How to Choose Default Taxonomy Terms in WordPress

When you install a new WordPress site, there are two taxonomies (Categories and Tags) and one term (Uncategorized).

Every WordPress post must have at least one category. By default, this required category is “Uncategorized“, but that name isn't useful or relevant for most sites.

So in this guide, we'll show you how to replace “Uncategorized”. We explain how to choose one or more default terms to organize your WordPress content.

What are The Default Tags and Categories?

When you install a new WordPress site, there will be no tags on your site. The “Tags” screen is completely empty and there's only the message “No tags found”. This means there is no default tag, but later in this guide we'll show you how to add one.

No tags found on a WordPress site

On your new site, there will be only one category. The “” screen will contain only the “Uncategorized” option. Underneath the main area is a message which says “The cannot be deleted.” There will not be a “Delete” option for this category. You can change the name, but there must always be at least one category.

Categories screen in WordPress

When you add a new post, the “Uncategorized” box is checked automatically when you try to save the post. If you uncheck the “Uncategorized” box, it will just be re-checked again by WordPress.

Uncategorized metabox in WordPress

How to Change the Default Category

There are several ways that you can change the on your WordPress site.

One approach is simply to change the name from “Uncategorized” to something else. In this image below, I've changed the name to “News”.

Change Uncategorized term in WordPress

It's also possible to replace “Uncategorized” with an alternative category.

  • Go to Settings > Writing in your WordPress admin menu.
  • You can change the “Default Post Category” option.
Default Post Category in WordPress

How to set your own default terms

There are several limitations with the WordPress approach to default terms. For example, you can not add a default term for tags or other taxonomies. Also, you can not add more than one default term.

If you want to choose your own default terms for tags, , or other taxonomies, your best option is the plugin. In this section of the tutorial, we'll show how to use to add default tags.

  • In this image below, we've added multiple tags. This is a food blog and the tags will be used to categorize our recipes.
Multiple tags in WordPress
  • After installing TaxoPress, go to the “Taxonomies” menu link.
  • Click “Tags”.
  • On the “General” tab, you can enter one or more default terms. You can either enter the names of the terms, or their slugs.
Choosing new default WordPress tags
  • Go to create a new post. The terms you have chosen in TaxoPress will be automatically filled into the “Add New Tag” box.
New default WordPress tags

Choose default WooCommerce Product Categories and Tags

works in a very similar way to the WordPress core. has “Product Categories” and “Product Tags”. There is one “Uncategorized” product category that is the default for all new products.

Uncategorized default WooCommerce product category
  • Go to the “Taxonomies” menu link.
  • Click “Product categories”.
  • On the “General” tab, you can enter one or more default terms. In the example screenshot below, I've chosen “Discounted”, “New” and “Homemade”.
New default WooCommerce product categories

In this final screenshot, you can see a new product screen with multiple terms selected by default:

Default WooCommerce product categories

Add a Default Term to All Your Existing Posts

If you decide to add a default term to an existing site, this is possible with the TaxoPress plugin.

  • Go to “TaxoPress”, then “.
  • Choose the “” tab.
  • Enter the terms you want to add to all current posts.
  • Click “Add”.
Add terms to all posts.

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