While the default PrestaShop 1.6 theme is fantastic, some merchants want to customize their site even more with a different theme. Most themes for PrestaShop cost money but there are a few free ones out there as well. Whether you have a paid theme or a free one, installing it is the same. This quick guide will show you how to find and install a new theme for your PrestaShop store.

How to install a theme in PrestaShop 1.6

Installing a theme for your store involves a few steps.

  1. First, you will need to find and download a theme to your local computer.
  2. The next step would be to use the PrestaShop back office to install the theme.
  3. Finally, you will activate the theme within the back office.

Find and download a theme

PrestaShop has many themes to choose from. Most are designed around specific niches, such as Jewelry, Art, or Sports. Others can fit into many categories as they are more generally designed. While there are no specific categories for the more vague ones, they will be found in all categories for which they are relevant.

To find your new theme, visit the PrestaShop theme download page. From here you can select themes by category using the checkboxes on the left hand side. Out of the search results, you can sort them based on name, popularity, or even price. After finding your desired theme, click on the More Details button to open up the download page. Once at the details page, click on the Download button to save it to your local computer. If your selected theme is a paid theme, you will see a Add to Cart button.

Note: If you are not logged into the PrestaShop site, you will see a Register to Download button instead. You will need to login (register if needed) in order to download or purchase your theme.

Installing the theme via the Back Office

Once the theme has been downloaded to your computer, you are now ready to install it to PrestaShop via the admin dashboard.

  1. Log into your PrestaShop 1.6 back office.
  2. Using the left hand side menu, click on the Preferences link and then the Themes option.
  3. This leads you to the Theme page. Click on the Add New Theme button found at the top right corner.
  4. From the Import Theme page, use click the Add File button in the Import from your Computer section. This allows you to select the file you downloaded earlier from your local computer.
  5. Once you have added the file, click on the Save button in the lower right corner of the section.

Activating themes in PrestaShop 1.6

After your theme has been installed you will be taken back to the main Theme screen. You will see the themes listed at the top of the screen. This listing gives a summary of several features of all installed themes. These can be used for comparison in deciding which theme to make active. Below this area is a thumbnail of each theme. The active theme will have a selected radio button. To activate a different theme, simply select the radio button next to it's name.

After selecting the new theme, click the Save button. You can then visit your site and see the new theme in action.

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n/a Points
2014-04-30 12:36 pm


    Please give a hint on why do i get the message "Bad configuration file" after i choose a zip file for installing a presta theme? It should not appear regardles of the theme; by the way, i tried to add a zip for a presta 1.5 theme.

I really need an answer.

Best regards !

9,968 Points
2014-04-30 2:57 pm
Hello Mary, and thanks for the comment.

Where did you download the PrestaShop theme from that you are trying to install and get the Bad configuration file error?

If you are trying to install a PrestaShop 1.5 theme the steps are a bit different. You'd want to extract the files in the theme's .zip file onto the server into the /themes/ folder in order for PrestaShop to be able to read it.

- Jacob
n/a Points
2014-06-11 7:06 pm

I've tried a lot and nothing seems to work, I instaled a theme called aries bought on themeforrest. It kind of shows up after instalation/activation but ther is no home slider, no menu, no logo bar etc etc.. Ive found the main banner module (pos_slideshow) and activateted it, created a couple of slides, and npthing.. Hope you guys can help. Ive tried the developer at the site bt no reply and im really in a hurry. Thanxs

my site: www.carlex.com.mx/shop/

The demo: http://demo.posthemes.com/pos_aries/index.php

9,162 Points
2014-06-12 7:59 am
Many premium themes require additional settings that are specific to the theme to enable various options. I recommend completely following the documentation included with the theme to activate all features.
n/a Points
2014-07-02 12:01 pm


I am using the theme default-bootstrap and am unable to change the logo, its there in the left hand top side in the back office but won't change it on the theme.  I have tried all the steps above.



19,427 Points
2014-07-02 12:51 pm
Hello Jo,

I am not sure what you mean by the instructions here having to do with your logo. Did you mean you followed the instructions from this article?

I tested according to that article on my own test account and it worked without any error. Are you getting any specific error messages when trying to do that?

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2014-07-04 1:08 pm

Hi Scott, 

Many thanks for getting back to me I have tried various things but cannot change the logo, any ideas?



9,968 Points
2014-07-04 1:37 pm
Hello Jo,

When you attempt to upload your new login in the PrestaShop dashboard, do you see the preview of the image there and it's just not making it to your main site?

How large and what size and format is the logo that you're attempting to load? What exactly is happening when you attempt to change the logo, are you getting any errors?

You might want to try to go to Preferences > Performance and look to turn off any form of caching to ensure that isn't causing your problems.

- Jacob
n/a Points
2014-08-27 8:09 am

can you please tell me how to create custom theme for prestashop. i create my website in html and css now i want to convert it into prestashop. i already installed prestashop but it have default theme.



so please help me out

19,427 Points
2014-08-27 10:56 am
Hello Samar,

We currently do not have any articles on creating custom PrestaShop themes. That may be something we write in the future. Also, it will be vastly different from creating an HTML theme, as it uses abstract php code along with HTML and CSS. For now, you may find some good tutorials on sites such as YouTube.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2014-10-09 3:15 pm

I got presta

1. I got bad configuration error when installing a new free theme from downloaded ZIP file...

2. i did FTP as well with filezilla and place the new unzipped theme in the same themes directory as bootstrap  default prestashop theme but I dont see it in themes ... strange at least  presta should see this new theme?

please help

n/a Points
2014-10-09 3:27 pm


I tried to install free elegant theme but that is for presta 1.5 . Is the theme version also part of the problem regarding bad configuration error??

17,273 Points
2014-10-09 4:37 pm
Hello Peter,

Sorry to hear that you're having problems with the theme. If you are installing a 1.5 theme on a PrestaShop 1.6 installation, then yes, you will have problems. PrestaShop 1.6's design is much different from the 1.5. Contact the theme's developer to see if you can an updated theme.

Kindest regards,
Arnel C.
n/a Points
2014-10-09 6:12 pm


I tried to install free 1.6 theme sound-theme.zip. I still get bad configuration file error . can someone really help?

17,273 Points
2014-10-09 6:40 pm
Hello Peter,

Sorry you're still having problems with loading a theme. We need more details on the error you're getting when installing the theme. Where are you getting the theme from? We can look at the theme installation here if you can provide more information. If you want more information on turning on error reporting, please see Enabling Error Reporting in PrestaShop 1.6.

If you can provide is a little more information, then we can investigate the issue for you in more depth.

Kindest regards,
Arnel C.
n/a Points
2014-10-10 5:10 am

Sorry this is no help. Not wasting my time on presta. I try other shopping modules. Thank u

9,525 Points
2014-10-10 8:37 am
Hello peter,

Thank you for your comment. If you do not like PrestaShop, OpenCart is a very popular alternative E-commerce option.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.

Thank you,

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