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How to Merge and Bulk Edit Categories and Tags in WordPress

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Do you want to merge and bulk edit categories and tags in WordPress?

As your blog grows and changes, there may be some categories and tags that you no longer use. This clutter can make it more difficult for visitors to navigate your site and may even harm your WordPress SEO.

In this article, we will show you how to merge and bulk edit categories and tags in WordPress.

How to merge and bulk edit categories and tags in WordPress

When Do You Need to Merge Categories and Tags in WordPress?

Categories and tags are a great way to organize your articles and help visitors find interesting content. They can also improve your WordPress SEO rankings by helping search engines understand your posts so they can show them to people who are looking for content just like yours.

However, at some point, you may stop using certain categories or tags. You may even decide to merge similar categories and tags.

If this happens, then you could manually edit each WordPress blog post and change its assigned categories and tags. However, this will take time and effort, especially if you have lots of content.

With that said, let’s take a look at how to bulk edit and merge categories in WordPress, step by step. Simply use the quick links below to jump straight to the method you want to use:

Method 1: Using the Built-in WordPress Bulk Edit (Quick and Easy)

You can add categories and tags to multiple posts at once using the built-in WordPress tools.

Just be aware that you can’t remove tags and categories using this method. If you want to delete tags and categories, then you will need to use method 2 instead.

Bulk Add Multiple Posts to a New WordPress Category

To add categories and tags to a post, head over to Posts » All Posts and check the box next to each post you want to change.

Then, click on the ‘Bulk actions’ dropdown and select ‘Edit’. After that, simply click on ‘Apply.’

Bulk edit all posts

You will now see the bulk editing tools for these posts.

To add posts to a new category, simply check the box next to each category. To add more tags, simply type into the ‘Tags’ box and separate each tag with a comma.

With that done, click on the ‘Update’ button.

Bulk editor add categories

WordPress will now add these categories and tags to the selected posts.

Manually Transfer Posts to New WordPress Categories

Do you want to move posts to a new category instead?

You can transfer a post in just a few clicks using the Quick Edit settings. This is a good option if you only need to update a few posts.

In the All Posts dashboard, hover over the post that you want to move to a new category. When it appears, just click on the ‘Quick Edit’ link.

Quick edit single post

You will now see a section similar to the bulk editing tools section above.

Here, simply uncheck the current category and then check the box next to the category you want to use instead. At this point, you can also add or delete tags using the ‘Tags’ box.

When you are finished, don’t forget to click ‘Update’ to save your changes.

Single post add or remove categories and tags

Method 2: Using TaxoPress (Best for Merging and Bulk Deleting)

If you want to merge and bulk edit categories and tags, then you will need to use TaxoPress. This free plugin has a single screen where you can edit the categories and tags for all your WordPress posts. If you merge tags and categories, then TaxoPress will also update all related posts automatically.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

With that done, you are ready to bulk edit and merge categories and tags.

How to Bulk Edit Categories and Tags

TaxoPress allows you to add or remove any category or tag from an unlimited number of WordPress posts.

Simply go to TaxoPress » Mass Edit Terms. At the top of the screen, open the dropdown menu and choose either ‘Categories’ or ‘Tags’.

Bulk editing categories and tags in WordPress

After that, click on ‘Change Selection.’

TaxoPress will then show a list of all your posts, along with their categories and tags.

Bulk editing categories and tags using TaxoPress

To add a new term to a post, simply type it into the box. You will need to separate each category or tag with a comma. To remove a term, just delete it.

Simply repeat these steps to change the categories or tags for each post.

When you are happy with your changes, click on the ‘Update all’ button.

Saving bulk changes to WordPress categories and tags

How to Merge WordPress Categories and Tags

TaxoPress can merge multiple categories or tags into a new term. Even better, it will apply this new term to all affected posts, which can save you a ton of time.

To merge categories or tags, you need to go to TaxoPress » Manage Terms. You can now open the dropdown menu and choose whether you want to merge categories or tags.

Bulk managing WordPress categories and tags

After that, select the ‘Merge Terms’ tab.

In the ‘Term(s) to merge’ field, type in the categories or tags you want to merge. As always, make sure to separate each term with a comma.

How to bulk merge terms in a WordPress blog

With that done, type the new term into the ‘New term’ field.

Finally, click ‘Merge’ to save your changes.

Merging multiple categories and tags in WordPress

Now, if you look at any post that had the original category or tag, you will see that it’s using the new term.

Delete Unused WordPress Categories and Tags

TaxoPress also allows you to find and delete terms that are never used or rarely used. This can be an easy way to remove categories and tags from your WordPress website.

For example, you might delete categories that have 2 or fewer blog posts.

To do this, go to TaxoPress » Manage Terms. You can now open the dropdown menu and choose whether you want to delete unused categories or tags.

Deleting unused categories and tags in WordPress

After that, select the ‘Delete unused terms’ tab.

You can now set a minimum number of uses for each term using the dropdown menu. For example, if you choose ‘5’, then TaxoPress will delete all categories or tags that are used by fewer than 5 posts.

If you select ‘1’, then TaxoPress will delete all terms that are never used.

Bulk deleting WordPress categories and tags

After choosing a number, click on the ‘Delete rarely used’ button.

TaxoPress will now scan your site and display a banner with the number of terms it has detected and deleted.

Removing unused tags and categories

We hope this article helped you learn how to merge and bulk edit categories and tags in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to increase your blog traffic or our expert picks for the best SEO plugins and tools.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

33 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. Ellis Benus Columbia, MO Web Developer says

    This plugin hasn’t been updated in 5 years. Is there a new one you can recommend?

  3. Jim Gersetich says

    The Term Management Tools plugin is out of date. It hasn’t been updated for four years. You might consider revising this page.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Thank you for letting us know about this, we will certainly look into alternatives as soon as we are able :)


      • Valerian says

        I’m relieved to read that it still works although the plugin hasn’t been updated in quite a while. I wasn’t able to find an up to date plugin that performs similarly. This site has been a huge help to me – thank you!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      The plugin is still available but has not been updated. We will be sure to take a look into alternatives


  4. Nancy Proctor says

    I have been spring cleaning my tags and categories. I would like to update a number of posts with the correct tags. I downloaded several of your suggestions like Simple Tag.

    What I want to do: I have a tag ‘Health’ and a number of exisiting posts about the local hospital. Can I do a search on content and add tag to posts.

    thank you. I wish I had found you earlier!!

  5. Katie Corder says

    After you merge or convert tags with this plug-in, does the original tag URL merge with it, or does it a create a 404 error that then results in the creation of a 301 redirect? Thanks!

  6. Richard Sandbrook says

    I had just completed the task of rationalizing categories categories and tags when I discovered – too late – this post. My question is this: I have made the changes on WordPress, but I have not made the myriad of redirections using the Redirection plug-in (mainly because I don’t understand what information to fill in). If I do not redirect, will that be a major problem for searchers using search engines?

    • Jason Crawford says

      I’m not sure why I didn’t reply to this when I saw it the first time. I felt a bit dunce. You’re right and I was overlooking that. Thanks for the response.

  7. Jason Crawford says

    I must be missing something here. I thought I’d run over and check it out, but I can’t see an option for parent/child tags.

  8. mac says

    works well but can not bulk delete cats from multiple posts. Thats a big problem when you want to delete a category from a post but not actually delete the cat itself

  9. Max says

    This is great, but you might want to touch on 301 redirects for the post that are merging into a new category or your probably going to be losing a lot of search enginge traffic.

  10. Jamie Smith says

    I’m sorry to be a dolt, but I’m trying to figure out if this is what I’m looking for. I want to change my categories all together and remove some, make some child categories, etc. It’s not really about moving posts for me, it’s about the category structure. Is this plugin still what I need to use?

  11. Gautam Doddamani says

    thanks now i can clean out my blog from unwanted tags…just one question i wanted to ask…will the deleted tags and categories get removed from posts and will it effect my SEO…as they will ultimately lead to 404 errors in GWT…

  12. Bill Saragosa says

    Thanks for this post… I was wondering what I was going to do with some of those clumsy categories that no longer look like such a good idea! Now I have a starting point.


  13. Bernie says

    Wish I had know about this when I started tidying up my blog some time ago. This has made me get rid of all the uncategorised post on my blog. Additionally this organisation is helping me focus the post on my blog. I already use another plugin that creates pages based on Categories.

    Keep the good work coming!

  14. Bjorn says

    Can this tool also add new tags quickly to posts? Because i imported like 500 messages from my old website where i did not use wordpress and tags.

    • Noumaan says

      Bjorn you can try the bulk edit mode in Posts > All Posts. If all 500 messages are imported as posts and you have a limited number of categories then you can select multiple posts and assign them tags.

  15. Michael says

    Man, this couldn’t have come at a better time. I was just staring at my personal website, which is pretty old, in utter dismay. I have 399 tags that have accumulated over the years, as well as categories that are ancient, and was dreading cleaning up such a huge mess. I’m going to put this plugin to the test!

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