How to Modify / Rename the Default Category in WordPress

We recently shared this tutorial on how to create categories and subcategories in WordPress, what we did not tell you is that a new WordPress installation comes with a default category called Uncategorized that is used to categorize posts that you forget to assign a category to. Many WordPress beginners struggle with the idea of deleting this category and are often stuck on how to do that especially when they realize that it does not have a delete option. However, in this tutorial, we are going to show you how you can change the default category and/or rename it. We are going to cover the following;

  1. Changing the default category in WordPress.
  2. Renaming the default category in WordPress.

Renaming the Default Category in WordPress

Although the WordPress default category cannot be deleted, it can be renamed. To show you how to do this, I am going to rename my default category from Uncategorized. Here are the steps you can follow to rename the default category in WordPress;

  • The first step is navigating to Categories on WordPress. To do so, log into your admin dashboard and select categories from Posts menu option on the right hand side of the dashboard as shown below.
Accessing categories through Posts menu option
  • To rename the Uncategorized category, simply point at the category to get a popup menu that has Edit, Quick Edit and View options as shown below.
Category menu options
  • Click on the edit link. This will take you to a new screen where you can change the name of the category as well as the slug. You can as well add a description for the category as shown below. Note that if your website is live, changing the slug will result in 404 errors when visitors go to the old URL. Remember that the slug is the URL-friendly version of the name.
Changing a category’s name, slug and description
  • Click on the Update button at the bottom to save your changes.

You can also use the Quick Edit button to rename the category. To do that;

  • At the screen that we got above after navigating to categories through Posts > Categories, click on the Quick Edit link then change the name and the slug as shown below.
Quick edit option
  • Click on the Update Category button to save your changes.

We have now successfully renamed the default WordPress category. This will still remain as the default category and all unassigned posts will go under this category.

Changing the Default Category in WordPress

Here, we are going to change the default category in WordPress. To do that, I am assuming that you already have other categories created. If you do not have them, you can check this tutorial to learn how to create categories and subcategories.

  • The first step will be to navigate to categories through Posts > Categories as shown in the first step above on renaming the default category in WordPress. Here you will get a list of all your categories.
  • This will take you to another screen where you can see a list of all created categories, including the default category Uncategorized. Make sure that the category that you would like to use as your default category is available. I have the following categories and I am going to make the Fruits category the default category.
A list of created categories
  • After you have identified the category you would like to use as the default category, navigate to the writing settings by going through Settings > Writing as shown below.
Accessing the Writing settings
  • At the writing settings, the first option sets the default post category. Click on the drop down option and select the category you would like to set as the default category. I am choosing Fruits in my case.
Changing the default category
  • Click on the Save Changes button at the bottom to save your changes.

You have now set a new category as the default category in WordPress. If you create new posts and forget to assign them to a certain category, they will be automatically assigned to this category.

 

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