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Creating Downloadable Products

What We'll Cover

In addition to physical products, you can also sell digital files. In BigCommerce, we call these downloadable products. This can be a fast and convenient way to deliver digital files to customers. When a customer puts a downloadable product in their cart and checks out, the shipping portion of checkout is automatically removed (it is retained for carts that include both physical and downloadable products).

Before getting started, here are some important things to know about downloadable products:

  • There is no limit to how many files can be attached to a downloadable product.
  • Attaching the file in BigCommerce is optional.
  • Files can be uploaded through the control panel or via WebDAV.
  • Maximum file upload size is 512 MB, regardless of the upload method.
  • Downloadable products can also be created via product CSV import. See Importing and Exporting Products.
  • Downloadable products cannot be offered for pre-order.

Using the new Adding Products (v3) experience? If your store is using the new Adding Products (v3) experience, your control panel will look and behave differently from what is documented here. See Adding Products (v3).


Adding Products

1. Add a new product, and for Product type, select Downloadable product. A new tab called Product Files will appear at the top of the page.

Downloadable products highlighted for Product type

When you select Downloadable product, fields that are not applicable to downloadable products are removed. This includes:

  • Inventory tab
  • Weight
  • Width, Height, and Depth
  • Shipping
  • Pre-order availability (downloadable products cannot be pre-ordered)

2. To attach a product file, click the Product Files tab. Attaching a product file in BigCommerce is optional. If you want to use a third-party service to deliver digital goods, skip to step 4.

Product Files tab highlighted

You'll see a list of attached files for this product (it will be empty if the product is new), and a section to Upload a New File.

Upload a New File section

  • Description (optional) — this will appear in the invoice and in the customer's account when they download the file
  • File to Upload — choose between uploading a file from your computer or a file on the server
  • Disable Downloads After — lets you decide how long (days/weeks/months/years) after the customer's purchase they will continue to be able to download the file
  • Maximum Downloads — lets you limit how many times the customer can download the file

To use a file already on the server, it needs to be uploaded via WebDAV to the product_downloads/import folder. Files uploaded there will appear under the Please choose a file dropdown. Attached files remain in the product_downloads/import folder, so you can reuse them if necessary.

3. Click Attach File to Product and repeat the process for any additional files you want to include. There is no limit for how many files can be attached to a product.

4. Save when finished.



If there are no physical products in the order, then attached product files will become immediately available for customers to download. The customer will get a link to download their files after completing payment, and will receive an email with a download link. Paid orders that contain only downloadable products will have an order status of Completed. See Order Statuses for more information.

If physical products are included in the order with the downloadable product, it will have to be manually set to Completed before the customer is given the download link.

If an order for a downloadable product is set to a Refunded or Cancelled status, the download link for that order will stop working. Clicking the link will result in a message on the storefront reporting "Something Went Wrong... You have requested an invalid product download. Please try again."



Do I have to attach a product file in BigCommerce?

No. Attaching a file in BigCommerce is optional. It is possible deliver digital goods without attaching the product files by working with a developer and utilizing theme customisation. Refer to our Partners Directory to explore this option.

How do I delete/remove files from a product?

Once a file has been attached to a product, it can be removed by selecting Delete from the Action menu.

How do I update/replace a file?

Upload and attach the new file version, then delete the old file version from the product.

Can I update files on multiple products at once?

No. Product files can be only be attached to a single product at a time.  However, you can upload the same file to different products; files do not need to be unique to the product.

Can I edit/customize the download link email sent to customers?

Yes. The snippet file is named DownloadableItemsDetails.html. See Customizing Emails for more information about editing this file.

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