Managing inventory in WooCommerce

Managing inventory within WooCommerce is quite a simple process. Managing inventory when carrying a physical product is an excellent idea to ensure that you do not oversell more product than you have in inventory. In just a few minutes, we will have you managing inventory within WooCommerce like an expert.

Of course, you will need to have the WooCommerce plugin installed. If you do not yet have it installed, be sure to install the WooCommerce plugin.

Options for individual products

First, log into your WordPress admin.

Next, you will need to access the product that you need to manage inventory on. To do so, click on Products to the left side of the screen, then click on the WooCommerce product that you want to manage inventory for. If you do not see any products, you may want to review our article on creating products in WooCommerce.

Now that you are on your product page, scroll down a bit and locate the Product Data box directly below the product description. Here, you will notice several tabs on the left side of the box. If you click on the one labeled Inventory, you will see various inventory options.

In this tab, you will see several different options you can set:

  • Manage inventory – This option allows you to manage inventory using WooCommerce. Be sure to enable this if you want inventory management turned on.
  • Stock Qty – This option determines how much inventory you have available of the product. Be sure to set this to the amount of product that you have available for sale.
  • Stock status – This option allows you to set whether the product is displayed in the front end as in inventory or out of inventory. Be sure to set this as In inventory if you would like WooCommerce to display as such on the front end.
  • All Backorders – This option will determine if customers will be able to purchase an item if it is out of inventory.
  • Sold Individually – If this option is enabled, WooCommerce will prevent users from purchasing more than one of this particular item within a single order. This is especially useful if you are selling a digital product that does not need to be purchased twice.

Now that you are familiar with the various inventory options for individuals WooCommerce products, you may now want to review and further configure the global WooCommerce configuration.

Global inventory management configuration in WooCommerce

Not only are you able to control your inventory for individual items, but WooCommerce also includes the ability to to globally configure various options as well. To access these global configuration options for inventory management in WooCommerce, look to the left of your WordPress admin and click on WooCommerce, then on Settings, then click on the Inventory tab.

The following is an explanation of each option:

  • Manage Stock – This enables you to manage your inventory directly within WooCommerce. If you do not have this option enabled, you will not be able to manage the number of items you have available directly within WooCommerce.
  • Hold Stock (minutes) – This option determines how long WooCommerce will hold inventory for unpaid orders. This means that if a person has a pending order, WooCommerce will remove the item from the global inventory amount.
  • Notifications – This option will enable you to receive notifications when an item is out of inventory, or low on inventory.
  • Notification Recipient – This field determines the email address that WooCommerce will send low inventory and out of inventory notifications to if the above options are enabled.
  • Low Stock threshold – This option determines when low inventory notifications will be sent. When your total number of inventory in an item reaches this number, a notification will be sent the the email address defined in the Notification Recipient field.
  • Out of Stock Threshold – The number in this field will determine the point in which an item is deemed out of inventory.
  • Out of Stock Visibility – This checkbox will allow you to determine if you want to hide out of inventory items within the WooCommerce catalog.
  • Stock Display Format – This options determines if inventory should be displayed within the WooCommerce product page.

Now that you are familiar with the global inventory settings, as well as individual item inventory settings within WooCommerce, you will be able to fully manage any inventory within your WooCommerce site.

Thoughts on “Managing inventory in WooCommerce

  • Hi! How do I manage the inventory if only one of the variations has an inventory. For example, if I am offering shirts and I list as S Black Tank, M Black Tank, L Black Tank and I offer the design in white, gold and black, how do I say-I have 50 S Black Tanks irregardless of design color? I want all my listings to pull from a master inventory since everything is made to order, but I am wondering if that is even possible…




    • Thanks for the question about managing stock with variations. You can find more information directly from WooCommerce’s documentation here.

    • According to that guide you simply add the code to the bottom of your theme’s function.php to display Customer Information on the order page. What other information were you interested in displaying?

  • Hello! I have recently updated to 2.6.7 and products in my inventory are not deducted when a customer buys: if I have 9 items of a specific product and a customer buys 2, I should have 7 items left. However, my product count remains unchanged after a purchase. I am using SKU numbers as well as stock quantity (placed in the inventory of each product). Please let me know if I am missing something?

  • Hello guys! I have trouble in my shop. When client take 1 product, all items go to -1 for this product in bak and in front. What can i do?

  • Hello, I would like to know why 2 orders can be proceeded when my stock level was 1? I have clicked “Do Not Allow Backorders”. Now my stock level is “-1”. How can I avoid this happens again? Thank you. 



    • Hello Ka,

      We do apologize for the problem with the stock being sold even with the option selected NOT to sell it. Unfortunately, if an option is NOT working within the design of the program, then you will need to consult with the makers of WooCommerce. I did look it up and I found this post discussing the same exact problem in the WordPress forums.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

    • Hello Erez,

      Is this consistent or just for specific products or setups? Is there any error message that you receive?

  • Hello, 

    I am having problems with product options.  If you are shopping on my site from a desktop everything works fine.  If you are accessing it from a smartphone or a tablet you can not select the different options for variable products?  

    Weird thing is, it worked for about a month and then all of a sudden it has just stopped?  Any ideas?



    • Hello Allison,

      Sorry that you’re having problems with the responsive design of your WooCommerce site. We would need more information about it in order to help troubleshoot the problem. Can you provide the URL of the site? Also any error messages, version numbers, plugins and themes that you are using would help us to see what might be happening. If you wish to troubleshoot it yourself, I would double-check to make sure that a plugin or change to the site hasn’t caused the problem. You can disable the plugins one-by-one to determine if they are having an affect on your site or not.

      I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

      Arnel C.




    Can I manage stock inventory like this?


    Product 1: Smart phone charger (reference: 001) 10pcs


    Product 2: Charger for Samsung 5V 1A (reference: 001) 10pcs


    Product 3: Charger for Xiaomi (reference: 001) 10 pcs


    Product 1, 2, 3, are the same and the inventory 10 pcs at reference: 001


    Wen it sell 1pc from products with reference: 001, it have to be 9 pcs in product 1, product 2 and 3.


    • Hello Pityu,

      We are not aware of a way to handle the same product with different names using the same inventory. You may want to check with Woo forums to see if someone else has the same setup.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  • Hi Arnel, the plug in i want to know is there is any that i can put on every product put where i have it located in my store , with that when i print the orders the guy who do the order to send they alredy know more fast.


  • Hi,

    I try to find a plug in for set up and write where i have in my productos on my cellar is possible that? because with that the guys who preper orders now where to find them.

    Is any plug in for that

    • Hello Enrique,

      Thanks for the question. WooCommerce has a mobile app that is available for iPhone : According to our developers that use WooCommerce, the application is responsive, meaning that it should be able to work on your phone – even without the plugin. You would simply need to use the WooCommerce backend on your mobile device and menus so re-arrange for use on a smart phone.

      This application will not work on a mobile device that is not able to connect to the internet and provide a browser-type interface. I hope that helps to explain it and provide you an answer. If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  • Hi, we are a small independent WordPress / WooCommerce plugin developer and we have made a couple different premium WooCommerce extensions to fill a few holes in WooCommerce inventory management. You can see our plugins:

  • Is woocommerce supposed to decrement the stock when clients purchase?  If so at what stage?  Order (including payment), processed or despatched?  At the moment I am having to open the order detail then manually instruct woocomerce to decrement the stock. It may be that this is all you get in the free version?



    • Hello Geoff,

      Thank you for contacting us. WooCommerce should decrease the stock amount automatically when a purchase is completed. We are happy to help you troubleshoot further, but will need some additonal information.

      What payment gateway are you using?

      Thank you,

  • Hi there,

    I’ve set up a very small webshop with only 2 products and multiple variations on those products. Now I would like to keep a stock on whether variation of those products (i.e. if someone buys any variation of 1 of the products the amount of the product in stock should decrease instead of just that variation), but I don’t know if this is possible or where to find it. I checked the box on the product level to keep stock and not on the variation levels, but when I buy a product the total amount in stock doesn’t decrease. Do you know if there’s a solution for this?




  • Is it possible to  show in inventory admin panel in woo commerce that the item if purchased by the user is then automatically reduced in numbers

    • Hello Pallavi,

      It doesn’t look like that is part of the built-in capabilities for WooCommerce. There may be a paid module that does it. The closest one I’ve seen that matches your request is this plugin. I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

      Arnel C.

  • I want to use the stockmanagement but don’t want to show any stock information to the visitior. In otherwords I am trying to hide stock stautes. To do this I am using “Stock display format” on the inventory under Product settings to “Never show stock amount”. But it does not function. Anyone has an issue with this or any suggestion to overcome this problem.

    Thank you



  • Hi, I am using woocommerce and want to display instock products first and then out of srock products in category page. Is there any way to do that.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hello Shweta,

      Probably the best way to handle questions like this is to use and plugin like this one:

      Extra Product Sorting Options for WooCommerce. I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

      Arnel C.

  • Anyone have an issue with a product just reverting back to “out of stock” without any orders?  I have constantly put one of my products as “in stock” with the quantitiy of 10.  After a few hours I refresh my site and it says “out of stock” on the front end and backend.

    What could be causing this if there have been no orders?

  • Hi!

    I’m wondering how to have a better overview of the stock management, like i.e. filter by SKU, see totals of SKU categories, export stock levels, sync with offline sales… any suggestions? I’m looking for some solution that’s not expensive (i.e. TradeGecko)


    • Hello Homer,

      Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a good free plugin for managing stock in WooCommerce.

      There are many commercial such as Bulk Stock Management. There are many more available for WooCommerce, such as listed here.

      Thank you,

  • I can see how to set up products and have stock.  But I don’t see where I would receive more inventory in.  When we receive inventory how do I receive that quantity to the products?


    Thank you,


    • Hello Cathy,

      If I understand you right, you are looking to have it add the quantity of products you get shipped in to the stock? Unfortunately that is not a default feature and you may need a wordpress/Woocommerce developer to look into making for you.

      Best Regards,
      TJ Edens

  • When you have a variable product, with inventory associated with it, and you have “Allow Backorder, Notify Customer” turned on, when the product goes to a negative number (meaning it was backordered) the Stock status does not change to “Out of Stock” 

    How do I do change this so it automatically switches to out of stock???  Right now it is not notifying my customers so therefore they think the product is INSTOCK and wants to know why I have not shipped 🙁


    Thanks so much for the help!

    • Hello Lesli,

      Thanks for the question. This issue does look like you need to work with the code of WooCommerce and change it so that it has the functionality you’re looking for. This particular issue was addressed here. I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

      Arnel C.

  • Hi there,

    I’m trying to set up a new shop. My problem is that i have only 24 products in a category and category product counts 178 (included out of stock products) and some pages contains 2 some pages contain 0 product. I supposed not to see any “out of stock” products. 

    I already checked the box “hide out of stock products”

    How can i manage to completely hide them?

    • Hello Oruc,

      I am checking out our WooCommerce test site and am not seeing this behavior. Can you give specific details as to what you are looking at and instructions on how to get there? Also, you are referring to the number of product types that are selected for a category, correct? Not the actual number of inventoried items?

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  • I’m not seeing inventory management under product variations. Am I missing something? This is what I see:



    Check boxes for Enabled, Downloadable, Virtual

    Regular Price & Sale Price

    Weight & Dimensions

    Shipping Class

    Tax Class

    • Hello amy,

      Thank you for your question. We are happy to help, but it is not clear what you are asking.

      Could you provide more details on what you are trying to accomplish, so we can provide a more helpful response?

      Thank you,

  • It does seem to be a bit of an intermittent issue. My new theory is that it’s something to do with the validation error that I get on PayPal orders – I’m trying to sort that out this week to see if it helps. But, I may also try WooCommerce for support as I have yet to call them. 

  • Hi – I have followed these instructions and have set stock quantaties for certain products in my store. However, when people order these products, the stock isn’t reducing for all items (ie it’s not being counted properly and I’m overselling certain products). I’ve reread all the instructions but can’t figure out what the issue is. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Hello Rebecca,

      Certainly the setup here should allow for the reduction of inventory as items are sold. Is this an intermittent issue with specific products? Have you checked with WooCommerce support or forums to see if there is a big fix coming?

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  • Hey TJ! thanks for that. I’m quite surprised its not standard, otherwise people have to assume it is in stock or have to send an email.

    I was able to find it out! The link you shared is also useful because it shows me how to change the labels.

    Thanks again!

  • Hi there, thanks for this post.

    I’m a stuck because my site is not displaying, “in stock” when the product is in stock. It will show “out of stock” when it is set as out of stock. Is this a WooCommerce default or is this something I have to “activate” with my theme in the theme files?


    • Hello King,

      I looked into what you were wanting to do and it seems that it is not default to woocommerce, however I may have found a solution for you here.

      Best Regards,
      TJ Edens

  • Hi,

    Woocommerce 2.2.10 – I can’t find that INventory link at the top of the products tab any more. Has it been moved to someplace else? I just can’t seem to find a way to change the notification email adress for inventory emails…

    • Hello Andrew,

      Sorry to hear that you’re having problems with WooCommerce. I looked around and the inventory link that I saw in WooCommerce’s docs is under the Products tab. I also looked for any incidents of it disappearing, but the only reference I found was that certain tabs won’t be there if you have no inventory. You may want direct your inquiries directly to WooCommerce (they’re usually very good at responding), if you continue to have problems with that issue.

      Kindest regards,
      Arnel C.

    • Hello Vicki,

      The Inventory Tab has been visually removed, but the information still exists. Click on the Product tab. At the very top you will see a link named Inventory. Clicking that will bring up the page that displays the same information as the Inventory tab in the article above. We will make adjustments to the article so that the information is updated and correct. Thank you for helping us find this.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  • How do i mnage individual product sizes and their individual inventory.

    Eg. Product x has sizes s,m and l

    Each of these sizes has its own stocks. Eg s has 2 pieces, m has 10 piexes and l has 5 pieces

    Basically varions with individual inventoey

  • Hi!
    I’m trying to set up a WooCommerce to work in only one city.
    How can I change a city input in address form from text showing only one city?

    Thank you!

  • Thanks for the info, it was a big help.  I was trying to change something in my cart and your article gave me the info I needed. 




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