My Zorin Lite theme went light automatically and I can't change it anymore

So I was using my Zorin OS 16 Lite and wanted to customize it. When I searched for themes and found one, in the instructions it was written to extract theme files into
which I did. It did not produce any change and I couldn't find it in the Zorin Appearance as well. I restarted my PC and then everything went light mode as you can see in the screenshots below. Couldn't find window actions (close, minimize, maximize) bar and I am not able to change it now. Please help.

In /usr/share/thmes, not in ~/usr/share/themes...

Move the extracted theme you downloaded either into ~/.themes
or in Root

Open Zorin Appearance > themes > other
In this page, select your theme for Applications and for Window manager.

Turns out, default theme is only working on root (in the screenshot below) and the buttons in 'other' tab for zorin appearance are unclickable.

Also, the themes folder is unavailable for non-root user and applications. I think that's making the ultimate problem.


Themes in Root /usr/share/themes will apply system wide, not only to root.
I have no idea why the "other" tab is unclickable in your Zorin Appearance.
Can you please tap alt+F2 and enter in

Under the Appearance option, scroll through the list to your preferred theme and select it.
On the bottom toolbar, you will see a button marked all settings - click that.
Now go to Window Manager and choose the same theme for Window Borders.

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And yeah I still can't see any themes in window manager

What is that Window?

Kunal, to install a gtk theme, you need only extract it to the directory. Either ~/.themes or /usr/share/themes
To perform in Root... You always must elevate your permissions to Root.
This does not mean that themes installed in Root only show up in Root.

Did you perform the steps I suggested above?

What is the theme And can you link to it?

When the appearance window opened
I clicked on add which further asked me to select theme file.

Using this theme:

Your screenshot shows no other gtk themes. Is this accurate? Does your appearance tab off Zero Themes?

Yes, I still think it's because of the themes folder having a red cross marked next to it.

Can you show this emblem in a screenshot?


it is only accessible in root


otherwise when i click on it this message appears

There is a lot going on here... that does not make sense to me. There may be some history you can fill us in on.

Do you have more than one User Account on the machine?

  • /usr/share/themes should be populated with a large number of default themes and Zorin themes. I see only one in yours: Zorin-purple-dark.
    Where are all the rest?

  • /usr/share/themes should be accessible, but without write access. That emblem should not be there.

Can you Open your file manager in root;

sudo -i


Navigate to /usr/share and then right click the Themes Directory.
Move to the last "Permissions" tab.
Owner should be "Root"
Access should be "Read & Write"
Group: "Root"
Access for group: "Read Only"
Access: "Read Only"

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No. Only 1

I deleted them all (using root thunar) and left only the ones I am going to use because I was confused on what to do.


when I am changing those settings like you've said:

should I skip it?

You can click skip on those.

I did everything but

Oh wait, I went to Zorin Appearance and I think everything is working correctly now.

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I am really sorry for disturbing you so much, and I really thank you for your help!

While it may seem safe to remove Adwaita and the other themes... It can comeback to haunt you later. Many themes fallback to Adwaita.
Plus the Zorin themes.
You can make restoring all the default themes, etc. easy with

sudo apt install --reinstall zorin-os-lite-desktop


Oh Okay, thanks a lot again for all your help and I will keep it this command in mind!