How to Select and Install a New Moodle Theme

Themes control the look of the overall site and it also generally include a settings page that allows the administrator to quickly control common configuration settings for branding such as adding custom colors or your organisation’s logo.  On the Theme Selector page, you can assign a default theme for your site and separate themes for older legacy browsers, small screen mobile devices and larger screen tablets. The process for setting a theme is always the same.

Before you begin:

Required Knowledge: Moodle

Required LRM Access: Admin Only


Theme Selector

Different themes may be set according to ‘device type’ – default, legacy (for older browsers), mobile and tablet.

  1. Go to Administration > Site administration > Appearance > Themes > Theme selector
  2. Click on the Select theme button next to the type you wish to change
  3. Scroll down to see the previews of the available themes and click on the Use theme button to chose the theme
  4. The next screen will provide information about the theme. Click Continue

Moodle caches themes so if you don’t immediately see changed settings that you were expecting, click the “Clear theme caches” button at the top of the Theme selector page.


A site administrator who has access to the Moodle code can easily install a new theme Moodle theme. Once installed, the theme will be available via the appropriate site, category, course or activity menu.

Installing a New Theme
  1. Download the zip file of the theme
  2. Extract to its own named folder
  3. Using your FTP program, upload this folder to the /theme folder of your Moodle installation
    • Ensure the new theme folder and its contents are readable by the webserver. Change the Read and Write permissions for the files and folder. Incorrect permissions may prevent display of the newly installed theme.
    • For example in Linux use the CHMOD command in set the permissions to 755 – Owner read/write/execute, Group read/execute, Everyone read/execute.
  4. Go to Site administration > Notifications to see if the new theme requires any decisions or updating of Moodle code.

Now you or others can select the new theme.


Request Wisenet upload an additional theme to the standard selection if your Moodle version is earlier to Moodle 2.5
  1. Log a support request and provide the Moodle.org URL for the theme that you wish to upload
  2. Wisenet will upload the theme to the ‘Theme selector’ module in your database

All versions after Moodle 2.5 support installation of your own plugins. Refer to Installing Plugins


Provide Wisenet with your own theme
  1. Log a support request with Wisenet advising that you wish to provide us with a customised theme for your Moodle database
  2. We will provide instructions on how to send this to us
  3. Wisenet will upload the theme to the ‘Theme selector’ module in your database

NOTE: Wisenet will only install the theme but will not configure or customise your chosen theme.

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