• Magento Product Missing Category Drop Down Solved

    by  • November 17, 2011 • Magento • 5 Comments

    Yet another interesting discovering has been made in the world of Magento product creation and management.

    We have a client that was unable to access specific categories from the drop down list in the Category tab on the product edit page in the backend of Magento. The list would show many parent categories with that tiny little plus expansion image but there were a few parent categories that we knew had children would just not let us expand the category and discover what was inside. That plus image just wasn’t available. However, it was available in the Category management section in Magento.

    So the question was . . . Why are parent categories letting us expand them in the Category Managment section in Magento, but not in the product edit section?

    After exploring many vast and spacious lands within Magento and upgrading to the latest version of Magento there was nothing leading us to a resolution . . . that is . . . until now!

    Turns out we had to do some spelunking in the depths of Magento’s storage system to resolve the issue.

    Within the catalog_category_entity table we noticed that the children_count of some of the categories had negative numbers in them. We thought that was just plan odd. How could a category have negative categories when the entire system is based on there isĀ  x children or there simply is not.

    So, like brave soles that we are we changed that children_count of the parent category to a positive number that was physically counted.

    Whaaalllaaaa! Categories that prevented us from accessing their children were now free and openly sharing access to their kids!

    Can’t you just feel the love :)


    A jolly ol' chap that enjoys the everyday cliff drop, skate park, climbing crag and tree run mixed with a heavy dose of development and design of web sites, print and video production and the rush of marketing ventures.

    5 Responses to Magento Product Missing Category Drop Down Solved

    1. January 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks kindly for this.
      And for those of us who aren’t as technical, I came up with this fix, based on Dan’s discovery:

      Go to manage Categories
      Add new sub categories to the problem ‘Root Category’
      I called them ‘zzsub1′ ‘zzsub2′ ‘zzsub3′ and so on (don’t enable them)
      Viola, this will bring your subcategory count back into the black and the expand option will become available again in your Manage Products section.


      • Dan
        January 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm

        Thanks Brian. That also very good to know!

    2. October 6, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Thank you very much for this :-) It solved this strange problem one client of mine was having.
      Thank you very much :-)

    3. Neelima
      January 25, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Thanks Dude…You made my day… :) Thanks a lot..

      • Dan
        January 25, 2014 at 5:21 pm

        You’re very welcome!

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