WordPress themes are helpful tools that make it easier to keep website pages consistent. However, the time inevitably comes when you need to update them. Learning how to remove a theme from WordPress and replace it with a new one makes your life easier (and lets you deal with annoying problems, such as themes taking up all your storage space or posing security risks).
If you want to find out more about WordPress and how it can help build beautiful websites, read our Sofas and Beyond Case Study.
How to Delete a Theme in WordPress
As a tool, WordPress tends to provide web designers with multiple methods for doing the same thing. In this section, we run through the classic way to get rid of a WordPress theme you no longer want installed. We then explore an alternative method in the next section.
Before you get started, make sure that you save a backup copy of your WordPress site. Theme deletion shouldn’t cause a problem but, as always, it is better to err on the side of caution.
First, log into your WordPress dashboard by typing in your domain name followed by /wp-admin. Make sure that you are logging in as an administrator.
Second, navigate to Appearance >> Themes. Here, you’ll see a list of themes already installed on your website. The theme in the top left is the one currently active on your website.
If the theme is currently active on your website, you will need to add a new theme first. You cannot delete a theme that you are already using.
Move your cursor over the theme that you want to delete and click Theme Details. A window will open. Click Delete in the bottom right and then confirm that you want to delete the theme.
Don’t worry if you delete the wrong theme. You can reinstall it later by re-uploading your backup or finding it again in the WordPress themes directory.
How To Delete A Theme Via FTP
If you don’t have administrator privileges for your site but you still want to delete a theme, you can do it via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). FTP lets you change files on your host server without accessing them directly.
First, bring up your FTP client. Then locate the WordPress wp-content folder and then select themes. Find the theme that you want to eliminate, right-click and then select Delete. Do not click delete unless you are sure that the theme is not currently in use on the website.
How To Add a Theme in WordPress
Adding a theme to WordPress manually is easy.
First login to your WordPress account as an administrator. Then go to Appearance >> Themes.
On the Themes page, you’ll see a range of prefabricated themes to choose from. Click Add New and then select the theme you want, clicking Download.
If you want to narrow your search, you can use WordPress’s advanced filter system. Here you can choose themes depending on your subject, website type, or layout.
Once you download the theme you want, click Activate. WordPress will then spend a couple of minutes installing it before telling you that the installation was successful.