Difference between revisions of "Default theme - What is it and why can't I delete it"

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The short answer is -- because, even if you have several other custom themes installed, these themes almost certainly still depend on files in the default theme.  If you deleted the default theme, none of the other themes would work.  In fact, some kinds of changes you might make to these files could cause some custom themes not to work properly, or make it difficult to install [[modification]]s.
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The [[SMF default theme|default theme]] cannot be deleted because, even if you have several other custom themes installed, these themes almost certainly still depend on files in the default theme.  If you were to delete the SMF default theme, none of the other themes would work.  In fact, you should probably avoid making any changes at all in the [[default theme directory]], because doing so might cause some custom themes not to work properly, or make it difficult to install [[modification]]s.
  
If you don't want your [[member]]s and [[guest]]s to see the default theme, you can set your [[forum default theme]] to the theme you'd like to use. You can even prevent members from switching back to the default theme at [[{{Latest docs}}Themes_and_Layout#Manage and Install|Themes and Layout >> Manage and Install]].
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If you do not want your [[member]]s and [[guest]]s to see the default theme, you can set a different [[forum default theme]]. You can even stop them from seeing the default theme at all, using ''[[{{Latest docs}}Themes_and_Layout#Manage and Install|Themes and Layout >> Manage and Install]]''.
  
Do you want to know more?  Well, there are actually several ways the term "default theme" can be used in SMF.
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If a problem in a custom theme prevents you from using the forum, you will always have the SMF default theme to fall back onJust use '''?theme=1''' in your URL.  If you install a mod that "breaks" the default theme, you either have to get a working set of files back again or use repair_settings.php.  For more on this, please see [[A mod broke my forum]].
 
 
First, there is the [[SMF default theme]] that comes with every fresh SMF install.  It is the look and feel designed for this version of SMF.  Any [[modification]]s you might decide to install will be compatible with the SMF default theme, and some of them may make small changes to the SMF default theme filesThis is theme #1 in your SMF forum.
 
 
 
Second, there is the [[default theme directory]], or Themes/default.  This is where the SMF default theme files are stored.  Any custom [[theme]] you might install is actually a collection of theme templates in a new directory.  If a custom theme does not contain some required files, the software will use the corresponding files from the default theme directory.  The default theme directory is a base or fallback for every other theme.  If the files weren't there (or if they were very much changed), the custom theme would not work as it was designed to do.
 
 
 
Thirdly, there is the [[forum default theme]].  This is what you, as administrator, set as  "overall forum default" at [[{{Latest docs}}Themes_and_Layout#Manage and Install|Themes and Layout >> Manage and Install].  It is the theme guests will see, and the theme [[member]]s will see until they choose one of the other themes you have installed (if you give them permission to do this).
 
 
 
If you mess up customizing a theme and can't use the forum, try again with index.php?theme=1 in your URL.  Because you preserved the default theme in its original state, you have at least one theme that still works.  If you install a mod that "breaks" the default theme, you are going to have to get a working set of files back again.  For more on this, please see [[A_mod_broke_my_forum]]
 
  
 
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[[Category:Customizing SMF]]
 
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Latest revision as of 10:50, 16 July 2016

The default theme cannot be deleted because, even if you have several other custom themes installed, these themes almost certainly still depend on files in the default theme. If you were to delete the SMF default theme, none of the other themes would work. In fact, you should probably avoid making any changes at all in the default theme directory, because doing so might cause some custom themes not to work properly, or make it difficult to install modifications.

If you do not want your members and guests to see the default theme, you can set a different forum default theme. You can even stop them from seeing the default theme at all, using Themes and Layout >> Manage and Install.

If a problem in a custom theme prevents you from using the forum, you will always have the SMF default theme to fall back on. Just use ?theme=1 in your URL. If you install a mod that "breaks" the default theme, you either have to get a working set of files back again or use repair_settings.php. For more on this, please see A mod broke my forum.