Last updated November 30, 2012. Created on August 23, 2002.
Edited by gtsopour, jhodgdon, ishmael-sanchez, Log in to edit this page.

Once you get Drupal installed and you start to come to terms with it you will probably want to customize the way it looks.

There are several themes which you can download from the Drupal web site which should get you started.

Installing a new theme is very straightforward:

  1. Download a new theme package. Note that themes for different Drupal versions are not compatible, version 5.x themes do not work with Drupal 6.x and reverse.
  2. Read any README or INSTALL files in the package to find out if there are any special steps needed for this theme.
  3. Upload the contents of the theme package to a new directory in the themes directory in your Drupal site. In Drupal 5.x, 6.x & 7.x, you place your themes in /sites/all/themes/yourThemeName
  4. Click administer » themes and enable the new theme (Drupal will auto-detect its presence).
  5. Edit your user preferences and select the new theme. If you want it to be the default theme for all users, check the default box in the themes administration page.

Looking for support? Visit the forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.


nielses’s picture

You might need to enable "choose another theme" under "user permissions", too. Find it at

gbirch’s picture

Possible solutions:
1) Put the site into maintenance mode (in D7 this is at /admin/config/development/maintenance) and THEN flush the cache (in D7 this is at /admin/config/development/performance). Note, there's a weird bug/feature in the theme registry builder such that it does not go looking for new themes when you flush the cache unless the site is in maintenance mode -- found this out the hard way.
2) Check file permissions: Make sure the ownership of the theme folder and files is the same as for the theme folders and files that are recognized. Make sure the permissions are too (generally the folder should be 755, and the files should be 644).

G Birch

mwaqasaziz’s picture

thanks this helped

gmaxwelled’s picture

Also note that dashes are not allowed in theme names, and using them will prevent the theme from being detected. Underscores can be used instead.