The Membership Cancel page includes a shortcode that allows members to immediately cancel their membership. This post covers some alternative methods to manage or modify the default behavior of member cancellations.

Don’t want to allow members to cancel?

The default [pmpro_cancel] shortcode outputs a message and button that a member would click to cancel their account.

One of the commonly requested features is to remove this behavior and require members to contact you in order to cancel their membership.

To do this, navigate to Memberships > Page Settings and click “Edit” for the page assigned as the “Membership Cancel” page. Then, remove the [pmpro_cancel] shortcode and replace it with your desired content. You could simply put a message and a contact email address, such as:

Please contact us as to request a membership cancellation.

Or, add a contact form using a plugin such as Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, Caldera Forms, or the “Feedback” module of Jetpack.

Downgrade Membership instead of Canceling

If you offer a “free” membership level, this post includes the recipe to change a member’s level when they cancel or expire. Using this method, a member could use the default cancellation process, their paid membership level would be removed, any attached subscription at the gateway will be cancelled, and their membership level will be changed to your default (downgrade) level.

View the Tutorial

Delete the User Account

If you run a VERY tight ship and want to remove the WordPress user when they cancel their account, this post includes the recipe to do so. We don’t recommend doing this as it messes up a lot of data in Memberships > Orders. It’s also smart to maintain a list of canceled members for future marketing efforts. Perhaps you would like to invite them back at a discount or offer a new membership that wasn’t previously available. That said, there can be other reasons that you would need to delete the user account so we still want to demonstrate how this is done.

View the Tutorial

Cancel a Member Automatically After Failed Subscription Payment

This method doesn’t relate to a member canceling themselves, but rather when the gateway lets your site know that a member’s subscription payment failed. The Failed Payment Limit Add On allows you to specify a number of “tries” before the membership is cancelled.

Be sure to check with your gateway settings, as some gateways (such as Stripe) allow you to set rules related to retries and failed payments on recurring subscriptions. These can override the settings of the Failed Payment Limit Add On.

View the Add On

Have another creative member cancellation request?

This post has covered a few alternative / custom methods as related to member cancellations. If you have another idea on how you would like to manipulate cancellations, post a comment below or open a topic in our member forums for support on the methods described above.

Hi I have a educational site that ask you to become a member before you can login, where you will find the courses. I just want to find out if they cancell the subscription will they still have access because they can still log in? My courses aren’t restricted because of the fact that they cant log in without first subscribing.

Hello, if your content (courses) restriction is set-up correctly according to membership level access, and the specific member’s level subscription got cancelled, their access to the courses (not your site) should be blocked. So the member’s user registration does not get cancelled, only their level is changed on cancellation. Hope this helps you further!

Hi Kimberley, we want to customize the membership cancellation in such a way that when the member wants to cancel, we will provide them with a new offer e.g. one free month and 30% discount on membership fees. Any idea on how seamlessly one can integrate such a feature in the plugin?

Thanks a lot in advance.


Buenas, tengo una duda, haciendo pruebas, vi que al cancelar mi membresía, si volvia a registrarme con el mismo correo electronico no me dejaba, eso significa que si alguien cancela la suscripción no prodrá volver a suscribirse con el mismo correo electrónico?

I used Google Translate to read your comment. When a user cancels membership, they still will have a “User” account in your WordPress site. They will be able to log in and complete checkout using that same account.


We are using the plugin our site… But would like to customize the cancellation page.

Is there a way to add another field in the cancellation page?
A select option… 2 options only

“What word best describes you?”

– option 1
– option 2

Maybe you have a gist for this?


Is there a way for a member who cancels to still have access to the membership content through the remainder of their subscription? Right now, member gets an email notification about an upcoming renewal charge 15 days out. They decide to cancel, but then lose access immediately. Can we change that?

If a member asks that I cancel his account I know I can cancel their membership through PMP>Users. However, will PayPal detect this cancellation and stop billing them for next payment?

There is a checkbox on the edit user page when cancelling that asks if you want to “cancel subscription at the gateway”. Checking that should stop all billing. You’ll want to log into PayPal and double check the first few times you try this to make sure things are okay.

You also should get an email from the site if the cancellation failed, which it sometimes does. PayPal for example won’t let you cancel a subscription that is in “pending” status through the API.

I have a site that uses annual memberships, paid up front, that are recurring. If a member cancels their membership is it immediately effective or are they able to finish out the rest of the current annual subscription?

Hi Jason,

Would this work for the following scenario?

Users pays up front for a 6 month package than then goes to x amount per month after the first 6 months. However, after the 3rd month, user decides to cancel their membership.

Would your above code allow for the user to have access through the whole six months?

What happens when a member has expired. I can’t seem to find any free documentation on it.
I have PMPpro with buddypress. When the member is expired he still seems to have access and everyone can still see him

Hi there, thank you for getting in touch with us. When a user’s membership expires they should no longer have access to your premium content. Since this is happening there might be an issue with the Cron that handles membership expirations. If you want you can test this by using WP Cron control(plugin) to see if the Cron is firing correctly.

Can you tell me if the members are actually expiring? If you go into their WP User Profile, is their membership level set to “None”?

Is there a way when the user or us ( at the admin level) cancels the payment or their membership that it will default back to a certain user level. We have paid memberships but we also have one level called Free Access and I want it to default back to that when the membership expires, payment fails, memberships cancelled, etc.

Stupid Question:
Trying to use “Cancel a Member Automatically After Failed Subscription Payment”

It tells me to add the following in functions.php

I want to confirm if the code will end with “3” in all cases?? or only if we want to cancel after 3 failed attempts??

I want to cancel after the first failed attempt and I have set the same under the drop down option in Advanced Settings. But I just want to confirm if the above code needs to be replaced by 1 instead of 3.


You could create your own cancel page template:

Or add custom code hooking into the “gettext” filter. This would be a little trickier than usual because that string is a bit different based on the membership level being cancelled. Here’s an example of how to write code filtering on gettext:

We can help provide a more specific solution in our member forums.

We’re using PMP with BuddyPress. It has a “delete account” button by default for users in their Settings menu. We’ve hidden it for now, but if they did delete the account through BuddyPress, will it cancel their recurring payment at the Gateway?

I’m not sure how the BuddyPress delete function works, but if it actually deletes the WP user then yes PMPro will detect that and try to cancel the subscription at the gateway. Even so, it’s not a great idea to delete WP users who are PMPro customers as that deletes a lot of data about the user that you’ll want for your orders/etc.

I think you should probably hide that function as you are doing and instead give users a way to get to the PMPro cancel page to cancel their accounts. I know some folks are really concerned about their privacy and closing old accounts. You might want to allow them to request account deletion and do it manually. Maybe we can figure out a way to account for user deletions without breaking the data that PMPro needs.

Hi Chandni,

Thank you for getting in touch with us!

A member can log into their canceled account and renew their membership themselves or you can manually do this by navigating to your WP Dashboard > Users > Edit the relevant user > Current Level > Assign a level.

Keep in mind that this manual way to reactivate their account will not link them to a payment gateway so they will be using the membership for free.

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