Changing the default Standard theme in Moodle

When installing and working with Moodle for the first time, the default theme Standard is set as the theme or template for the site. To customize the look of the Moodle site, Moodle 2.3 included 12 different themes that can be used for free. The initial installation of Moodle 2.3 comes with the following themes:

  • Afterburner
  • Arialist
  • Brick
  • Formal white
  • Fusion
  • Magazine
  • MyMobile
  • Nimble
  • Nonzero
  • Overlay
  • Sky High
  • Splash

Themes can be uploaded to the server as well. There are different sites that provide themes for Moodle and some themes can be purchased from software developers. In this tutorial, the themes that were included in Moodle will be discussed. Now lets change the default theme in Moodle to a more palatable theme.

Changing the standard theme in Moodle

  1. Log into the Moodle Dashboard
  2. changing-themes-1-click-moodle

    Navigate to the Site administration > Appearance > Themes > Theme selector in the Settings section on the left.

    Current Theme Device Types
    Default The default theme is the standard theme for the Moodle site. This is what a user or student will see in a standard web browser like Internet Explorer, FireFox, or Safari.
    Legacy The Legacy theme is designed to work in old out of date browsers.
    Mobile This gives the Moodle site the ability to display in common Mobile devices like iPhones.
    Tablet This theme Device type is designed to display the Moodle site specifically for tablets. This is good for sites that require less JavaScript.


    In this tutorial, the standard theme will be changed. In the information column, click the Change Theme button for the standard default theme.

  3. changing-themes-3-select-moodle

    On the Select theme for default device page, select a theme from the list In this case the Afterburner theme will be selected. On the Information column, click the Use Theme button for the Afterburner theme.

  4. changing-themes-4-new-moodle

    On the New theme saved page, basic information about the new theme that was selected will be displayed. Click Continue.

  5. changing-themes-5-final-moodle

    Now when going to the theme selector page the new theme will display in place of the old theme.

Congratulations, the theme for your Moodle site was changed. This concludes the article on Changing the default theme in Moodle. Please check the next article on Changing the Logo and Footer in Moodle themes. For more information about articles about Moodles appearance, please visit Changing the Appearance of Moodle.

Was this article helpful? Let us know!