Validation Error: PayPal IPN Response From A Different Email Address In WordPress

Validation Error PayPal IPN Response From A Different Email Address In WordPressWooCommerce is the most popular plugin for building eCommerce stores in WordPress. Also, it is relatively easy to configure the payment with PayPal. For this reason, many people prefer the WooCommerce PayPal option. However, it sometimes runs into some validation errors, such as the PayPal IPN response from a different email address error.

If any of your orders are put on hold on the WooCommerce dashboard, then it is possible a validation error has occurred on your WordPress site.

In this guide, we will show you how to fix PayPal IPN Validation Error in WooCommerce. But first, let’s understand why this error might occur in a WooCommerce store.


  1. What is PayPal IPN?
  2. Common causes of the PayPal IPN response error.
  3. How to Fix PayPal IPN Validation Error in WooCommerce
  4. Conclusion

What is PayPal IPN?

PayPal IPN (Instant Payment Notification) is a service that automatically notifies a store owner of any payment through the PayPal payment gateway on their website.

In WordPress, the WooCommerce plugin uses the PayPal IPN to automate sales. If a buyer completes their payment through the PayPal gateway, the order status changes from “payment pending” to “payment processing”. 

If the payment is successful, WooCommerce changes the status to “Completed” and a payment invoice is sent to the buyer containing a link to download the product (if it is a downloadable product).

However, when there is a validation error, the order is changed from ‘payment processing’ to ‘on hold’, even though the payment is successful from the customer.

Common Causes of the PayPal IPN Response Error

This error usually occurs when there is a difference between the primary email on your PayPal account and the receiver email in the WooCommerce payment settings.

Paypal allows its users to add up to 7 emails to their accounts. These emails can access the PayPal dashboard for that account and can accept payments as well.

However, PayPal requires that only one email is set as the primary email. If your primary email is different from the email you set on the receiver email when configuring the WooCommerce plugin, then a validation error is bound to occur.

Also, some web hosting platforms have security firewall features that block requests from unknown IP addresses.

If your WordPress hosting has a security feature blocking PayPal’s IP addresses, it might raise a validation error.

How to Fix PayPal IPN Validation Error in WooCommerce

Now that we are familiar with the common causes of the validation error, here are some steps to troubleshoot and fix the error.

Confirm Your Primary Email on PayPal

The first step is to confirm the primary email on your PayPal settings. To check or update your PayPal primary email, follow the steps below.

Log in to your PayPal account, then click on the Settings gear icon at the top-right section and select “Your Profile”.

Confirming your primary email

Next, click on ‘update under ‘login and security’ to see all the email addresses associated with the Paypal account.

Confirming your primary email: Step 2

You should see ‘primary’ below one of the email addresses. Take note of the email. It is the primary email for your account.

Primary email

Meanwhile, you can click on the plus icon to add another email.

How to add another email

Also, if you want to change the primary email on your PayPal account, simply click on ‘edit next to the particular email and then select the set it as the primary email option.

Editing your email address

Update WooCommerce PayPal Setup

The next step in troubleshooting is to update the WooCommerce setup and ensure the receiver email matches the primary email from PayPal. This may fix the ‘validation error: Paypal IPN response from a different email address’.

First, log in to the admin dashboard of your WordPress site.

After that, click on the WooCommerce tab and select ‘settings‘.

Now, click on the ‘payment‘ tab and select ‘Manage‘ next to the Paypal payment option.

Payments >> manage: validation error: paypal ipn response from a different email address

On the configuration page, ensure the ‘Enable Paypal IPN’ checkbox is ticked, and then check the ‘Receiver email’ and ensure it matches the primary email from your Paypal account.

Enter receiver email: validation error: paypal ipn response from a different email address

If it doesn’t, change this to the primary email.

After that, click on Save changes to update the settings with the new receiver email address.

Now, you may try placing an order using a credit card to see if this procedure has fixed the issue.

If you don’t want to use a real credit card to place a test order, you can select the WooCommerce PayPal sandbox option in the setup. Then signup for a developer account with PayPal.

Sign up for a developer account: validation error: paypal ipn response from a different email address

The sandbox API details can be used to test the PayPal setup with dummy data. This will tell you if the update you made fixed the issue.

It is important to test your setup before making it live for your customers. That way, you will be notified if there’s still an issue with your settings.

Whitelist Paypal IP Ranges

If payment is still put on hold on your WooCommerce store, then maybe your hosting platform is blocking PayPal IP addresses. It is not uncommon to see this PayPal IPN Response occur due to such server errors.

To fix this, you need to whitelist PayPal’s IP ranges on your web server. Below is a list of IP ranges used by PayPal to send IPN messages.

Follow the steps below to whitelist an IP address.

Connect your site to an FTP client.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to connect your WordPress site to an FTP client.

After connecting your site to an FTP client, open the directory containing your website’s files.

Now, right-click on the .htaccess file and then select view/edit.

view/edit .htaccess file: validation error: paypal ipn response from a different email address

After that, copy the code snippet below and then paste it to the file, just above the ‘# End WordPress’ line of code.


Require all granted

Require ip


Ensure you replace with one of PayPal’s IP addresses.

To whitelist multiple IP ranges, copy the Require IP line of code and paste in a new line, each time replacing with a Paypal’s IP address.

Save and close the file after adding all the IP ranges.

FileZilla should prompt you to upload the updated file, click Yes.

The Implication of Paypal IPN Response Error on Customers / Buyers

When WooCommerce puts an order on hold, the user will not receive any confirmation email from PayPal about their order status. 

However, the store owner will receive payment, and the buyer will be debited on their PayPal account.

The only step the buyer can take at this point is to notify the store owner of the payment issue. Then send proof of payment so that the store owner can manually process the order.

Implications of IPN Validation Error for Store Owners

Although WooCommerce places the payment “on hold”, the payment will still be sent to the PayPal account of the store owner.

This means the order was successful from the buyers’ side but due to the difference between the receiver email and primary email or an IP issue, it raises a PayPal IPN error and places the order on hold.

If some of the orders on your WooCommerce store are on hold and you have received the payment for the order, then you can manually change the order status from the WooCommerce dashboard to completed.

Conclusion -Validation Error: PayPal IPN Response From a Different Email Address

Although WooCommerce combined with Paypal is the most preferred way to build online stores in WordPress, validation errors might occur sometimes.

Armed with the knowledge in this guide, fixing the “validation error: Paypal ipn response from a different email address” on your WooCommerce store should no longer be difficult for you.

If you are still getting the validation error after troubleshooting with the steps above, you may reach out to our WordPress experts to help you fix the error

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 This post was written by Mesheal Fegor

Mesheal Fegor is a Web/WordPress Developer and technical writer. His WordPress help articles have been featured on Kinsta and other sites. Mesheal holds a master's degree in computer science. His writing focuses on technical WordPress issues, ranging from core WordPress problems, to issues with WooCommerce, and more.

Last edited by: FixRunner Team