Step-by-step: Hiding WooCommerce product categories

WooCommerce hide category from shop page plugin

Need to hide a WooCommerce category from the shop page? Sometimes you might have products that you don't want to publicly list on your shop page. To your dismay, though, WooCommerce doesn't have the option to hide categories from the shop page.

One of the key features of WooCommerce is its ability to organize products into categories, making it easy for customers to navigate and find what they're looking for. However, there may be times when you want to hide a particular category of products from the shop page.

Sometimes you need a happy medium between hiding a single product and hiding your entire WooCommerce store. Perhaps you have some products that are not quite ready for public release, or maybe you want to restrict certain items to a specific group of customers. Whatever the reason, you may be disappointed to learn that there is no option for WooCommerce hide category from shop page.

This can be a frustrating problem, especially if you have spent a lot of time and effort creating your WooCommerce product categories and organizing your inventory. Thankfully, there are a few methods available that can help you achieve your goal of hide category from shop page WooCommerce.

Benefits of hiding categories in WooCommerce

One of the key features of WooCommerce is its ability to organize products into categories, which can be helpful for customers who are trying to find specific products on the website.

However, there are situations where WordPress site owners may need to hide category WooCommerce of products. For example, if a product is out of stock or has been discontinued, you may not want that category to be displayed on the WordPress website. This can help to avoid confusion for customers who may be interested in the product, only to find that it is not available for purchase.

Another reason why it's important to be able to use WooCommerce hide category feature is to simplify the navigation of the website. When there are too many categories displayed on the website, it can be overwhelming for customers to find the products they are looking for. By hiding specific categories on your ecommerce store, you can provide a simplified user experience for your customers and potentially improve your store's SEO or search engine ranking. Hiding irrelevant categories reduces clutter, highlights the most relevant products, and can lead to higher customer engagement and satisfaction, ultimately resulting in increased conversions.

hide woocommerce categories example

When to hide categories in your WooCommerce store

Effective category management is a key aspect of running a successful online store. Improving website usability and enhancing the customer experience can be achieved by strategically hiding certain categories in WooCommerce. To learn how to hide categories in WooCommerce and implement this effective approach, continue reading. Here are some common examples of when hiding categories can be beneficial for WooCommerce shops:

  • Discontinued products: When a product is no longer available for purchase, it's important to remove it from the website to avoid confusion. By hiding the category of discontinued products, you can ensure that customers don't see or try to checkout these items.
  • Out of stock items: If a product is temporarily out of stock, you may want to hide category WooCommerce until the product is back in stock. This can help to avoid customer frustration and reduce the number of inquiries about the availability of the product.
  • Seasonal products: Some products may only be relevant during certain times of the year. For example, Christmas decorations may only be relevant during the holiday season. By hiding the category of seasonal products during the off-season, you can create a more streamlined user experience and avoid overwhelming customers with irrelevant products.
  • Restricted products: Some products may be restricted by age, location, or other criteria. By hiding the category of restricted products, you can ensure that only eligible customers are able to access these items.

Exploring different methods to hide WooCommerce categories

If you want to hide specific categories on your WooCommerce shop page, there are two main methods you can use.

Method 1: Using a plugin to hide categories

Using a plugin is the recommended method for hide category from shop page WooCommerce. The main benefit of using a plugin is that it is easy to use, even if you don't have much technical knowledge. All you need to do is install the plugin, activate it, and then configure the settings for WooCommerce hide the category from shop page.

To help, we're going to show you how to hide a category in WooCommerce shop page via a user-friendly plugin.

Our simple written tutorial and video will show you how to customize how your hidden WooCommerce categories function - all without writing a single line of code.

WooCommerce school category visibility

Method 2: Hiding categories with code snippets

The second method for hide category from shop page WooCoomerce involves using code snippets. This method requires more technical knowledge than using a plugin, but it can be useful if you want more control over how categories are hidden.

To use this method, you will need to add some code snippets to your theme's functions.php file or to a custom plugin. You can find code snippets for hide category WooCommerce stores, and then modify them to suit your specific needs.

You can customize the code for WooCommerce hide category from shop page in a specific way or to achieve a particular result. However, it's worth noting that using code snippets can be risky if you don't know what you're doing, as a mistake could break your site or cause other issues.

The best plugin to hide a WooCommerce category

The problem

There are lots of reasons why you might want to use WooCommerce hide category from shop page from the main page. For example, maybe you're creating a WooCommerce wholesale store and need to hide the wholesale categories from the shop page. Maybe you're selling customer-specific products, with a hidden category for each company.

Whatever you're reason, unfortunately, WooCommerce doesn't come with an option to do this.

While it is possible to use a PHP function for WooCommerce hide category from shop page, that solution:

  • Isn't very user-friendly because it requires you to work directly with PHP code, rather than a human-friendly interface.
  • Makes it difficult to change which categories are hidden later on, because you'll need to dive back into the code every time you want to make an adjustment.

The solution

WooCommerce Protected Categories offers a simpler solution to hide a WooCommerce category (including all products/subcategories inside). It:

  • Gives you more flexibility than the WooCommerce PHP function in terms of how shoppers interact with your hidden categories.
  • Lets you choose which categories to hide right from your WordPress dashboard.
  • Lets you decide whether use WooCommerce hide category from the shop page completely, or whether to show them but require customers to enter a password or login to access a protected category or its products.

How does this WooCommerce hide categories plugin work?

To hide WooCommerce categories, you can use the WooCommerce Protected Categories plugin. It enables you to conceal one or multiple WooCommerce product category within your WooCommerce store. When you hide a category from the shop page…

  • All the products inside that category are also hidden.
  • You can choose whether or not to display hidden categories and their products on your shop page, category pages, archive pages, and search results.
  • With the WooCommerce hide product category functionality, you have the flexibility to decide whether hidden categories and their associated products should be visible in your navigation menus and widgets.

And as I mentioned earlier, you can "unhide" your categories via:

  • A password - once a user enters a correct password, the plugin automatically unlocks all the products in that category. They can then navigate through the hidden category and its sub-categories without having to re-enter the password.
  • User roles - by utilizing the WooCommerce hide category by user role feature, you can restrict visibility of hidden categories and their corresponding products exclusively to users with specific user roles.
  • Individual users - only selected logged in users can see the hidden category and its products.

Have a read through this glowing review from a happy customer using the WooCommerce Protected Categories plugin:

Excellent plugin!
I highly recommend Barn2's 'WooCommerce Password Protected Categories' plugin for a whole range of uses. For our particular use, we needed to allow only certain categories of our products to be accessed by 'select' customers, with a shared password. The plugin enabled us to do this really simply and cost-effectively. Whenever we have needed any assistance with the plugin Barn2's team have been very helpful and prompt with their replies. I'm sure this is a decision you won't regret.

Step-by-step guide: How to hide WooCommerce categories with WooCommerce Protected Categories

Below, we'll show you how to hide WooCommerce categories on shop page using WooCommerce Protected Categories.

Step 1: Choose how to hide your categories

First, install and activate WooCommerce Protected Categories in the WordPress admin panel. Next, go to Products → Categories to hide WooCommerce categories on shop page.

You can either create a new category to house your hidden products or you can edit an existing category. Whichever method you choose, you'll see a new Visibility section at the bottom of the page. Click the 'Protected' option, and choose between:

  • Unlock WooCommerce category for logged in usersPassword protected Visitors will need to enter a password to see the category. You can create multiple passwords to unlock the category if desired.
  • User roles Your category will only be visible to certain user roles.
  • Users Your category will only be visible to the users that you select here.

Once you've hide WooCommerce categories on shop page or category page via either method, go to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Protected categories to configure a few more basic settings.

Step 2: Configure general plugin settings

One especially important group of settings is Category Visibility.

If you want to completely remove a WooCommerce category from the shop page, you should uncheck both boxes. Alternatively, tick both boxes to still display the category, but require users to enter a password or login to see its contents.

Use the other settings to control your password login form, and what happens when a logged-out user tries to access a protected category:

WooCommerce Protected Categories Visibility Settings

Step 3: Enable password protection, user role restriction, and more

Once you've hide WooCommerce categories on shop page, you'll want to provide other ways for selected customers to access them. There are a few ways to do this, depending on whether you've hidden the categories behind password protection or user login.

Providing access to WooCommerce password protected categories

Create a central category login form by adding the shortcode [category_login] to any page. Customers will be directed to the hidden category with the password they have entered. Once unlocked, the customer will be able to see the protected category, products and pricing and cart buttons on the main Woo shop page. The protected content will remain hidden from the store catalog for everyone else. As store owner, you can customize the hidden category login page in the plugin settings.

ooCommerce hide category from shop page

Providing access for a user or role-protected WooCommerce categories

If you've created user or role protected categories, then there are some different settings for your hidden categories. These let you choose what happens when someone without the correct privileges (e.g. a logged out user) tries to access a WooCommerce hidden category or product.

WooCommerce protected categories redirect for logged out users

To provide access to the WooCommerce hidden category, simply encourage users to login as usual. For example, they can login using the WooCommerce Account page, which shows a login form for logged out users.

I also recommend using the free Peter's Login Redirect plugin. Use it to redirect users to the correct hidden category after they log in. This gives you fine-grained control over where each individual user or user role is redirected after logging in.

Real-world applications: eLearning Launchpad Case study

eLearning Launch Pad hide category pageeLearning Launchpad is a US training course provider. Our WooCommerce Protected Categories plugin hides its product categories, working alongside Wp Enhanced’s Free Downloads WooCommerce Pro plugin.

Attendees download course materials ahead of the training session. But these materials need to be kept private. That’s why they needed a WooCommerce hide category WordPress plugin. Files are hidden behind a password protected category page and eLearning Launchpad sends out passwords to access the page. From there, customers can download materials. The Free Downloads WooCommerce Pro plugin lets eLearning Launchpad capture customer data before files are downloaded.

The downloads are set up as WooCommerce products even though they aren’t being sold on the ecommerce site. This is to simplify managing the downloads and take advantage of the benefits, such as being able to hide categories and products in WooCommerce.

WooCommerce hide category

Below, I'll show you how to use this WooCommerce hide category plugin…

Alternative method: How to hide categories through shortcodes

Another way to utilize WooCommerce hide category on your main shop page is by using HTML and CSS. This method requires some technical knowledge.

First, you need to inspect the category you want to hide on your product page using your browser's developer tools. You can then identify the HTML element that represents the category and its ID or class. Once you have this information, you can add some custom code that hides the category by setting its display property to "none."

It is important to note that using how to hide categories in WooCommerce only affects their visual display and does not impose any actual access restrictions. Users can still access the hidden category through direct links or by typing its URL. So, if you want to restrict access to the category, you'll need to use the WooCommerce Protected Categories plugin.

It's worth noting that if you're not familiar with coding, using this method can also be risky. A mistake in your code could break your site or cause other issues. Therefore, you should only use this method if you have some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS or if you're working with an experienced WordPress developer.

Best practices in WooCommerce category management

Efficient category management is crucial for a well-organized and user-friendly online store. Here are some tips to optimize your category management process. Use them to ensure smooth navigation and a seamless shopping experience for customers:

  1. Organize categories thoughtfully: Take the time to carefully plan and structure your categories. Ensure that they are logical, intuitive, and reflect the products you offer. Consider creating subcategories or using parent-child relationships to further organize your products. This helps customers easily locate the items they are looking for and improves the overall browsing experience.
  2. Utilize conditional rules: Leverage the power of conditional rules to further customize category visibility. With the right plugin, like WooCommerce Protected Categories, you can set up rules based on user roles, membership levels, or other criteria. For example, you can hide specific categories from general customers while making them accessible to VIP members-only. This level of control allows you to provide tailored experiences to different customer segments.
  3. Prioritize category display: If you have overlapping or conflicting rules for category visibility, prioritize the display order. For example, if a customer belongs to multiple user roles, you can prioritize the display of categories associated with their highest role.
  4. Regularly review and update: Category management is an ongoing process. Regularly review your category structure, rules, and priorities to accommodate any changes in your product offerings or customer segments. Monitor customer feedback and behavior to identify areas for improvement or potential adjustments to your category management strategy.
  5. Test and optimize: Experiment with different category arrangements, conditional rules, and priority settings. This lets you find the optimal configuration for your specific business needs. Test the user experience and gather feedback to fine-tune your category management strategy.

Start hiding WooCommerce categories today!

If you have products that you don't want to publicly list on your WooCommerce shop page, you can easily hide them using the Protected Categories plugin. This is the best WooCommerce hide category from shop page option. That's because it's easy to use and doesn't require technical knowledge.

The plugin is super-flexible. You can choose to require a password, restrict access to certain user roles, or only allow specific individual users to view the hidden categories.

Questions about how to hide a category in WooCommerce shop page? Leave a comment and we'll do our best to help.


  1. Hello,
    i have purchased this plug-in but i have an issue... when i hide a category(private), all the products wich also belong to a public category disappear in these public categories.
    My question is, is it possible to hide a category and display some products of the same category somewhere else?

    • Hi David, thanks for your inquiry. All products inherit the protection applied to the category.

      In your case, the product will be private. The product can only be unlocked by a user who is logged in and has privileges to view private products (normally Administrators and Store Managers).

      It is advisable that you create a copy of the product using the Duplicate Post plugin which makes it easy to clone WooCommerce products.

      This way, you can set the duplicate product in the other non-private category as its separate product.

      I hope this helps. Let us know if you have further questions.

  2. Hi
    We are designing a WooCommerce store for a Paint and Wallpaper store. The 2 "top" level categories are "Paint" and "Wallpaper" - both have numerous sub-categories (Brand / Collection / Colour etc).
    What I am trying to achieve is the one of my shop pages will be purely for displaying Paint (and its sub categories) only, and another page displaying Wallpaper (and its sub categories) only, but without the requirement for customers to enter a password.

    In simple terms, I need the flexibility of hiding certain categories on certain pages, and displaying them on another, without password entry.

    Do you have a solution fo rthis?

    Kind regards


    • Hi, Ciaran. Thanks for your comment and my apologies for the late reply.

      If I understand correctly, I believe what you would like to have are categories that are private/protected/hidden on some pages whilst public on others.

      Please note that there is no grey area in hiding/protecting categories. A public category will be public anywhere on the site and a hidden/protected category will not be public anywhere on the site.

      As a workaround for what you would like to achieve, I suggest you instead have 2 identical categories, each with their identical copies/set of products. One will be the public version of the category and its products and the other the hidden/protected one. This way you can decide whether to display the public or the protected category version on your pages.

      You can easily create copies of your products using the free Duplicate Post plugin + use the Group Stock Manager plugin to allow you to share stock quantity between the duplicate products in each category (to help you track inventory across the duplicates).

      I hope this makes sense and helps. Should you have any other questions, you can get in touch with us much sooner via our dedicated Support Center.

      Best regards and keep safe.

  3. Hi, I am looking at purchasing the protected categories plugin. We don't want to show the category 'sold' in our store. But on a separate page we do want to show the 'Sold' stock. Is this plugin the right choice for us?

    • Hi, Mark. Thanks for your comment and sorry for the late reply here. I believe you also sent a similar enquiry via our Support Center, which we replied to right away. For those who might have a similar concern, I'm including my reply below:

      You can hide a category from being publicly visible on your shop page by making the category protected (See: Password protected, user and role protected categories) and then ensuring that the Category Visibility options in the plugin settings are not enabled/checked/ticked.

      The category page or category archive page would be where you can show the protected category and the products it contains. When going to the category's address or URL, users who have the password or have access to the category via User or User Role protection will need to log in. To allow for this, you should set the When logged out page to be either your site's WordPress login page or a custom page, which should be a central password login page.

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