WooCommerce: Automatically Cancel Orders

You may wondering – “but I can already do that from the WooCommerce settings!“. Yes, that’s correct; go to WooCommerce Settings > Products > Inventory and set the “Hold Stock Minutes” value. After that period, unpaid orders will be marked as cancelled to make sure the stock goes back to the initial value.

The problem is – what if you don’t want to use the “Hold Stock Minutes” thing, and even better, what if you don’t use stock management at all? In that case, orders won’t be marked as cancelled automatically.

Also, what if you need to do conditional work e.g. you only want to cancel “failed” orders, while you want to keep “pending” ones as they are? Even in this case, the “hold stock” option won’t work, as you need to specify which order status you want to target and then run the cancel function.

Either way, enjoy!

Let’s schedule an event that automatically cancels WooCommerce unpaid orders of a certain order status e.g. Failed Orders.

PHP Snippet: Programmatically Cancel Orders After 1 Hour

Please note, I’ve used the “woocommerce_order_status_{status}” hook, which means you can target any order status you wish (in my case, “woocommerce_order_status_pending” in order to automatically cancel Pending Payment orders after 1 hour).

If you need to edit the time period, simply change “3600” (one hour in seconds) to whatever you like.

 * @snippet       Automatically Cancel Pending Orders After 1h
 * @how-to        Get CustomizeWoo.com FREE
 * @author        Rodolfo Melogli
 * @compatible    WooCommerce 7
 * @donate $9     https://businessbloomer.com/bloomer-armada/

add_action( 'woocommerce_order_status_pending', 'bbloomer_cancel_failed_pending_order_event' );
function bbloomer_cancel_failed_pending_order_event( $order_id ) {
	if ( ! wp_next_scheduled( 'bbloomer_cancel_failed_pending_order_after_one_hour', array( $order_id ) ) ) {
		wp_schedule_single_event( time() + 3600, 'bbloomer_cancel_failed_pending_order_after_one_hour', array( $order_id ) );

add_action( 'bbloomer_cancel_failed_pending_order_after_one_hour', 'bbloomer_cancel_order' );

function bbloomer_cancel_order( $order_id ) {
	$order = wc_get_order( $order_id );
	wp_clear_scheduled_hook( 'bbloomer_cancel_failed_pending_order_after_one_hour', array( $order_id ) );
	if ( $order->has_status( array( 'pending' ) ) ) { 
		$order->update_status( 'cancelled', 'Pending order cancelled after 1 hour' );

Where to add custom code?

You should place PHP snippets at the bottom of your child theme functions.php file and CSS at the bottom of its style.css file. Make sure you know what you are doing when editing such files - if you need more guidance, please take a look at my guide "Should I Add Custom Code Via WP Editor, FTP or Code Snippets?" and my video tutorial "Where to Place WooCommerce Customization?"

Does this snippet (still) work?

Please let me know in the comments if everything went as expected. I would be happy to revise the snippet if you report otherwise (please provide screenshots). I have tested this code with Storefront theme, the WooCommerce version listed above and a WordPress-friendly hosting.

If you think this code saved you time & money, feel free to join 17,000+ WooCommerce Weekly subscribers for blog post updates and 250+ Business Bloomer supporters for 365 days of WooCommerce benefits. Thank you in advance!

Need Help with WooCommerce?

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Rodolfo Melogli

Business Bloomer Founder

Author, WooCommerce expert and WordCamp speaker, Rodolfo has worked as an independent WooCommerce freelancer since 2011. His goal is to help entrepreneurs and developers overcome their WooCommerce nightmares. Rodolfo loves travelling, chasing tennis & soccer balls and, of course, wood fired oven pizza.

2 thoughts on “WooCommerce: Automatically Cancel Orders

  1. Hello Rodolfo! Great blog, you helped me alot already :). One quick question – can I change

    array( 'pending'


    array( 'processing'

    to apply the same code to processing orders?

Questions? Feedback? Support? Leave your Comment Now!

If you are writing code, please wrap it between shortcodes: [php]code_here[/php]. Failure to complying with this (as well as going off topic, not writing in English, etc.) will result in comment deletion. You should expect a reply in about 2 weeks - this is a popular blog but I need to get paid work done first. Please consider joining BloomerArmada to get blog comment reply priority, ask me 1-to-1 WooCommerce questions and enjoy many more perks. Thank you :)

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