I'm trying to hide a large amount of categories from my category widget. I've tried a few plugins but none of them seem to want to let me use the dropdown option. I looked into the widget_categories_args hook and that seems to be what I want but I can't get it to work.

Anyways here's my code

function widget_categories_args_filter( $cat_args ) {
$exclude_arr = array( 57,61,63,56,55,62,52,53,54,67,65 );

if( isset( $cat_args['exclude'] ) && !empty( $cat_args['exclude'] ) )
    $exclude_arr = array_unique( array_merge( explode( ',', $cat_args['exclude'] ), $exclude_arr ) );
$cat_args['exclude'] = implode( ',', $exclude_arr );
return $cat_args;

add_filter( 'widget_categories_args', 'widget_categories_args_filter', 10, 1 );

I Took that from here: https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Filter_Reference/widget_categories_args

I'm putting this in my theme's functions.php. That shouldn't matter even though the function is set for plugins, right?

  • Try increasing the fourth number to some thing high like 1000
    – s_ha_dum
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 21:35
  • This works for me for the bundled category widget.
    – s_ha_dum
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 23:54
  • @s_ha_dum the fourth number? In the add_filter() line?
    – FranticJ3
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 14:21
  • Sorry, the fourth argument. You have 1. Try 1000. As I said, this works for me so there may be another function interfering. Setting the priority high might give yours the last word. Are you using the Core category widget?
    – s_ha_dum
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 14:25
  • @s_ha_dum yes I'm using the core categories widget. I set it at 10000 and it is still not hiding them.
    – FranticJ3
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 14:58

5 Answers 5


I know this post is pretty old, but because I came across the same issue and this post came up higher than one with a solution, I figured I'd add this, which worked for me.

Source: http://coffeecupweb.com/how-to-exclude-or-hide-categories-from-category-widget-in-wordpress-sidebar/

//Hide categories from WordPress category widget
function exclude_widget_categories($args){
    $exclude = "1,4,8,57,80";
    $args["exclude"] = $exclude;
    return $args;
  • 1
    I can verify this works great in March 2018! Bonus tip: hover over a category on the the Categories page and looks for the "tag_id" in the link at the bottom of your browser. Yeah, I know it says tag_id, but it still is referring to the category. Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 20:37
  • 1
    Dec. 2020: I can also verify that this works great! The whole problem made me even more aware of the face that the category function is often diverted from its viewer-centric focus by themes and plugins. Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 17:54

This works: https://gist.github.com/peltopiri/76e7d1143e33b424633114103cfae5ec

function exclude_woocommerce_widget_product_categories($widget_args) {
    //Insert excluded category ids here
    $excludes = array(12,33);
    $includes = explode(",",$widget_args['include']);

    $includes = array_filter($includes, function($value) use ($excludes) {
      return !in_array($value, $excludes);
    $widget_args["include"] = implode(",", $includes);
    return $widget_args;
add_filter( 'woocommerce_product_categories_widget_dropdown_args', 'exclude_woocommerce_widget_product_categories');
add_filter( 'woocommerce_product_categories_widget_args', 'exclude_woocommerce_widget_product_categories');
  • This works on subcategory pages too.
    – O. Jones
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 21:57

Hide the uncatecogrized / default category in WooCommerce:

I guess I'm not the only one who came to this page in search for a way to hide the default / uncategorized category introduced in WooCommerce 3.3.

If you're one of them, instead of hard-coding the category ID which may be different in different environments / installations, you can use the following snippet, modified from the snippet by Mike Jolley to hide it from the Woocommerce Product Categories widget:

<?php // Do not include this if already open!

 * Code goes in theme functions.php.
 * If you use dropdown instead of hierachical view, 
 * hook to the following filter instead: 
 *      `woocommerce_product_categories_widget_dropdown_args`
add_filter( 'woocommerce_product_categories_widget_args', 'custom_woocommerce_product_categories_widget_args' );

function custom_woocommerce_product_categories_widget_args( $args ) {
  $args['exclude'] = get_option( 'default_product_cat' );
  return $args;

After several searches and tests, hiding post categories for list items and drop-down is done separately since they're called by different filter ids.

For list category items use


For drop-down category items use


Reference: https://basicwp.com/exclude-categories-from-category-widgets-in-wordpress/


I was able to hide a single category using CSS:

li.cat-item-1 {
    display: none;

I put this CSS snippet in my theme's "Additional CSS".

Category 1 is "Uncategorized", which is the one I wanted to hide.

  • To sweet'n the deal, hide the categories right in customizer. save a step from trying to do this all the theme folder.
    – klewis
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 20:14

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