WooCommerce – How to Manage Refunds

WooCommerce Manage Refunds

Last updated - July 8, 2021


Refunds are a big part of order management when you are running an online business. Through seamless integration with different payment gateways, WooCommerce allows hassle-free refunds.

First of all, there are two ways to do your refunds – automatically with supported gateways, or manually. In this article, we’ll discuss both in detail.

Automatic Refunds

Automatic refunds allow you to process refunds without going to the dashboard of your payment gateway. While working with payment gateways that support automatic refunds, you have to add API credentials in the respective gateway’s settings. A noteworthy aspect of WooCommerce refunds is that you can refund product prices, shipping rates, and tax.

woocommerce manage refunds
Adding API credentials for payment gateway

Also note that adding the API credentials ensures an efficient, smooth automatic refund through your WooCommerce admin.

Processing the refund

Once this is setup, moving ahead to process the refund is a simple, straightforward step.

  1. First, go to WooCommerce → Orders, and find the order that you want to process.
  2. Next, go to the Order Details page, and click the Refund button. This will initiate the refund process.
  3. Select the number of products that are to be refunded in the ‘Qty’ text box. In a multiple-item order, choose the required quantity of items for the refund. WooCommerce calculates the refund amount automatically after you choose the quantity.
  4. In addition, if you want to add a note to the customer, you can do it at the ‘Add note’ field.
  5. Finally, click Refund $Amount via (the relevant payment gateway) button to complete the process.
woocommerce manage refunds
On the order details page, you can click the Refund button, and then specify the quantity of products you wish to refund, followed by the Automatic refund button.

Once you complete the refund process, there will be a note in the order notes section informing the refund has been processed. If the entire order is refunded, the order status will automatically change to Refunded. In cases where only some of the items in the order are refunded, the order status won’t change.

woocommerce manage refunds
You can see a message in the Refunds section informing about the successful refund, along with a change in the order status.

Manual Refunds

Manual refunds are in a lot of ways similar to automatic refunds. The refund includes item rates, taxes, and any applicable shipping charges. The difference is that there won’t be any automatic transfer of the refund to your payment gateway. After processing the refund, you’ll have to manually mark the order as Refunded.

Processing the manual refund

1. While you process a manual refund, go to WooCommerce → Orders, and find the order you wish to refund.

2. Next, click the Refund button.

woocommerce manage refunds
Initiating manual refund

3. On the next screen, you can select the number of refund items, and manually enter the shipping charge or any other applicable charges. However, make sure the entire amount you wish to refund is reflected in the Refund amount field.

woocommerce manage refunds
Processing manual refund

4. Click Refund $Amount manually button to complete the refund process. You can view the refund amount in the Item details section as in the below screenshot.

woocommerce manage refunds
Completing manual refund

5. Now, as in the previous case, for a partial refund, you need to change the order status manually. After this, go to your payment gateway to initiate the refund process there also.

Things to note while handling refunds

There are a few things you need to keep in mind while handling refund on your WooCommerce store

Understand the kind of refunds supported by the payment gateway

To ensure hassle-free refund handling, it is advisable to read the documentation of your payment gateway. This will give you an idea on whether the gateway supports automatic or manual refunds. In most cases, the refund amount will include product price as well as taxes and shipping charges. However, the transaction fees that the payment gateway has charged you may not be available for refund.

Make use of the test mode

It is also a good idea to check the payment process using test credentials. Most popular gateways will have a test mode or sandbox mode that lets you manage this.

Adjusting the stock

While managing a refund, you will be able to restock products. This can be achieved by simply ticking a checkbox while processing the refund from the order details page.

woocommerce manage refunds
You can choose to restock the items by ticking the checkbox for the same.

Inform customers about your refund policy

You need to clearly inform your customers about your store’s refund policy. The recommended way will be to create a page detailing your refund policy, and explaining the process by which customers can request for a refund. You can also add the refund policy page to your navigation menu for easy access to customers. Another option to share the refund policy with customers will be to include it in the order confirmation emails.

WooCommerce Refund Plugins

If the basic features of WooCommerce are adequate for your store’s requirements, you can always try out some of the popular plugins to supercharge the refund process.

Here is a quick look at some of the popular plugins to manage refund more efficiently.

WooCommerce Smart Refunder

With the default WooCommerce option for refunds, your customers will have to request for a refund through the support page, or email as specified in the policy. However, with this plugin installed on your store, they will be able to request for refunds directly from their My Account pages. For certain product types, you can offer instant refunds and for others you can manually process it from the backend. The plugin also offers prompt notifications so that customers and store owners are clearly aware of all steps in the process. You can get this plugin for $79.

woocommerce manage refunds
This plugin helps you make the refund process extremely smooth for your customers.

WooCommerce Returns and Warranty Requests

With the help of this plugin, you will be able to easily manage the Return Merchandize Authorization Process (RMA) process on your store. The plugin lets you add warranty terms to your products, and also allow customers to request for returns or exchanges. You will be able to track returns and also request product images. The cost of the plugin is $79.

woocommerce manage refunds
You will be able to set warranty terms for each of your products with the help of this plugin.

YITH Advanced Refund System

You will be able to make your refund system much more customer friendly with this plugin. It will help your customers to easily place refund requests on your store. Based on the store strategy, you can automatically accept refund requests, or manually approve them. The plugin also provides a field so that customers can enter the reason for the refund request as well. The cost of a single site license of this plugin will be $69.99.

woocommerce manage refunds
This plugin helps you make the refund process simpler on your store.

WooCommerce RMA For Return Refund & Exchange

With this plugin, you can easily accept return and exchange requests from customers. The plugin offers easy management of return and exchange requests from registered customers as well as guest users. It also offers several advanced features like automated notifications. The Regular cost of the plugin is $79 for a single site license.

woocommerce manage refunds
You will be able to supercharge customer experience with this plugin.

WooCommerce Order Returns / Refund Plugin

This is another option if you are looking to make the refund process simpler. You can easily accept refund requests, and fulfill them with cash refunds or discount coupons. The plugin has several advanced features including customizable email templates and automatic notifications. It will cost you $59.99.

woocommerce manage refunds
This is another feature-rich option to simplify the refund process on your WooCommerce store.

Hopefully this article has provided some insights on how to mange refunds on your WooCommerce store. Leave us a comment if you have a query.

Further reading


  1. Hello there!

    Ever since we upgraded our Woo to v3.6, we do not see the ‘Refund via Paypal’ button at all within individual orders. The only button visible is ‘Refund manually’. Would you know the reason for this please? Thanks.

    • Hi there, this could be due to a plugin conflict. Please try disabling all plugins except WooCommerce and see if the problem persists.

  2. Hello,
    I use a PDF invoice plugin. The refund of 1 item doesn’t reflect in the invoice. It shows the original invoice with all the items. Is there a better way?

    • Hello Assim, Which PDF Invoice plugin do you use? It will be better if you contact the plugin support team directly to resolve this issue.

    • What is the error you are facing? Try to do a manual refund again after disabling all the plugins except woocommerce. This will help to ensure plugin conflicts are not causing the issue.


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