Deleting the WordPress Uncategorized Category

So you have numerous blog posts, on your WordPress website, which are assigned to the uncategorized category.

Maybe you have recently imported lots of posts or perhaps found that you forgot to set the category when creating the posts.

For myself I was transitioning a website and had forgotten to consider this category assignment. Each imported post was assigned to the default uncategorized category.

Considering the situation, I really didn’t want every blog post to have this category assigned. Which led me to ask the questions:

Can I simply delete the uncategorized category?

What about all the posts which have this category assigned?

Let’s begin by reviewing the categories. Navigate to the categories, under the posts at the left menu.

Remove WordPress Uncategorized Category List of Caetgories

As can be seen in the above image because the uncategorized category is set to be the default it’s not possible to delete it.

The next admin page to visit is the Writing Settings.

Start by changing the default category

Remove WordPress Uncategorized Category Writing Settings

Here we’ll change the default category to something else.

Change the category to one you are most likely to use. It’ll save effort in the future and will provide a safety net, in case you forget to set one.

Remove WordPress Uncategorized Category Delete Unwanted Category

Once deleted each post which was assigned to the uncategorized category will be assigned to the new default category.

But STOP think about this next step.

As the situation was I knew which posts had recently been imported – they were all assigned to the uncategorized category.

If I were to now choose to set my most likely used category as the default and delete the uncategorized category all of these per would be mixed up. Not all of the posts world be correctly associated to the category.

For example if I set the new default category as fruit then that would work well for plums, apples and pears. But deleting uncategorized and consequently automatically associating carrots and brand to the category fruit would be wrong. How would I spot these wrongly associated categories?

To finally complete the task would entail reviewing the list and unassigning via Quick Edit as required.

It’s easy to list those entries assigned to uncategorized, a simple filtering by category on all posts is all that’s required.

Each of these entries can be edited as necessary using Quick Edit.

But it’s time consuming. Against this – there is less chance of making and maintaining a wrong association.

Once your list of filtered entries is down to 0 the uncategorized category can be removed and a new default set.

From this exercise in importing posts I concluded that whilst the uncategorized category can be deleted before starting, its better to leave it in place. Or create/rename the category as Imported. The posts should then be reviewed unassigning them from the imported/uncategorized category until the list of assigned entires is zero. Only then can the uncategorized category be deleted.