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How to change your Theme Name in a Joomla Site

In this tutorial, we will be explaining how you can change your Joomla Theme name.

You can acomplish that in two ways:
Option 1 - Changing it through the admin dashboard - Usually longer than Option 2.
Option 2 - Renaming the theme/template folder along with some files in your local Desk Top.

Option 1 - Changing Joomla Theme Name in the Joomla Admin Dashboard

  1. Log into your Joomla admin panel and navigate to Extensions -> Template manager section. You’ll see a list of available themes there.
  2. Click on the Theme you would like to rename from the list (we are renaming the Beez3 Template - just for testing purposes). Edit title field value and save changes.
  3. Now, click on Templates at the top left to see the list of templates that are installed in your site. You can also click on template title in Template manager section to get there. Then click on the just renamed Theme / Template.
  4. It will display a list of files and folders that you will open for editing.
  5. Open themeDetails.xml file by selecting it from the list in the left column. Replace all occurrences of “Beez3” with your newthemename in templateDetails.xml file. Save the file after editing:
  6. Click on Copy Template button at the top. Insert your new template name (the same as the one you have stated in themeDetails.xml file). Go back to Templates section to see your newly created template:
  7. Navigate to Styles section pressing the appropriate button on the top left. You will see a new template appearing in the list there. Press the star icon near its title to make this theme active on your site:

Cons in changing Theme Name from the Joomla Admin Dashboard

Sometimes, the above mentioned steps aren’t enough. You may also need to replace the old Theme Name with the New One by editing the site's Database.

How to edit a Database:

  1. Login into your Control Panel and locate phpMyAdmin.
  2. Click the phpMyAdmin and then from the left side, click on the DB you are about to export so it can be populated. You will see a list of tables displayed on the main page.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and then tick on Check All box.
  4. Once you have selected all the tables, proceed to export it as SQL format by clicking the export button located at the top of the page as shown below:
  5. Open the SQL file with any code editor like Notepad ++ to replace the Old Theme Name with the New One and save it.
  6. Import the SQL file back to the database. Make sure you drop all the tables before proceeding.
  7. Rename “old Theme” folder to “mynewtheme” on the server in the /templates directory.
  8. Navigate to templates\newtheme\languages and make sure language files in “en-GB” and other language folders you have in /language directory are named accordingly.
  9. For example, in “en-GB” folder: rename en-GB.tpl_oldthemename.ini to en-GB.tpl_mynewtheme.ini, rename en-GB.tpl_oldthemename.sys.ini to en-GB.tpl_mynewtheme.sys.ini

  10. Go back to Template manager section. You should have your new theme there like on the screenshot below:

Option 2 - Renaming the theme/template folder along with some files in your local Desk Top

Renaming a Joomla Theme/Template is not a complicated thing. It can be done in a few easy steps if you know what you are doing, but if not, we are here to guide you.

The only problem with it is that, when you are renaming a template, you will not be able to upgrade the new version of the template for improvements & bug fixes made by the developer since the upgrade is based on template name.

So to get started, let's assume that you got either a free or a paid Joomla Template in a zip file from a developer and then you decide to rename it for whatever reason.

Below are the steps you will need to follow:

  1. Unzip and rename the file you just downloaded in your local pc to whatever name you wish to give it, keeping in mind that it must all be in lower cases.
  2. Open the folder and locate a file called templateDetails.xml and open it with your favorite code editor. By preference we use Notepad ++
  3. Now, replace all occurrences of “old_theme_name” with your new_theme_name in templateDetails.xml file. Save the file after editing:
  4. Update language file names and also within the content itself if needed.
  5. Update template information (optional)
  6. The template info is shown in the template dashboard and it is defined in the language file en-GB.tpl_new_theme_name.ini. The info you can update includes the template name, template description.

  7. Update template thumbnail image
  8. You can replace the template thumbnail image by replacing the 2 images:

    • template_preview.png
    • template_thumbnail.png

  9. Install the template
  10. This step will require you to compress the template folder to .zip file and install to your Joomla website as normal Joomla template.


    Not all Joomla Templates you download or purchase from your developer are opened to be renamed. Some of the themes will require your developer to guide you so it can be done the best way possible.

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