A Joomla 3+ installation comes with two front end templates. These are Protostar and Beez3. Both of these templates will show up in the list in Template Manager. There are also two back end templates that come with your Joomla installation, Isis and Hathor.

When you very first install Joomla, Protostar will be the default front end template and Isis will be the default back end template. These templates will have solid yellow stars indicating that they are the default templates. If some other template has been set to the default, that other template will be the default and have the star.

The default template will be used for all the pages on the front end unless you have specified otherwise.

If you have installed other 3rd party templates, they will also show up in the list in Template Manager.

Multiple templates are allowed with Joomla 3+. With a Joomla 3+ site, you can assign different templates to different pages that are created by Menu Items in Menu Manager. For example, the web developer may want a totally different look for the landing page, and will use one template for that page, but use a different template for interior pages. If this is done, then both templates must remain installed on the site.

If you want to remove a template, be sure that it is not the default template, set another template to be the default if necessary.

If you remove a template and it has been set to be the template on specific pages in the Menu settings, you may find that those pages now have layout problems. You should change those pages to use the default template or another template.

Why remove unused templates?

Templates take up space on your server. You may have space limitations with your hosting company, and wish to remove unneeded folders and files.

When you select positions for your modules, the position list will show every position for every installed template. This can be bothersome and cause problems if you assign a module to a position that doesn't exist for your template. This may be true if you have other administrators contributing to the site that don't understand how template positions work.

You may not want someone to accidentally assign the unused templates to Menu Items. 

Disable a template rather than uninstalling it

You do also have the option to Disable a template if you do not wish to uninstall it.

Disabling the template will make it so the positions for that template do not appear in the dropdown list of position names for the modules.

Disabling the template will also remove the template from the list if available templates in Template Manager and this template will not appear in the dropdown for Template Style when you are creating a Menu Item.

Disabling the template will not remove the folder and files for that template from the Joomla installation.

You can disable the template from Extensions -> Extension Manager -> Manage. Click the check mark next to the template and click on the Disable button above.

Removing unused templates properly

You must take the correct steps to remove templates from your Joomla installation. If you don't take the right steps, if can cause issues.

You can not simply remove the files from the Joomla 3 installation, as the template will still be listed in the database.

You can not just delete the template from Template Manager. It must be uninstalled using Extension Manager -> Manage.

We suggest doing a complete backup of your Joomla site before removing the template, just in case you make a mistake.

Steps to remove an unused Joomla template

template uninstall

♦ Go into Extensions -> Extension Manager -> Manage

♦ Filter the list by - Select Type - and choose Template.

♦ Click on the check box next to the template that you KNOW you won't ever be using. Be careful not to uninstall a template that you are using on your Joomla site.

♦ Click on the Uninstall button up above.

These steps will uninstall the template that you checked.

The template will no longer appear in Template Manager.

The template positions will no longer appear in the dropdown list for modules.

The files for this template will be removed from the Joomla templates folder.

You can reinstall the template through Extension Manager using the proper steps and a zipped file, but any edits or changes that you made to this removed template may be lost.


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