There are two ways to add a theme to Orchard. The first and easiest is to use the Gallery tab on the Themes page in the dashboard to browse and install themes from an online feed of available themes. The second is to go to the dashboard Themes page and click the link to install a theme, which allows you to browse for a theme package on your local computer and install it.

Note If your site is running under IIS, make sure you have granted read/write permissions to the ~/Themes folder under the root of your site for the service account that is being used as the IIS application pool identity. However, you should remove the write permissions on a production server.

Installing a Theme from the Gallery

When the gallery feature is enabled, as it is by default in Orchard, a Gallery tab appears at the top of the both the Themes screen and the Modules screen in the dashboard.


If the gallery feature has been disabled, there will be no Gallery tab visible in the Themes or Modules dashboard screens. To enable a disabled gallery, click Modules in the dashboard, and click Enable on the Gallery feature.

In the Themes screen of the dashboard, click the Gallery tab. A set of themes appears with a pair of Install and Download links next to each theme.

To install a theme in your site, click the Install link next to the theme. Installing a theme adds it to your site in the Available list of themes on the Themes page in the dashboard. From there, you can preview a theme or set it as the current site theme, as described Previewing and Applying a Theme.

Installing a Theme from your Local Computer

To install a theme from your local computer, in the Themes screen of the dashboard, click the link to Install a theme from your computer. This displays a screen that lets you install a theme.

Browse to a local package file that contains a theme (the file will have a .nupkg extension), select it, and then click Install. The theme package is installed in your site, and you will see the theme listed in the Available section of the Themes screen.

Note A theme contains a number of files and folders packaged in a ZIP file that has a .nupkg file extension. The packaging feature is provided by the NuGet package management system. Packaging themes and other add-ons is beyond the scope of this topic, but you can learn more at

The following illustration shows the Terra theme, which was previously downloaded to the local computer from the Gallery, after clicking the Install a theme from your computer link and installing it to an Orchard site. The installed theme appears in the Available section.

To use an example theme to test this feature, download an existing theme from the Gallery tab on the Themes page, then browse to the saved .nupkg file on your computer and install it as described previously.

When a theme is installed, the theme files are placed in the ~/Themes folder. You can see the installed themes in your site by checking the Available section on the Themes page in the dashboard. For more information about how to preview themes and apply them to your site, see Previewing and Applying a Theme.

Change History

  • Updates for Orchard 1.1
    • 3-21-11: Updated screen shots and text for installing themes.