How to Change Your Active WordPress Theme

How to Change Your Active WordPress Theme


The appearance and functionality of your WordPress website largely depend on the theme you choose. While WordPress provides a simple way to switch themes through the admin dashboard, there are instances where you might need to change your active theme directly through the database. This article will guide you through the process, ensuring you don’t lose any data in the transition. We’ll also explore where WordPress themes are stored in the database and offer specific instructions for changing themes on GoDaddy.

WordPress themes are pivotal in the allure of WordPress as a website platform. However, there are instances when pieces can become problematic, causing conflicts with plugins or other site elements. Changing your active theme is often the go-to solution for such issues. Yet, if you find yourself locked out of your dashboard due to an error, fear not. Some workarounds allow you to switch themes via the database swiftly. This article will explore scenarios that may necessitate this action and provide a step-by-step guide in three simple stages. Let’s dive in!

Stage 1: Access Your Database with phpMyAdmin

When confronted with a WordPress theme issue, the first step is to access your website’s database through phpMyAdmin. You can usually find phpMyAdmin within your hosting provider’s control panel. Once inside, look for the database associated with your website.


Stage 2: Locate WordPress Theme Data in the Database

WordPress stores all site information in its database, including the active theme. Your task is to pinpoint where this crucial theme data resides. In most cases, this information is stored in a table named ‘wp_options,’ However, some hosting providers alter database and table prefixes for security reasons. To make things easier, click ‘Show all’ on the ‘wp_options’ table page to display all rows at once. Then, use your browser’s search function to locate the ‘template’ value under the ‘option_name’ column.


Stage 3: Change Your Active Theme

It’s time to edit the ‘template’ and ‘stylesheet’ values associated with your active theme. However, it’s important to note that you can’t simply type in the full name of your desired music. WordPress requires a specific value format. To find this value, you can use one of two methods:


  1. Development Log (For Themes on If your desired theme is available on the theme repository, visit its page and look for the ‘Development Log’ under the ‘Browse the Code’ section. Here, you’ll find the theme’s development name and the value you must use in the database.
  2. FTP Directory Check: Alternatively, you can access your website via FTP and navigate to the ‘public_html/wp-content/themes’ directory. Each theme folder’s name here represents the value you should enter in the database. For instance, if you want to switch to the Divi theme, use ‘divi’ as the value.

Once you’ve determined the correct value, return to your database and click ‘Edit’ next to the ‘template’ row. Replace the ‘option_value’ with your chosen theme value (e.g., ‘divi’) and click ‘Go’ to save the changes. Repeat this process for the ‘stylesheet’ row in the ‘wp_options’ table. Your website should now be using the newly selected theme.

How do I change the active theme in the WordPress database?

Changing your active theme through the database might seem technical, but it can be essential if you encounter theme-related issues that prevent you from accessing your admin dashboard. Here’s a step-by-step guide:


  1. Accessing Your Database: Log in to your hosting account and access phpMyAdmin, a popular database management tool.
  2. Select Your WordPress Database: Locate and select the database associated with your WordPress site from the left-hand side.
  3. Find the wp_options Table: Find and click on the “wp_options” table in the list of tables. This table stores various settings for your WordPress site.
  4. Locate the Active Theme Option: Within the “wp_options” table, look for the option named “template” or “stylesheet.” These options typically contain the name of your active theme.
  5. Edit the Value: Click the “Edit” button beside your chosen option. In the field that appears, replace the current theme’s name with the name of the new music you want to activate.
  6. Save Changes: Save your changes, and your new theme is active.

How do I change my WordPress theme without losing data?

Changing your WordPress theme shouldn’t lead to data loss, but it’s essential to take some precautions:

  1. Backup Your Website: Before making any changes, create a complete backup of your website, including the database. You can use plugins like UpdraftPlus or your hosting provider’s backup tools.
  2. Check Theme Compatibility: Ensure the new theme you want to switch to is compatible with your current WordPress version and plugins.
  3. Test on a Staging Site: If possible, set up a staging site to test the new theme’s functionality and appearance before applying changes to your live site.
  4. Document Customizations: If you’ve customized your current theme, note those customizations so you can replicate them in the new music.

Following these steps, you can change your WordPress theme without losing vital data or functionality.

Where WordPress Themes are Stored in the Database

Where are WordPress themes stored in the database?

As mentioned earlier, WordPress themes are stored in the database within the “wp_options” table. The “template” and “stylesheet” options hold the names of your active article, making it easy to change themes through the database.

Changing Themes on GoDaddy

If you’re hosting your WordPress site on GoDaddy, changing your theme through the database remains similar to the earlier steps. However, GoDaddy provides a user-friendly control panel:

  1. Log in to GoDaddy: Access your GoDaddy hosting account.
  2. Navigate to Databases: Locate and click on your account’s “Databases” section.
  3. Access phpMyAdmin: Find your WordPress database and click the “phpMyAdmin” link to open the database management tool.
  4. Edit Theme Option: Follow the earlier steps to locate and edit the active theme option within the “wp_options” table.
  5. Save Changes: Save your changes, and the new theme will be activated on your GoDaddy-hosted WordPress site.


Changing your active WordPress theme through the database is a straightforward process that can help you regain control of your website’s appearance and functionality in case of theme-related issues. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can switch themes without losing data or causing disruptions to your website. Remember to back up your site before making any changes, and always choose pieces compatible with your WordPress version and plugins.

For more insights into WordPress and website management, check out our article on React JS for WordPress Users: A Basic Introduction.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this guide has helped you manage your WordPress theme effectively. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need further assistance.

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