Generate subscriber user names and passwords


Important: This integration method is deprecated. PayPal is no longer delivering any new features or enhancements to this integration. If you're starting a new integration, we recommend using our Subscriptions REST API.

Use PayPal Subscriptions Password Management to automatically generate user names and passwords for subscribers. Subscribers can then log in on your website and access members-only content.

Note: To use this feature, you must first enable Instant Payment Notification (IPN) and, if it is enabled, you must disable Auto-Return in your Profile. IPN requires advanced programming skills. It also requires writing or editing a Perl script and placing it on your website server. For more information about Instant Payment Notification, see the Instant Payment Notification Guide.

How subscriptions password management works

After a subscriber signs up on your website, PayPal generates a user name and initial password. Subscribers can view their user name and initial password from:

  • The PayPal payment confirmation page
  • The PayPal confirmation email
  • Their PayPal account Profile

Your website receives new subscription messages through Instant Payment Notification, which requires advanced programming skills to implement.

After you implement Instant Payment Notification on your website, you write additional programming code that captures the generated usernames and initial passwords for new subscriptions. You should also write code to capture cancellation and end-of-term notices, so that you can update your member database to turn off access to members-only content.

Download the subscriptions password management Perl script

PayPal provides a Perl script to help automate access to members-only content for new subscribers. Your website must use "Basic Authentication" with an Apache web server that runs on Linux.

The Perl script interacts with Instant Payment Notification to automatically activate and deactivate subscriber accounts on your website.

To download the manual and the Perl script:

  1. Log in to your PayPal Business account at

  2. Select Tools > All Tools at the top of the page.

  3. Locate and click Recurring Payments on the Tools page.

    The Recurring payments dashboard page opens.

  4. Under Related items, click Create a Subscription button.

    The Create PayPal payment button page opens with the Subscriptions button type selected.

  5. In the Notes, click the IPN and server modifications required link.

    The Subscriptions Password Management information page opens in a new window.

  6. Scroll to and click Download the Perl script.

    The User Agreement page opens.

  7. Read the PayPal software license agreement, and then click I agree. You must click agree to download the script.

    The Subscriptions Download page opens.

  8. Click Download Manual to download the PayPal Password Management Installation Guide in PDF format.

  9. Click Download Script to download a tar file with the Perl script and a copy of the license agreement.

Configure Subscribe Buttons to generate usernames and passwords

Do one of following to add Subscribe buttons to your website that generate usernames and passwords automatically for subscribers:

  • Specify that you want PayPal to generate usernames and passwords when you create Subscribe buttons by using the creation tool on the PayPal website.
  • Specify that you want PayPal to reattempt failed recurring payments in the HTML button code that you write manually. See Sample HTML Code for a Subscribe Button with Password Management.