How To Delete Unused Themes In WordPress – With Pictures!

By | September 18, 2016

Have you ever wondered how to delete unused themes in WordPress?How to delete unused themes in WordPress

Howdy everyone and welcome back!

In today’s post we will do a quick tutorial on deleting those old themes that are sitting around collecting dust for no good reason.

We will also discuss some reasons why you should.

Let’s think of it as doing a little house cleaning to help improve our sites performance and our visitors’ experience during their visits.

So without further ado, let’s jump right in.


How to delete unused themes in WordPress.

When you first start a new website, you will probably install many different themes before you finally settle on the one that meets your needs and decide it’s the one you just gotta have.

I know that when I first started out I went through at least 10 different themes before I finally settled on the one I liked the best.

What I didn’t know at the time, was that keeping those old themes laying around could have some negative impacts. I also had no idea how to get rid of them.

So I did some searching and started asking some questions of my community.

I came to find out that it is really quite simple, so I thought I would put this post together for anyone struggling with how to delete unused themes in WordPress.

I have also added screenshots to help clarify the steps.

Step #1

Let’s head over to our WordPress dashboard. In the menu on the left you will see “Appearance.”

Hover your mouse over “Appearance” and a new menu will pop up with “Themes” at the top.

Click on “Themes.”

How to delete unused themes in WordPress

Step #2

After clicking on “Themes” we will be brought to that creepy old library where all those unused themes are gathering dust. If you have been creating websites for a while, there’s probably a good chance that you will have a dozen or more of them laying around in the library.

As you can see in the image below, the theme I am currently using is the Iconic One theme. The theme you are currently using will be noted as “Active.”

Note* Your current active theme will not have a delete option. To delete a theme it must be inactive.

I uploaded the 2016 theme to show how we will go about deleting your unused themes.

Hover over your unused theme and a box will pop up that says “Theme Details.”

Go ahead and click on it.

how to delete unused themes in WordPress

Step #3

After clicking on “Theme Details,” we will be brought to our theme details page where we have three options; take a live preview of how your site would look if you were to activate this theme, actually activate the theme, or delete the theme.

Since we are here to get rid of some dead weight, let’s go ahead and hit the delete button.

How to delete unused themes in WordPress

You can delete all of your unused themes the same way.

Let’s face it. When we first started off, we experimented with a lot of different themes.

But truth be told, we only really need one.

If you are just starting out and you’re still on the fence about which theme you will ultimately go with, then by all means keep them in your library. Just be sure to keep them updated.

But if you are confident you have found the one you plan to run with, then there is simply no reason to keep the others laying around.

Next up, we will discuss some of the reasons why you should get rid of those unused themes.

Why you should delete unused themes.

#1 – Vulnerability to viruses and those pesky bots that we all know and hate!

If you have unused themes laying around, at a bare minimum try to keep them updated.

Often times when themes are old, theme developers stop issuing updates. This leaves your site vulnerable to viruses and could open a doorway right into your website’s back office. Not Good!

I don’t like worrying about it and I got tired of the constant updates, so see ya later old unused themes!

#2 – Bloated back up files.

Wherever you decide to send your site’s back up files to, having all those unused themes going along with them is only going to slow down the back up process and increase the size of your back up file for no reason.

#3 – Increase site load times.

Having a bunch of unwanted and unused themes laying around can slow down your page load times.

Slow load times annoy your visitors, so you want to do everything you can to keep your load times quick, and kicking those unused themes out will help.

#4 – Save some time.

There is no reason to have to continuously update those old themes.

You should be writing! 🙂

How to delete unused themes in WordPress – Wrap it up.

These are just a few reasons to delete those unused themes.

The bottom line is that they serve no purpose for you anymore, but they do present a gateway for hackers and other unwanted vermin.

Some people like to keep the latest default theme from WordPress as a backup for their active theme. This is perfectly fine, as long as you keep it updated.

Even if you accidentally delete a theme you wanted to keep, don’t panic. They can easily be uploaded back into your theme directory.

Think of those old unused themes as unwanted clutter. Your website has a lot of things going on at all times, so why not give it a break and do a little housekeeping.

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I hope you found this article on how to delete unused themes in WordPress helpful.

If you have any questions or need a hand with anything, leave a comment below and I will be happy to help.

Thanks for stopping by ~Jeremy

Together we will succeed!

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