCS.


PayPal sends this email because it could not send a payment notification to your WHMCS installation.

This may indicate that your website is offline or is experiencing other problems. It may also occur when you move your WHMCS installation to a new URL.


To troubleshoot this issue:

  • Check whether your website is fully operational.
  • Check whether the URL in the PayPal email matches your WHMCS System URL setting in the General tab at Configuration () > System Settings > General Settings.

You can also review the Gateway Log at Configuration () > System Logs for IPN Handshake Invalid or IPN Handshake Error entries.


Use the steps below to resolve the issue.

PayPal will attempt to send the IPN again between four hours and four days after the initial failure. If you have successfully resolved the issue, WHMCS will record the payment without any additional action.

Website Inaccessible

If your website is experiencing problems, find and resolve the issue. PayPal cannot successfully send IPNs until your site is online and functional.

For help, contact your hosting provider or system administrator.

Recently-Moved Installation

If you recently moved your WHMCS installation, you may need to redirect IPN messages from your old location to the new URL.

To do this:

  1. Download the paypal.php file.

  2. Edit the file to update the $url value to your WHMCS installation’s new location. For example:

     $url = '';
  3. Upload the file to the location in the IPN failure email.

For more information, see Update the System URL.

Last modified: June 24, 2024