With WooPayments, there are potentially two ways to sell subscription products:
See this document for a comparison between the two, as well as information on why the Stripe Billing feature might not be available for you.
This document explains what happens to subscriptions if you deactivate the WooPayments plugin under Plugins > Installed Plugins. Because you could potentially be using WooPayments by itself or in combination with the Woo Subscriptions extension, this document covers both scenarios.
This document does not cover what happens if you simply disable WooPayments as an active gateway.
If you attempt to deactivate the WooPayments plugin while your site has active subscriptions, a popup warning will be shown asking for confirmation:
If you deactivate, any subscriptions purchased with WooPayments that were not cancelled prior to the plugin being deactivated will continue to collect payments from customers. This is due to the the off-site billing engine that WooPayments uses.
Furthermore, because WooPayments is disabled, your site will no longer generate the corresponding WooCommerce orders or send the associated emails to customers. As you can imagine, this situation is almost never advisable.
If you do not want renewal payments to continue to be processed, you should cancel all subscriptions before deactivating WooPayments!
If you’ve taken your site down, or for some other reason you cannot reactivate WooPayments and cancel existing subscriptions, please contact our support staff for assistance.
If you deactivate the WooPayments plugin while using the Woo Subscriptions extension, subscriptions that used WooPayments as their payment method will transition to using manual renewals instead.
In this case, renewal orders will be created once payment is due. Those orders will require subscribers to login and pay for renewal to resume the subscription, even if the subscription had automatic renewal payments prior to deactivating WooPayments.
When using the Stripe Billing functionality built-in to WooPayments, the existence of subscription products relies on the WooPayments plugin being active. Any subscription products that still exist when you deactivate WooPayments will be converted to simple products at their pre-existing price.
If you use the Woo Subscriptions extension, purchases of subscription products will work as normal, so long as you have at least one other gateway that supports Woo Subscriptions.