A Joomla 3+ installation comes with 4 templates. There are two front-end templates that create the layout and styling for what the visitor sees. There are two templates for the administrative side of Joomla that determine the layout and styling for the back-end.

 The two front-end templates that come with Joomla 3+ are Protostar and Beez3.

The two back-end templates that come with Joomla 3+ are Isis and Hathor.

You may have also installed other 3rd party templates to try them out, but you aren't using them and they still show up in Template Manager.

You may want to remove unused templates for some reason. You may also want to keep these unused templates for other reasons.

Why would I want to remove unused templates for Joomla 3+?

  • You may have restrictions on disk space with your hosting provider.
  • You may not want for you or the other admin people to accidentally switch the site to another template.
  • You may not like having to scroll through the position names when setting up a module.
  • some templates could provide a security risk for your site, even if they are not being used

Why would I want to keep unused templates for Joomla 3+?

  • There might be a situation when something isn't working quite right with your site. You may want to temporarily switch to another template to see if the problem is related to your regular template.
  • There may be admin people that prefer the look and interactivity of one admin template over another.
  • You may want to refer to some of the code from another template to change some of the code with your template because you like how the unused one does a particular function.

Can't I just go into Template Manager and delete the template in there?


This step alone may not remove the template.

In fact you may get a message stating "Cannot delete last style of template".

Even if you do not get that message, clicking on Delete in Template Manager does not completely remove the template folder.

Can I just disable or unpublish the unused template?

You can disable the template. This will keep the files in your templates folders and will allow you to switch back to those templates if need be. You would simply need to Enable them before using them again.

Can't I just remove the template folder in my Joomla files on the server?

Removing the folder does not remove the references to it in the database. It will still show up on the list in Template Manager.

How do I remove or disable an unused template in Joomla 3+?

Before doing these steps, it would be wise to do a complete backup of your site files and database. 

Step 1: In the Administrative Menus, go to:

Extensions -> Extension Manager

Step 2: Click on Manage from the list. This takes you to a long list of all of the extensions, components, plugins and templates installed on your site.

Step 3: In the Filter section, go to the Type pull down selector and select Template

Step 4: You should now see a list of all the templates that are installed.

Step 5 (Option A): To disable the template, chose the check box next to the template name and click on the Disable button at the top.

Step 5 (Option B): To uninstall the template, very carefully check the box next to the template that you want to remove. BE SURE NOT TO SELECT YOUR DEFAULT TEMPLATES! Click on the Uninstall button at the top. You should see a message saying that "Uninstalling template was successful". This step also removes the folder from your Joomla files on the server. Be very careful.