Should a general guideline for all Stack Exchange sites be that when a topic is renamed, the corresponding tag is renamed to match? I.e., should name synchronization be the default?

Example: Super User has a tag windows-explorer that represents File Explorer in Windows. The tag's name comes from the days prior to Windows 8, when File Explorer was called Windows Explorer. Super User does have a tag , which a synonym. In this example, should the two tags should be reversed, with becoming the main tag and the synonym?

History and update: This question was originally closed as "only applicable to one specific site on the network" with instructions to clarify it if it actually relates to multiple sites. Indeed it does. The example above is just one example. See Rob's comment for other examples from other sites. I've edited the question to clarify its general nature. My intent is to allow people to answer and upvote answers for various resolutions (yes, there should be a general systematic approach, no, there shouldn't be, yes, but only for certain classes of tags, etc.).

  • 4
    This seems like it's a per-site issue, which some sites might want to treat differently, or even make separate decisions on individual tags. You should ask this question on the per-site meta site associated with the site on which you primarily have this issue. While you might want a general answer there, it's also possible to create a question which is specific to the tag and ask for the specific tag to be renamed.
    – Makyen
    Jan 6, 2022 at 19:39
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    @Edward, I see this in the Review Queue being closed for applicable to only one site, but it's applicable to many sites including here: meta.stackexchange.com/q/333728/282094 meta.stackoverflow.com/a/403153/3648282 meta.stackoverflow.com/a/401768/3648282 --- the consensus is "yes" tag name follows product name; though versioning (another question here on meta) is useful for historical questions, particularly where a feature was removed long ago. --- Leave open.
    – Rob
    Feb 4, 2022 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


Yes. Rename the main tag. It should always match the current name of what it represents.

As time progresses, the old name falls into less and less use, making the tag less likely to be meaningful to someone looking at a post. Similarly, tagging a post can be difficult, since only main tags appear (although synonyms are considered in the search).

Keeping old names (such File Explorer, which almost 10 years out of date now) as the main name makes tags feel crusty. When a namesake is renamed, the procedure should not be to create a synonym, but instead to rename the tag and create a synonym for the old name.

  • I'm not an SU regular but if the tag was [windows-explorer] I'd expect it to pertain to the Windows operating system. A "file explorer" is the general concept that Windows Explorer implemented. You can find file explorers in Linux, OS X, and even Android. So, it seems like the tag would be renamed to the more generic concept but expected to only be about the narrower one - only for Windows.
    – VLAZ
    Jan 5, 2022 at 19:36
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    @VLAZ Per the tag info, the [windows-explorer] tag is specific to File Explorer in Windows. There is no tag on Super User for the generic concept of an application that explores or browses files. Such a generic tag may be valuable, but isn't within the scope of this question. Jan 5, 2022 at 20:02
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    That it's mentioned in the tag info is not super relevant. Not everyone reads the tag info, and the fact is that using the more generic File Explorer as the parent tag is more likely to lead to mistaggings in the future. The community there may very well have decided this situation was the better option given that, and if you think it should be different then that is something to discuss on Super User's meta and not here. "Yes" may be good general guidance, but the real answer is "usually yes." There may be circumstances where it doesn't make sense.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jan 5, 2022 at 20:22
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    The issue is some tags are supposed to be used in pairs for example python + enums refers unambiguously to 1 datatype with 700 questions while enums with 20000 questions is a broad concept. In some cases tags are named specifically like python-typing but that needn't be the case. So in the file-explorer example combining that with the OS tag seems like a good choice.
    – bad_coder
    Jan 5, 2022 at 20:25

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