Learn How to Install a Theme in Drupal 8

by Hamza Zia  April 22, 2017

After the initial installation of your Drupal site is complete, you will want to begin making it your own. One of the first things people do to customize their site is to find and upload a theme. This tutorial demonstrates  how to install theme in Drupal 8.


Here are the steps involved in this process:

Login to Admin Dashboard

Login into your Drupal 8 administrative dashboard. This will be your site URL with /admin appended at the end. For example: http://example.com/admin

Login to Drupal Admin Dashboard

Enter your  username and password in the respective fields. If you do not remember your password,  you can request a new one to be sent to your email address by clicking on the Request new password link.

Login to Drupal Admin Dashboard

Enter Management Sub-Menu

If you do not see a submenu under the main menu bar, select Manage from the top menu bar.

Manage menu Drupal

Enter Appearance Tab

Next, click on Appearance from the secondary menu .

Enter Appearance Tab Drupal

Select File to Download

When you have found the theme you wish to install, go to the Downloads area on the theme page and click on zip file to  be downloaded. Be sure to choose the appropriate version for the theme. 

Drupal theme download

Then click on the Install New Theme link found at the top of the page.

Install Theme

On the install page, you can either enter the URL of the theme’s zip file or use the Browse button next to the Upload a module or theme archive to install field to find and upload the file from your PC. The field should reflect the path to the folder where you downloaded the zip file.

Install Theme drupal

You can also upload a theme through FTP or File Manager. This uploads the files directly to the Theme directory, locates it in the root.

Successful Installation

Click the Install button to upload and install the theme. Once completed, you should get a success message. 

drupal theme installation

Activate Theme

You can now return to your Drupal 8 admin and go to the Appearance page where you will now see the new theme listed.

activate theme in drupal 8

Click on  Set Default to make it the active theme.

You can now enjoy your new theme!


In this tutorial, I discussed several ways of transferring third-party themes to your Drupal 8 website. I hope you now know how to install theme in Drupal 8. If you’ve run into any trouble, feel free to contact me for advice.

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About Hamza Zia

Hamza is a Drupal Community Manager at Cloudways – A Managed Drupal Hosting Platform. He loves to write about Drupal and related topics. During his free time, he can be seen obsessing over Football, Cars, Android and Gaming.

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