Get private order notes in WooCommerce (wc_get_order_notes)

Sometimes, you may want to get only the private (i.e. non-customer) order notes for an order.

You can use the builtin WooCommerce function wc_get_order_notes for this. All you have to do is set the ‘type’ query argument to ‘internal’. It will return an array of order notes.

Example snippet

In this example, I want to check the private order notes for a specific text when an order status is changed to ‘processing’.

Let’s say the text string I’m looking for is “This is already completed”. If there is a match, then the order will be automatically marked as completed.

add_action( 'woocommerce_order_status_processing', 'check_private_order_notes', 10, 1);

function check_private_order_notes( $order_id ) {

    // 1. get order notes, assign it to a variable
    $private_order_notes = wc_get_order_notes([
      'order_id' => $order_id,
      'type' => 'internal', // only get private notes

    // 2. Loop through the notes and look for specific text string
    foreach( $private_order_notes as $note ) {
        if( $note->content == 'This is already completed' ) $matching_text = true;

    // 3. Update status if there was a match
    if( $matching_text ) {
        $order = wc_get_order($order_id); 
        $order->update_status( 'completed' );


Conversely, you can also get only the “Note to customer” notes by setting ‘type’ to ‘customer’.

See all the parameters you can change here:

Hope this helps someone.


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