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How to Change the WordPress Default Category Uncategorized

If you are looking for a way to change the WordPress default category, you are not the first one. Beginners often wonder if it is possible to change the WordPress default category, rename, or remove Uncategorized from WordPress.

In this beginners guide, we will show you how to change the WordPress default category, “Uncategorized.” Additionally, we will show you how to change the WordPress default category to something more useful. You will learn how to rename and remove Uncategorized from WordPress.

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If you’d like to jump to the section you’re looking for, a hyperlinked table of contents is available.

What is the WordPress Default Category?

Categories and tags are the two default taxonomies that come standard with every fresh install of WordPress. WordPress posts, by design, must be filed under at least one category.

This way, if you happen to forget to assign a category to your post, it will be automatically filed under your default category.

For this reason, when you install WordPress for the first time, the default category titled Uncategorized is added.

WordPress default category uncategorized example

Usually, to delete a WordPress category, you would go to the Posts > Categories screen, find the one you want to delete, hover over it and click the delete link.

However, if you’ve tried to do this with the WordPress Uncategorized category, you will find out that WordPress doesn’t allow it. At least not until you assign a new default category.

There are a couple of ways to solve this issue. You can rename the WordPress Uncategorized category to something more meaningful or assign a new default category.

How to Change the WordPress Default Category

To change the default WordPress category, you will first need to make sure you have another category to use. If not, you will need to create one.

If you already have a category that you would like to use as your default, you can go ahead and skip this step.

To create a new WordPress category, go to the Posts > Categories screen.

WordPress categories posts menu

Complete each field and click the Add New Category button.

WordPress Posts Categories Screen

Now that you have a new category go to the Settings > Writing screen.

WordPress Settings Writing Admin link

If you look at the first option, you will see that it says Default Post Category.

WordPress Writing Settings Default Post Category

Click the drop-down menu next to it and select the category you would like to use as your new default.

Once you have made your selection, click the Save Changes button.

Note: Posts filed under the uncategorized category will not be moved to your new default category. If you only have a few posts, you could do this manually. Otherwise, you may want to do this using Bulk actions on your Published Posts screen.

Once you have changed your default WordPress category, you can safely remove uncategorized from WordPress.

That’s it! You now know how to change the WordPress default category from uncategorized to something of your choosing.

How to Rename the WordPress Uncategorized Category

Deleting a default post category is not possible. However, it is possible to select a new WordPress default category or rename it.

To rename the default WordPress Uncategorized category, you need to be logged in to your website as an administrator.

Then go to the Posts > Categories screen, located in your WordPress admin area.

WordPress categories posts menu

Now hover over the Uncategorized category, and click on the Edit link.

WordPress edit uncategorized category

Doing so will load the Edit Category screen, where you can rename the Uncategorized category to something more meaningful and change the URL Slug.

WordPress edit uncategoried category

Assuming your site is not live or indexed by search engines, changing the category URL Slug will be fine.

However, if your website is live and indexed by search engines, you will need to provide a redirect. Otherwise, when users visit the old URL, they will see a 404 error page.

How to Redirect the Old WordPress Uncategorized Category

If your website is live and indexed by search engines, changing the WordPress default category or renaming the WordPress uncategorized category will result in a 404 error when users visit the old URL.

To fix this, you will need to set up a redirect from the old default category URL to your new default category URL or the newly renamed URL.

There are a few ways to do this, either by writing code, editing your .htaccess file, or installing a plugin.

Setting up a redirect can be easily achieved by any of the top WordPress SEO plugins such as:

  • RankMath – TarttWeb Recommended
  • YoastSEO – Need Pro version for 301 Redirects
  • All in One SEO (AIOSEO) – Need Pro version for 301 Redirects

We recommend using one of these plugins to help manage your WordPress SEO, including redirects, which in return will help increase your organic traffic and overall sales.

Since this is a beginner’s guide, we will use the Simple 301 Redirects WordPress plugin, which is lightweight and super easy to use.

First, you need to install and activate the Simple 301 Redirects plugin.

If you need help installing a plugin, we suggest our step-by-step guide: How to Install a WordPress Plugin.

Once installed and activated, visit the Settings > 301 Redirects screen.

WordPress settings 301 redirects plugin

Now, enter your old uncategorized URL into the Request field, then enter your new default category URL into the destination field.

WordPress Simple 301 Redirects Admin Screen

For example, if your old uncategorized URL looked like this:

http://example.com/category/uncategorized/

With example.com being your domain name.

Then you will enter /category/uncategorized/ into the request field.

In the destination field, enter the entire URL string with your new default category name included.

For example:

http://example.com/category/new-default-category/

Once you have finished filling in both fields, click the ADD NEW button.

The last step is to test that it’s working correctly. You can do this by going to the old uncategorized URL. It should now redirect to your new default category.

That’s it! Visitors coming to your old WordPress Uncategorized category URL are redirected to your new WordPress default category URL.

Wrapping Up!

Ok! So, we have explained what the WordPress default category is and walked through how to change it. We also covered how to rename the WordPress default category to something more meaningful and a simple way to redirect the old category URL to your new URL.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how to change the WordPress default category Uncategorized into something more useful.

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Editorial Team

The Editorial Team at TarttWeb is a group of passionate people that love to help others, led by Jeff Tartt.

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