Ability to change category for multiple posts was first introduced in WordPress version 2.7. They called it bulk post editing.

The option allows you to apply actions on a number of selected WordPress posts instead of doing it manually on each post which could be time consuming particularly if you have a large amount of posts.

It is a common practice among WordPress bloggers to restructure categories later on. You may have to add or delete categories in WordPress according to your site needs and shift your posts to a new category. Bulk editing multiple posts in WordPress is a sort of hidden feature and this is what we are going to discuss in this article.

Rename WordPress Category

Sometimes difficult tasks have really simple solutions, only we are not thinking that way. Do you really need to shift your posts to a new category? or what if you can rename your old cateogory which may fix your problem?

  • From your WordPress dashboard, go to Posts > Categories. Select any category and click Edit to change its name and slug.

edit category in wordpress

  • For example if you want all your posts to be under “green banana” category instead of “banana”, simply rename your category and all your posts will be updated with new category name.

Fore more details, see What is Category? How to add a Category in WordPress?

Bulk Edit Categories

Let’s say you want to bulk change categories of selected WordPress posts only then renaming the category will not solve your problem. We will use Bulk Actions in WordPress posts list page for this purpose.

  • From WordPress dashboard, go to Posts > All Posts. Select the posts you want to change category and click Bulk Actions at the top.

wordpress bulk actions

  • Select Edit and press Apply button next to Edit.
  • From the bulk editor, you can see all the posts are listed under Bulk Edit window which means these are the posts on which changes will effect. From the Categories section, select the category for the listed posts and click Update.

wordpress bulk editor

  • This will add category to all posts you selected.
  • The only catch here is the posts will keep their old category and the new one will be added to them.

wordpress posts multiple categories

If this is ok to you then you are done otherwise we will see how to fix WordPress posts with multiple categories later in this tutorial.

Bulk Move WordPress Plugin

Bulk Move is the only WordPress plugin we have found working for batch moving posts to another category. It’s actually very simple and straight forward to use.

  • Install and Activate Bulk Move plugin. see how to install a plugin in WordPress for more help.
  • The plugin settings will be available under Tools > Bulk Move.
  • Under Bulk Move by Category, select the old category from the left side and the new category from the right side. Click Bulk Move.

bulk move wordpress plugin

  • All the posts from the left side category will be moved to the category you have selected on the right side.

How to fix posts with multiple categories in WordPress?

Let us share an interesting technique here which will let you fix the posts with multiple categories. Such posts can confuse your visitors and can also create other problems like your sitemap can create multiple entries for the same post.

Under some circumstances, posts with multiple categories can create duplicate content problem which is not good for SEO.

Woopoo's Caution

What we will discuss is a 3-step solution for this problem:

  • create a temporary category.
  • Assign the selected posts to temp category.
  • Move the posts from temporary category to the final one.

Let’s see it in practice now.

  • First of all, from your WordPress dashboard, go to Posts > Categories. Add a new category with name temporary.

add category in wordpress

  • Back to our fruits shop :), let’s say you have selected some posts you want to be moved to banana category.
  • As we did before using Bulk Actions, add temporary category to the selected posts.

bulk edit posts

  • It will result in posts with multiple categories.
  • Now go to Tools > Bulk Move.
  • From Bulk Move Category screen, select temporary on the left side and banana category on the right side. The most important step is to enable Remove them under If the post contains other categories.

bulk remove posts category

  • Click Bulk Move. It will flush all multiple categories and move all posts to one single category banana.

 

categories before
categories after

That’s the only solution we have found for this purpose. Do share with us if you know a more accurate way.

We hope you found this article informative and it will be easy for you to change categories for multiple WordPress posts at once.

Do share your experiences using the comments section below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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