Problem: When trying to reorganize categories the process is very slow. This is caused by Magento re-indexing the data every time a category is moved.

Solution: Turning off automatic re-indexing to hasten the process of reorganizing your categories.

  • When trying to reorganize your categories in Magento by dragging and dropping them into the desired order at the Catalog>Manage Categories screen (see below). You will need to disable the automatic re-indexing that occurs when products and categories are changed.

  • You will need to travel to the System>Index Management screen in order to accomplish this. Once there, you can change the Actions drop-down tab from "Re-index Data" to "Change Index Mode".

  • Once you have done this, you can select the drop-down for "Index Mode" and change this from "Update on Save" to "Manual Update". By doing this you are stopping the re-indexing from happening every time you move a category.

  • After you have changed it to Manual Update, you must then click the "Select All" button to indicate what indexes you want to change the mode of. Then click "Submit". 

  • You will then see that the mode has been changed to "Manual Update".

  • After the re-indexing has been changed to Manual Update, then you may return to the Catalog>Manage Categories screen and change the categories to the desired order.

  • Once you have moved all of them to the necessary place, return to the Index Management screen (System>Index Management) and re-index the data. Click "Select All" and then click "Submit". This will re-index the data.

  • Remember to always return the re-indexing back to its original settings so that it runs automatically.
  • Change the Index Mode back to "Update on Save", Select All and then Submit.

  • You will see that the "Mode" changes back to "Update on Save".