303: Creating a Downloadable Product in OpenCart 1.5

At times, you may want to sell a digital product such as an image, audio file, or e-book. This can be easily accomplished in OpenCart. To offer a downloadable product, you’ll first have to upload the file within OpenCart and then you’ll need to link the file to a product. 

Important! Remember to uncheck the “Requires Shipping” checkbox or your customers will be charged shipping fees by mistake.

Uploading Your Digital Product

  1. Log into your OpenCart Dashboard
  2. Go to Catalog > Downloads
  3. Click “Insert” in the upper right corner
  4. opencart_digital_1

  5. Fill in the fields with a download name, Select the file to upload on your local computer, and type in the number of downloads allowed per user purchase
  6. opencart_digital_2

  7. Click “Save

Linking the download file to a product

  1. Log into your OpenCart Dashboard
  2. Go to Products
  3. Click “Insert” to create a new product or click “Edit” next to an existing product
  4. Click on the “links” tab
  5. Scroll towards the bottom of the page, go to the “Downloads” section and select the file you want to be made available on this product
  6. opencart_digital_3

  7. While still editing this product, click on the “Data” tab and scroll down to the section called “Weight”. Enter a weight of “0” (zero) in the field. This tells OpenCart it is a downloadable product
  8. Click on “Save” in the upper right corner

Trial products

If you want to offer your customers a trial of your software, there are a few different routes you can take.


As OpenCart cannot simply modify your downloadable products to offer some sort of trial, you will need to have one of the following to offer as the trial:

  • Two versions of your software; One that is fully unlocked that you will sell and one that only works as a trial
  • Offer a single product for download and sell the license key either within the software, or through another product on your site

Adding the trial product

If you are offering the trial product as a secondary item in your store, you can simply add it just as you would any other downloadable product, and sent the price to be free.

You could also place some sort of additional download link to the product within your main product page which would allow you to have a single page for both the trial product as well as the paid product.

If you need further assistance please feel free to ask a question in our support center website.

Carrie Smaha
Carrie Smaha Senior Manager Marketing Operations

Carrie enjoys working on demand generation and product marketing projects that tap into multi-touch campaign design, technical SEO, content marketing, software design, and business operations.

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86 thoughts on “303: Creating a Downloadable Product in OpenCart 1.5

  1. How can I upload zip file as product. Because I want to sell multiple digital files in one order. But it is not uploading zip file.
    Any help appreciated

  2. thanks for the tip, caseyb, i figured it out, it was the vqmod. the download_auto_insert.xml has to go directly into the download folder, in order for the d/l to show up.

  3. Hello,

    having the Version of Open Cart installed and trouble with the downloads of digital products.
    I followed all the steps in the tutorial, files are on the server and links are correct, shipping is on ‘no’ and the weight on ‘0’
    I tested a product by setting it on 0.00 price and placing an order, all went through but the download does not show up in the customer account.

    what am I doing wrong?


    1. Angelica, this was very interesting to investigate. I was seeing the same issue, but once I set the order to Complete in the Orders section the download shows up.

  4. I am having the exact same problem. The page just hangs while trying to upload video files bigger than a few MB until the “upload required!” message comes up. And there is nothing in the error log files about it.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice 🙂

  5. The same can be done by simply copying the downloaded product and sharing it. having the client access to their downloaded file limits the number of emails you’ll get requesting their purchased file. if it’s under their account, only they have access to them. charging a customer for the same product they already paid for is bad business. it should permanently be available to them, in their account records for as long as they are members, in case they are away from their pc and require remote access to them.

  6. Removing the download times limit in OC2.0 totally cripples my music score store where choral parts are sold for groups up to 150 voices. One part can be bought an downloadded again and again for each choir member. Is there an extension to restore this function?

  7. Hello,

    I am using opencart

    I am trying to setup a downloadable product section in my site. I have uploaded

    a pdf file and linked it with the product I wanted, made the purches through paypal

    and all went well but when as a customer I click in my account at the “my downloads” tab to see at my downloadable purcheses I get a white “blank” screen.

    In the error log I get this message:

    [02-Feb-2017 21:02:40 UTC] PHP Fatal error:  Uncaught exception ‘ErrorException’ with message ‘Error: You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ‘ASC DESC LIMIT 0,15’ at line 1<br />Error No: 1064<br />SELECT o.order_id, o.date_added, od.order_download_id, od.name, od.filename, od.remaining FROM ocfx_order_download od LEFT JOIN `ocfx_order` o ON (od.order_id = o.order_id) WHERE o.customer_id = ‘4’ AND o.order_status_id > ‘0’ AND o.order_status_id = ‘5’ AND od.remaining > 0 ORDER BY ASC DESC LIMIT 0,15′ in /home/cooki822/public_html/vqmod/vqcache/vq2-system_database_mysqli.php:41
    Stack trace:
    #0 /home/cooki822/public_html/vqmod/vqcache/vq2-system_library_db.php(20): DBMySQLi->query(‘SELECT o.order_…’)
    #1 /home/cooki822/public_html/vqmod/vqcache/vq2-catalog_model_account_download.php(18): DB->query(‘SELECT o.order_…’)
    #2 /home/cooki822/public_html/catalog/controller/account/download.php(58): ModelAccountDownload->getDownloads(0, ’15’)
    #3 [internal function]: Con in /home/cooki822/public_html/vqmod/vqcache/vq2-system_database_mysqli.php on line 41

    What am I doing wrong??

    Please help me

  8. Hi John,

    Please i would like to ask a question on downloadable products security.

    is it possible for me to restrict sharing (sending from one device to another) of the ebooks or how can i limit such. Thanks

    1. You could control sharing but it would have to be done using the publishing software you used to create the eBook itself. There’s no way for your website to do this. Some software like PDFs can be locked by user, so the user could only access it using a specific login. Short of this, controlling the level of sharing is pretty hard to do.

  9. Thanks for your response. I would like to know if in anyway it is possible to display both the digital and shippable side by side, prompting the customer to buy either of the two. Thanks

    1. There is no built-in way to display 2 products (digital, and shippable) on the same page. This means you must custom-code a solution, or use Theme/plugin that lets you display multiple products on a single page.

      Thank you,

  10. Hello friends, I want to know if it is possible to allow customers to choose either to download a particular product or buy hard copy of the product. It is a book store. I don’t want to add the products separately as ebook and also as a shippable product. i would be glad if there is a solution or if there is an extension that could handle that.

    1. Hello Eben,

      You can elect to create a digital download or the physical product that must be shipped. You would need to add them as products in your store. You can also probably add an extension in order to add the option to provide either type of products.

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

      Arnel C.

  11. I understand your concern as a fellow mechant. unless I’m mistaken, I believe the feature was removed because it was reduntant. the only way someone else would gain access to your purchse would be to have the buyers credentials (which you can monitor), even if the sale link was emailed to someone else. If your client already paid for the product he/she should have unlimited access to it (as long as its only availble to their accounts and isn’t raping your servers bandwight), as paying more for the same item. to me, would be bad business.

    If not, and everyone can gain access to them, it was a very bad decision on the opencart staff as it literally cripples it for digital merchants.

  12. I’m getting error “Upload Required” on pdf file upload whichever above 5mb size.

    Yes, I changed my php.ini to recursive, change php config memory limits and add suphp module in my server. But, even now i am getting this error. 

    Please share your ideas.




    1. Hello AARK,

      Thank you for contacting us. Ensure error reporting is enabled, as it may provide a more detailed error.

      Also, verify the changes to your php.ini are registering with a phpinfo page.

      Thank you,

    1. Yes, there should be a setting where you can set the number of downloads allowed per purchase. You can see it in Step 4 above.

  13. Is there anyway to limit the number of times a person can download a file. I have been able to download one 4 times so far with only buying it once. Thank you for your help

  14. I have downloadable products on my site but the only way for the customer to access them is via the link in the email they receive, there is no downloadable link in their account, what have I missed ?

    Any help appreciated


    1. Hello Toni,

      What version of OpenCart are you using? In checking with how to create a downloadable product, we do not see any specific setting having to do with whether it will appear on the downloads page or not. It should be there automatically. The only thing I can think of that may have an effect is if you only allowed a single download and that it was done via the email.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  15. Hello All,

    I have uploaded and linked PDF file into product but it is not still showing on frontent website. Any ideas?


  16. I have opencart installed and use downloadable files all of the time. I have run into an issue of a customer initiating a chargeback with their credit card company, saying it was an unauthorized purchase.  Paypal is asking me to show in some way that it was actually downloaded and in a perfect universe, the IP that downloaded it. Is there any way to find that in any logs or anywhere in the cart?  

    1. Hello AnnM,

      Thank you for contacting us. The IP address of the purchaser is included on the original invoice.

      ALso, you can see some download information in your AWSTATS, but it most likely will not have the downloader’s IP address. This information may be stored in your cPanel logs, such as the access log. If you are on a shared server, Live Support can assist you, or provide the logs.

      Alternately, you may be able to provide the Account info (Email address, Username, etc.) of the purchaser to PayPal.

      Thank you,

  17. Hello!
    I am new to opencart. I want a website with very specific features and I would like to know if opencart supports them. I am a blog writer and my clients include website owners looking for content for their websites. Regarding this, the clients will visit the website and enter the details of their projects. The price is determined by the number of words to be written and the deadline of their projects. This means that the cart will have a form to collect the details and deliver them to the admin. The admin will then complete the project in a word, pdf or ppt document and then make it available for the client to download.

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Hello RodgersK,

      This is not something that OpenCart will do by default. You may want to search their site for extensions that support these features, however.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  18. Hi there, 

    I am using the newer version and trying to create instant download products. I have done the steps above as to adding the items first in the catalog download products. But, when I go to the individual item and try to attach the download product that I saved, nothing is showing up automatically. I tried to just copy and paste the file name even into this spot but after saving it and re-entering the product the name is gone. It states its an autocomplete meaning that the item should appear as I start to type in the file name but nothing is showing up. What am I doing wrong?

    Thank you!


    1. Hello Melissa,

      Thank you for contacting us. We are happy to help you troubleshoot, but will need some additional information. Have you turned the Display Errors option on, or checked the error logs?

      Are you using any 3rd party Themes/modules?

      Thank you,

  19. Hello,

    Thank you for the answer Mr. Scott!

    I distinctly remember seeing it once. I entered 20 and then it disappeared.

    That is if my memmory isn’t fooling me.

    Best Regards,


    1. Hello Aziz,

      As per the OpenCart Community forum, the feature has been removed. If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  20. Hello,

    I am using opencart V2.0.1.1 Turkish version. I want to limit the maximum download number (all my products are downloadable files). But there is no tab for this as it shows in the tutorial above.

    Can anyone help??


  21. Hello everybody, i ‘ m just using opencart ,how’ s the maximum data uploa ?

    When i tried to upload pdf file 37mb appears the ” upload its required. “

    thanks before..

    1. Hello DD166,

      In the Downloads field, you must start typing in the name of the item and then it should show in the field for you to select. Did you give that a try?

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  22. Hello,


    I am new to Opencart.Feeling diffcult to do a task.I need your help on the below task.Please help me out.

    Instead of receving e-mail with Voucher template after purchasing product,Voucher should be downloadable

    Users can download the voucher using a chosen voucher template (Happy Birthday or something)

    The vouchers are for the service items in the menu page (the items and prices are listed in the menu page).


    If they choose 1 service(ex:Nail Treatment) item from the menu  it’s the same  price($25) as per the menu


    But,If they choose 2 service items they get a 5% off from the total of the 2 items they choose(then its $25×2 minus 5%)


    So the value of the voucher depends on what item they choose from the menu

    Then they can download the voucher using a chosen design (Happy Birthday or something)

    1. Hello Sinu,

      Sorry if you’re trying to use Vouchers and it’s not matching up with how you want it to function. Unfortunately, if you want the vouchers want to be downloadable, you will need to have a developer custom program a solution for you, or find an extension that can do this for you. Apologies that we can’t provide a direct solution for your request.

      Kindest regards,
      Arnel C .

  23. Hello,

    The php.ini file is at  /domains/shop.chessactive.com/httpdocs  

    I think the userpanel type is  a bit different. I found my username but I am not sure how to arrange the

    suPHP_ConfigPath /home/username/public_html

    code according to the new panel.

    Thank you again for your answer. I will be expecting your answer to this one as well.



    1. Hello ASKural,

      The ‘suPHP_ConfigPath /home/username/public_html’ is for our servers. It is simply a path to where the php.ini file is. You will need to have the su_PHP module installed and running for this to take effect. You may need to contact your hosting provider to see if they have that on their systems.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

    2. Hi Alex,

      By default, after the customer were to purchase the downloadable product, it would show up in the customers account section on your website once they login.



  24. Hello,

    I am getting an undefined error message when I try to upload file about 17+ MBs.

    I loaded a file which was around 2MBs without any errors. So I changed the Max File upload size to 999M (that is what is written in the php.ini file now) but I still get the message at around 2-3 minutes after upload starts.

    Very Starnge!! Any ideas??


    Aziz S. Kural

  25. Hello,

    One of these will work for the zip file:

    application/x-zip-compressed (I think this worked for me using 7.zip)

    Best Regards and Many Thanks Again!


  26. Hello,

    Through your guidence I have found the tab!! And I thought I checked all the tabs?! Thank you so much!!

    Best Regards,


  27. Hello,

    Thank you for the comment. However I have the Turkish version of v2.0.1.1 and no such settings-> server  tab exists. There is a system tab  with -> shops ->design -> users -> localisation

    and there is also a tools tab with -> uploads (there is nothing here) -> Backup/Restore  and -> Error logs

    I am talking about the admin panel. There are no settings and server taba anywhere.

    Strange dilemma. I have checked every tab an I couldn’t find anything close.



    1. The icon I am referring to is the same as the System section that you are referring to. The icon displays a cog wheel. Based on what you have provided me, it seems that Settings may be replaced with Shops in your translation of OpenCart.

  28. Hello,

    Under the upload button I am trying to upload the from_sep13_src_ca.zip file but it gives an invalid file type error. V2011

    What can be the problem?



    1. In the newest version of OpenCart, hover over the Settings and click on Settings. Then go to the Server tab. Here, you will see a bix with allowed file extensions in which you can then add zip to the list.

    1. Hello Christine,

      The Support Center provides support via answers that are available to the community. That being said, you can reply to a comment (such as this one) and we can obfuscate any URL that you provide. Comments are moderated before they are published, so it won’t be available to the public until we have edited the information out of the comment. Please provide the requested information so that we can look further into this issue for you.

      Kindest regards
      Arnel C.

  29. Hello,

    I’ve followed these steps but when I get to product-link-downloads there is nothing in the list to choose from 🙁 The downloadable product clearly shows in downloads just not in this list. What now?

    1. Hello Christine,

      Sorry for the problem with the downloads. In order for us to see what’s happening we need a little more information. Can you please provide us a URL? Also, a URL and extensions/modules that you may have loaded may also give us an idea of how your current OpenCart installation is running.

      Please provide some additional information and we’d be happy to help.

      Arnel C.

  30. Thanks for the response. I have tried to duplicate it, and I don’t have any problems. It maybe some confusion the way my site is set up. I assumed what you said if it shows complete, it’s complete. 

    Thanks again.


  31. With downloaded products is there anyway to tell if they have actually downloaded it and not just purchased. I’m running into an issue where they claim they have not downloaded.

    Ideas anyone?


    1. Hello Insiyah,

      Thank you for contacting us. When you set the “Total Downloads Allowed” (Step 4 of the “Uploading Your Digital Product” section above), it should make the file available until it has been downloaded.

      Meaning if they are not able to download it, it most likely completed already.

      It is possible they are having a problem with their computer, such as hardware, or a virus, bug, etc.

      Also, it could be a connection problem, for example their network may be inconsistent, causing issues. Having them perform a Ping/Tracert to your website may help troubleshoot this.

      Have you tried to replicate the problem as a customer? For example, using the same browser they are using, and trying to checkout and download the file?

      Thank you,

  32. Thanks for your help JeffMa. Yesterday i have testing on it again and again, and finally all are working fine right now. Thanks alot.

  33. I have solved this problem, but I faced another issue which is I have tried to upload .zip, .pdf, .exe file, but it is only supported for .pdf file. May I know any solutions for this? Thanks alot.

    1. I’m happy to help, but I will need steps to replicate the issue. Could you provide me with the exact steps you are taking as well as the specific errors that you are getting?

  34. I have tried to download a pdf file after completed the purchase procedure, however, the downloaded file doesn’t show is a pdf file, instead it is a broken file format. May i know any problem with it?

  35. Hi,

    May i know what file is supported for this? Where the customer can find the download tab in product page? As i tried out the step, i can’t see there is a download available in product page. Hope you can help me on this.


    1. Any file type is supported, however, typically it is provided in a zip file. Once the purchase has been completed on the site, the customer will be provider a download link.

  36. In Products>Links>Downloads, how many download can I add to it?

    If I add eight downloads pdfs and mp3 for one product will a customer be able to download all 8 that I attached in that download field.

    1. Hello BettyBoop,

      I am not aware of the max download limit, however I have seen as many as 12. If you need more, you can always add some as a zip file.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

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