Beginner's Guide for WordPress / Start your WordPress Blog in minutes

How to Merge and Bulk Edit Categories and Tags in WordPress

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

After a while, most WordPress blogs need some spring cleaning. Sometimes this requires moving posts between categories and tags, or merging similar categories and tags together.

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

How to merge and bulk edit categories and tags in WordPress

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

When building your WordPress site, you’ll use categories and tags to organize your website content.

This makes it easy for website visitors to quickly find the content they’re looking for. Properly using categories and tags is also good for improving your WordPress SEO rankings.

But over time, you may have too many categories and tags that you’re not using anymore. Or, your categories and tags might be too similar and can be filed under a single category or tag.

One way to solve this issue is to edit each WordPress blog post and reassign the categories and tags. However, if you have a lot of posts, then this can be time consuming.

The best solution is to bulk edit your WordPress categories and tags.

With that said, let’s take a look at how to bulk edit and merge categories in WordPress, step by step.

Bulk Edit Categories and Tags with Built-in WordPress Settings

The WordPress posts dashboard has built in settings that let you manage your post categories and tags.

If you want to assign a category to multiple posts, add tags, or transfer single posts from one category to another, then you can do this within your WordPress admin dashboard.

Bulk Add Multiple Posts to a New WordPress Category

First, navigate to Posts » All Posts and check the box next to the posts you want to change.

Then, click on the ‘Bulk actions’ drop down, select the ‘Edit’ option, and click ‘Apply’.

Bulk edit all posts

This brings up a new section that shows the bulk editing tools.

To add the posts to a new category, simply check the box for the new category or categories. You can also add new post tags to the ‘Tags’ box.

Note: Posts can only be added to new categories, they can’t be deleted from the existing category.

Then, click the ‘Update’ button.

Bulk editor add categories

Now your posts will be automatically assigned to the new category you selected.

Manually Transfer Posts to New WordPress Categories

If you only have a few posts, then you can transfer posts to a new category individually.

In the post dashboard, hover over the post you want to edit and click the ‘Quick Edit’ button.

Quick edit single post

This brings up a section similar to the bulk editing tools section above.

Now, you can uncheck the current category and check the box for the new category. You can also add or delete tags from the ‘Tags’ box.

Single post add or remove categories and tags

Make sure to click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes.

Merge and Bulk Edit Categories and Tags in WordPress

If you want to merge and bulk edit categories and tags, then you’ll need to use a WordPress plugin.

We recommend using the Term Management Tools plugin. It makes it easy to bulk manage your tags and categories with a couple of clicks.

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.

Upon activation, you need to go to Posts » Categories and click the ‘Bulk Actions’ drop down menu.

Term management tools plugin new bulk actions

You’ll notice there are a few new bulk actions that have been added to the menu. Now, you can set a new parent category, merge categories and tags together, and change taxonomies.

Merge WordPress Category into Another Category

To merge categories, simply check the box next to the categories you want to merge.

Next, select ‘Merge’ from the ‘Bulk actions’ drop down and type the name of the category you want to merge.

Then, click the ‘Apply’ button.

Merge category into category

Move From WordPress Category to Tag or Custom Taxonomy

To switch an existing category into a tag, simply check the box for the category.

Then, select ‘Change taxonomy’ from the ‘Bulk actions’ drop down and then select your tag or custom taxonomy from the drop down.

After that, click the ‘Apply’ button.

Move from category to tag or taxonomy

Your category will now switch over to a post tag or custom taxonomy.

Assign Parent Category to Multiple Categories

Next, you can assign a single parent category to multiple categories.

To do this, check the boxes for your new child categories and select ‘Set parent’ from the ‘Bulk actions’ drop down.

Then, choose your parent category from the ‘None’ drop down and click ‘Apply’.

Assign parent category

If you want to switch from tags to categories and merge existing tags together, then simply go to Posts » Tags.

Then, follow the same steps as above.

Merge tags editor screen

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 get a free SSL certificate and our expert picks of the best GoDaddy alternatives.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit – a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

32 CommentsLeave a Reply

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

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

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


      • 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!

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


  3. 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!!

  4. 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!

  5. 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?

    • 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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…

  11. 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.


  12. 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!

  13. 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.

    • 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.

  14. 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!

Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.