Managing Active Subscriptions

Last modified February 6, 2019

This article applies to Contextual Commerce. (Looking for Classic Commerce documentation?)

Active subscription instances purchased by your customers can be modified, canceled or even uncanceled via the Dashboard or via the /subscriptions endpoint of the FastSpring API. This article describes how to manage subscription instances via the Dashboard.

If you need to change the notification and cancellation settings for nearly all active subscription instances for a given product, en masse, please see Changing Subscription Notification and Cancellation Settings.

Accessing Active Subscription Instances

To access an active subscription instance, first select the Activity menu in the Dashboard. The Events tab will be selected by default.

Activity menu with the Events tab selected by deafault 

Example of the Events tab 


If the subscription you want to access is already shown in the list of recent events, you can click Subscription to access the subscription record directly.

Use the Search Orders and Subscriptions field to enter search criteria for the order that created the subscription (or any billing transaction on the subscription). For example, you can search using the customer's last name or email address, or the order reference for an order associated with the subscription. In the search results, click Completed for the order that created the subscription.

Example of the search results with the order status button called out

Then, locate the Items section of the order's detail page and click View Subscription under the specific subscription you want to manage.

Example of the Items section of an order record

The subscription's detail page will load and display a variety of information and options for managing the subscription.

Beta Testing Note

If you are participating in the Advanced Subscription Scheduling beta test, and if you have configured a subscription product to automatically renew into a different product, then an active subscription instance may show more than one subscription product here. In that case, the product shown in bold is the current product that governs the subscription terms, and the product shown in gray text is the previous or future subscription product. The begin and end date for each product will be shown to the right of the product.

Example of the Subscription detail page

If the subscription has a manual renewal policy - meaning the customer's payment information has not been stored for the subscription - that will be indicated below the billing terms on the subscription's details, as illustrated in the following example:

Example of a subscription with a manual renewal policy

Modifying an Active Subscription Instance

To modify the products, pricing, quantity, discounts, coupons, or billing dates for an existing subscription, simply click the name of the subscription product.  The subscription Edit page will load.


If you only want to modify the timing of the payment reminders, overdue reminders or subscription cancellation, please jump to the Modifying reminder and cancellation settings section of this article.

Example of the subscription summary

The subscription Edit page

Now, make the desired changes to the subscription.  For example, if you want to modify the quantity of the subscription, you can change the Quantity field, and then click .

A subscription edit review page will load, showing you a comparison of the subscription's settings before your edit and after your edit. Items that have changed will be shaded in red in the Subscription Now section and shaded in green in the Subscription After Changes section. To continue the example, notice that changing the Quantity also changes what the Next Billing Amount will be.

The subscription edit review page

Click CONFIRM to confirm the change, or click CANCEL to cancel the changes (not the subscription).

If the edit you have made will result in a new total price, the new price will take effect upon the Next Billing Date.  However, upon confirming the edit, you may be given the option to generate a prorated charge for the remainder of the current subscription period.

Example of the subscription summary section with a message about prorating and the option to prorate

Note about subscriptions older than six months

Certain subscriptions for which the original / initial charge occurred more than six months ago cannot be prorated because we can no longer do a refund for the unused portion of the original payment period. In such cases, the PRORATE option will not appear in Dashboard, and attempting to prorate via the API will result in a response of "prorate":"The order is no longer refundable".

If you click PRORATE, FastSpring can automatically generate a refund for the prorated, unused portion of the original subscription payment, and automatically generate a new charge to the customer's payment method for the prorated value of the remaining subscription duration based on the updated total price. However, if the subscription is currently in its free trial period, you will not be to generate prorated refunds and charges since there has not been an actual charge yet.

Clicking PRORATE will display a review page where you can see the breakdown of the prorated refund and the new prorated charge that will be processed. In the example below, the subscription quantity was changed on the same day the subscription order had been placed, so there was $0 to keep for the already-used portion of the subscription, and the result was a complete refund and a new charge at full price.

The proration review page

For more details on prorated adjustments, please see Prorating when Upgrading or Downgrading Subscriptions.

Modifying Reminder and Cancellation Settings

If you need to change the timing of payment reminders, overdue reminders, or subscription cancellation for an existing subscription, you can click any enabled event in the Notification and Cancellation section of the subscription's details to modify that event.


If the subscription is currently in a free trial period, this section may be named simply Notification.

Example of the Notification and Cancellation section of an active subscription

For example, if you wanted to change the Overdue Notification setting for the subscription above so that a total of two notifications would be sent rather than one, you could click anywhere on the Overdue Notification line:

Example of the Notification and Cancellation section of an active subscription

...change the total from 1 to 2:

Example of the Notification and Cancellation section of an active subscription

...and then click SAVE.

Example of the Notification and Cancellation section of an active subscription

Canceling and Uncanceling Subscriptions

Tutorial Video

Check out our tutorial video on canceling subscriptions via the Dashboard:  How to Cancel a Customer's Subscription.

Check out our guided walk-through

Would you like to have the system walk you through canceling a customer's subscription? Click here.

To cancel a subscription, simply click the CANCEL command.

Example of a subscription with the CANCEL command highlighted

You will be prompted to select whether the subscription will remain active for the remainder of the current, paid period, or will be deactivated immediately.

Example of the deactivation options

Select the desired option and then click CONFIRM.

Example of the confirmation that the subscription has been uncanceled

If you need to uncancel a subscription that has been canceled but has not yet been deactivated, simply click the UN-CANCEL command, and the subscription will be uncanceled (that is, it will resume normal scheduled charges).

Example of a canceled subscription with the UN-CANCEL command highlighted


If a subscription has been deactivated (either by immediate deactivation or by reaching its next period date following cancellation), it cannot be uncanceled, and the customer will have to place a new subscription order instead.

Updating Pricing of All Subscription Instances for a Given Product

If you need to update the pricing of multiple subscription instances en masse, resulting in future charges having a different price, you must use the /subscriptions endpoint of the FastSpring API.


Do not use the FastSpring API to change the price of subscription instances without first enabling Payment Reminders for the subscription product.

As an example, suppose you change the price of a subscription product, and you want to charge the new price for all future billings of that subscription product, including for customers who had subscribed prior to the price change.

You would start by using the /orders endpoint to retrieve all orders for a given subscription-based product by product path (e.g. GET /orders?products=product1).  In the API response, record the "subscription" ID for each instance.  Then, use the /subscriptions endpoint to update each of the subscription IDs with the new price.

Changing an Automatic Renewal Subscription to Manual Renewal

If you need to change a subscription with automatic renewal into a manual renewal subscription, this can be done via the Dashboard, or by POSTing to the /subscriptions endpoint of the FastSpring API with a POST body that includes the subscription ID and "manualRenew":"true".


Changing a subscription instance from automatic to manual renewal results in the payment method associated with the subscription being permanently deleted. This cannot be undone. Going forward, the customer will need to log on to account management and make payments manually prior to the next billing date in order to prevent the subscription from being canceled due to non-payment. If a customer has multiple subscriptions, subscriptions other than the one(s) associated with the ID specified in the body of your POST will not be affected.

Webhooks Note

If you subscribe to the subscription.updated webhook event or other events that include detailed subscription information, the autoRenew field will be shown as false after this change, to indicate a manual renewal subscription.  However, if you have webhook expansion enabled, some event payloads will include product details. Inside the pricing object within the product section of the payload, you will still see "renew":"auto".  This is normal and expected, because it reflects the latest details of the subscription product's pricing–not the subscription instance.

Via the Dashboard

On the subscription's detail page, click the green Renews automatically badge and select Switch to Renews manually.

Example of a subscription detail page with the Renews automatically drop-down selected

A confirmation dialog will remind you that payment details for the subscription will be removed and that this cannot be undone. Click OK to proceed.

The green Renews automatically badge will be replaced by an orange Renews manually badge to confirm that the change has been made.

Via the FastSpring API


Familiarity with the FastSpring API is required for this operation.

Simply POST to the /subscriptions endpoint with a payload such as in the following example:

Example of changing an automatic renewal subscription to manual renewal
    "subscriptions": [
        "subscription": "subscription-id",
        "manualRenew": "true"