Joomla 1.6 – How to Change/Activate New Template

by Elaine on February 2, 2011

Activating Joomla 1.6 templates is trivial and might not be a topic that is discussed, but I figure there are some people who are new to Joomla 1.6 and might have questions on how to change or activate a new template.    To be clear, there are 2 types of templates you can install in Joomla 1.6, there is the site template and the administrator template.

The Site template is basically the template that users will see when they visit your website.  The front end of your website.  The Administrator template is the template that is used when you access the backend of your website – ie your administrator panel.

After you install your template in the Extensions Manager, proceed to the Template Manager.  The Template Manager can be found here – Extensions, Template Manager.

Here you will see a screen with templates that are already installed on your site.  If you look down the column titled ‘Default‘, you will see 2 stars.  One star is for your site active template and one is your administrator active template.   It is mandatory to have a default site and administrator template.

To change your default template, you simply:

1.  Login to your Joomla 1.6 administrator panel

2.  Click on ‘Extensions’, ‘Template Manager’, ‘Styles’ tab.

3.  Use the checkbox on the side to select the template you want to activate.

4.  Click on ‘Make Default‘ button.  You should see a blue ribbon along the top with a message that says:

Default style successfully set.

This means that you successfully changed your site or administrator template.  After you refresh your Joomla 1.6 website you should see your website with the new template.

 Joomla 1.6   How to Change/Activate New Template


Elaine is the founder of CmsMind, an online blog providing Joomla and Wordpress tutorials. Elaine lives in Toronto and when she is not online, she is either Marathon and Triathlon training or travelling and racing somewhere in the world. Find her also at: Save Money, Premium Themes and Templates, and at Webhosting Tips.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mck August 12, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Thanks a million, it’s so easy to understand. Been looking every how to do this. And NO ONE SAID IT HAD TO BE KEPT IN the ZIP file : )


Elaine August 12, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Hi Mck,
No problem! Glad it helped you.
Thanks for your visit,


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