Configuring PayPal Auto-Return (Redirect) After Payment

February 6, 2009

Non lead-gen or SEO post here… just a little annoying item that I couldn’t figure out for a few minutes.  Did a Google search and couldn’t find a good answer… but if you are trying to set up a redirect or auto-return after accepting a PayPal payment for a product or service that is purchased on your website, try this:

1) login to paypal
2) click “edit profile) next to your name / email address
3) click “website payment preferences” under “selling preferences”
4) click “on” for “auto-return”
5) you must enter a return URL, even if you have separate ones for various products and/or payments from various sites that may take precedence over this one.
6) click save

Note #5.  That’s what threw us off.  We didn’t think to have one “return URL” for the overall account, b/c we have several different sites that all send payments to one PayPal email address, and in each case we use a custom return URL that we pass to PayPal from the site as part of the IPN posting (or whatever… I’m not a developer).  Anyhow, if this works for you when you find this post months from now, please post a comment and let me know!

21 Responses to “Configuring PayPal Auto-Return (Redirect) After Payment”

  1. pols1226 Says:

    thanks a lot jonpayne to this tutorial.. great!!!

  2. wet1423 Says:

    Thanks a bunch! worked great

    • jonpayne Says:

      Glad I can be of service! Anyone have any other thoughts on auto returns or redirects to your own confirmation (thank you) page after payment is submitted?

  3. Thanks a lot . Nice one …

  4. Brock Says:

    Thanks, man.

  5. Suresh Says:

    there is no such link “website payment preferences” on the site. Please clarify.


  6. Kevin Says:

    Thanks Jon!

    I was always confused by #5 too.

    PayPal’s navigation has changed a little since you originally wrote the post but I still found the appropriate section without any trouble.

    Thanks again!

  7. mikaela millan Says:

    i have searched the net.. and still .. there is no auto redirect once the payment has been completed..
    you still need to click the button to return to your website…

    is it really like that?

  8. Tim Davis Says:

    I just wanted to say thanks. I was trying to figure out how to get the buy now buttons to redirect, and your instructions literally took me 15 seconds to fix the issue. Thanks, and have a great day! 🙂

  9. alpesh Says:

    Hi..thank u very much. it solved my prob.

  10. Ed Dapper Says:

    It’s actually even easier. You’re correct, you need to enter the return URL under website payment preferences. However, there is no need at all to get into complicated IPN programming. Simply to your profile and click . If you create a separate button for each of your websites or products, you will see that in section 3 of the button creation process, you can enter a different URL of your choosing for redirects. No programming necessary.

  11. Marc Says:

    2 yrs later and Paypal is still a mess. Even with a business account, you can only have “one” auto-return unless you configure it within their PP buttons.

    The problem is when you have a theme w/an integrated shopping cart and it has it’s own button/add to cart system – there is no way to configure an auto-return back to the site after payment.

    If you offer a service and need their info, this can get frustrating.

  12. omraj Says:

    Awesome-ly Helpful !!!

  13. Jack Says:


    This method worked for me but there is one problem with it. It only work for people that have Paypal accounts. It does not redirect automatically for those who use use credit cards

    • smbhax Says:

      Yeah, that seems to be a limitation of the feature. I read somewhere that they can’t do it for credit card payments because they’re legally required to leave the buyer on the page where they can print out the receipt–bit of an antiquated concept really!

  14. Donald Says:

    Yes it works like a charm. Thank you!

  15. Chris Says:

    I know it’s been a few years since you wrote this, but it definitely paid off for me today!! Thanks!

  16. mattbw11 Says:

    I wish it would happen quicker then 3 seconds! I sometimes run into issues where people leave PayPal before the redirect… and the payment does not get confirmed… so annoying..!

  17. Atirek Says:

    I do but all i am finding it’s returning to paypal….i want it to return to merchant’s Website…Please help me in this..

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