How to change theme in KDE 4.3?

ok, I must be missing something obvious or had something go wrong with my install of KDE4.3 using the 11.1 factory repo.

KDE4.3 seems to be working great, no apparent issues or problems so far except one… I don’t see where to change the theme.

Personal Settings->General->Appearance->Style has widget styles but no themes. None of the sections under Appearance have anything to do with changing themes.

Right-clicking the desktop gives a context menu with choices to add widgets or panels, but has no choice for Desktop Settings like KDE4.1 did.

Personal Settings->General->Desktop has sections for Effects and Screen Saver, etc. but nothing at all for themes.

Personal Settings->Advanced->Desktop Theme Details allows customizing themes and downloading/installing new themes, but has no way to choose the current active theme.

How do I change/set the currently active desktop theme in KDE4.3?

Right anywhere on the desktop select Desktop Settings, That should get you on your way.

Yup, exactly.
Missing: click
EDIT: Right click anywhere on the desktop select Desktop Settings, That should get you on your way.

Except as I said, when I right-click on the desktop the context menu does not have any Desktop Settings choice like it did in 4.1. So I assume from both your answers that there is supposed to be a settings choice on that menu, and that there is something wrong with my install of 4.3 since it’s missing.

Is there really no other way to get to the UI for setting the theme? There isn’t supposed to be a section in Personal Settings or another way to get to it? I’ll definitely look into fixing whatever situation I have that causing it to be missing from the desktop context menu, but it seems like an obvious thing to have in the same place as all the other theme. widget, and style to me as well. I always considered the desktop context menu just a shortcut to the appropriate Personal Settings section.

Thanks for the replies and I’ll try reinstalling 4.3 and go from there.

I think in KDE4.3 it is named as Plain desktop settings.
Does this have, when you right click on the desktop.

Hit alt+D, then alt+S in succession (within half a second). That should bring it up as it’s the default keybinding for desktop settings.

Take Care,


Oh, stuff, that actually works!

Let me explain; I’ve been trying the

menu > desktop settings > advanced > desktop theme details

route. Now that route has the appropriate bits and pieces, but they don’t work (for me). You can select a new theme, but the ‘apply’ button remains greyed out and inactive. You can ‘trick’ it, by changing the the theme, changing one of the theme elements and then changing it back again. This way, the ‘apply’ button is not greyed out, but clicking it does nothing.

Now, I remember it working under an early version of kde4, but apparently what I’d forgotten is that the way to get it work was the ‘click on the desktop’ route. I’d assumed that there had just been a regression of some kind.

So, you’ve saved me a mass of time guys, I just wish I’d had chance to see this earlier. Thanks!

BTW, if you want to download new themes, that is only available via the

menu > desktop settings > advanced > desktop theme details

route. And, once you have done that, you have to right click on the desktop to put the theme to use. Maybe 4.3.1 …

Check this out.

Right click on the Desktop then choose Desktop Settings, or use the shortcut I told you alt+d alt+s in succession to get to Desktop Settings.](

Then Under Desktop Theme you choose New Theme.](

The new theme window comes up and you click install on a theme you want to install. Then you click close and the theme is ready for you to use.](](

Used with KDE 4.3 and through all the 4.3 beta’s and 4.3 rc’s.

Unless you’re talking about modifying themes that you currently already have, then i’m an idiot and disregard all of the above :wink:

Take Care,


I did try alt-d alt-s yesterday and it didn’t work, today it does…maybe I was too slow yesterday. Right clicking on the desktop works everytime, though.

It ‘crashed’ (went back to the chooser) when it did a suspend to ram last night, but I’ve made sure to check that out several times today, and it has worked every time since. So, I am writing that one down as ‘unreproducible’ for the minute.

Then Under Desktop Theme you choose New Theme.

I don’t know why I thought this didn’t work from the right-click-on-desktop route. I didn’t see it when I tried it yesterday. Maybe, I was just too like a kid in a sweetshop yesterday, changing things just because I could.

And, today I’m not seeing elevated levels of cpu usage, which was the case yesterday. Maybe, it was just indexing something, although it would be a surprise for that to show up as high levels of kded4 rather than as one of the more well-known indexing tasks.

So far, I am really pleased with 4.3. Really, really pleased (although that could change, if it proves unstable in the longer term). The first time that I’ve felt that the kde 4.x series has come close to fulfilling its potential, and something that I had been hoping for from every release from kde 4.01 onwards.