How to Change Themes in Linux Mint

Make your Linux Mint setup pop by customizing/changing the theme. Here's you can do that.
Warp Terminal

Using Linux Mint is, from the start, a unique experience, because of its flagship desktop environment: Cinnamon. This is one of the main reasons why I love Linux Mint over Ubuntu.

Since Linux Mint’s dev team started to take design more seriously, the “Themes” option has become simpler, but the advance settings still exist to customize the look and feel with greater control. You can change the theme, cursor icons, app icons, and more.

So, how do you do that? Let me tell you about it.

Steps to change themes in Linux Mint

In Linux Mint, you can use the default Themes app to get started. Here, you can either select from the default preset themes or install new third-party themes.

Search for themes in the menu and open the Themes applet.

Open Themes app from the Cinnamon Panel Menu button
Open Themes Application

Latest Cinnamon versions will show you a minimal themes settings window. Here, you can change the themes like Light/Dark mode, Accent Colors, etc.

Simplistic Theme Settings on Cinnamon Themes Application. You can click on “Advanced Settings” to access detailed theme settings.
Default theme Settings

These settings are enough for minimal tweaks. But if you are into more customizations, you can select the “Advanced Settings” button at the bottom of the screen. This will open the full theming application.

Selecting a theme from the themes tab of the Themes application. Here, various application themes are listed.
Various themes on Themes Tab

Here, you can change the Application themes, Panel (Desktop) themes, Icons and Cursor themes.

Suggested Read 📖

8 Reasons Why Linux Mint is Better Than Ubuntu
Linux Mint is better for beginners, but why so? Here are the reasons behind it.

fInstalling third-party themes in Linux Mint from within Themes App

Inside the application, there’s an “Add/Remove” section, pretty simple, right?

Just click on it, and you can see Cinnamon Spices (Cinnamon’s official add-ons' repository) themes ordered first by popularity.

Download the desktop theme from the Cinnamon themes app Add/Remove section.
Download Themes from Themes Application

To install one, all you need to do is click on your preferred one and wait for it to download. Thereafter, the theme will be available at the “Desktop” option under "Themes" section.

And, then, click on one of the installed themes to select it as the new theme.

Select the downloaded theme from the list to apply it.
Apply a Desktop Theme

Here’s the default Linux Mint look:

Default theme on Linux Mint
Default theme on Linux Mint

And here’s after I changed the theme (Semabe Azure Less Transparent):

A new theme is applied to Cinnamon.
New Theme Applied

All the themes are also available at the Cinnamon Spices site for more information and bigger screenshots so you can take a better look at how your system will look before you download/apply them.

Installing third-party themes in Linux Mint from Cinnamon Look

“I saw this amazing theme on another site, and it is not available at Cinnamon Spices…”

Cinnamon Spices has a good collection of themes, but you will still find that the theme you saw some place else is not available on the official Cinnamon website.

Well, it would be nice if there was another way, no? You might imagine that there is and there is.

You can visit Cinnamon Look (you can also use GNOME-Look, more on that below) and browse themes there. If you like something, download it.

Download a theme from Cinnamon Look Website
Download a theme from Cinnamon Look Website

After the preferred theme is downloaded, you will have a compressed file now with all you need for the installation. Extract it and save at ~/.themes. The “~” file path is actually your home folder: /home/{YOURUSER}/.themes.

So, go to your Home directory and press Ctrl+H to show hidden files in Linux. If you don’t see a .themes folder, create a new folder and name .themes. Remember that the dot at the beginning of the folder name is important.

Copy the extracted theme folder from your Downloads directory to the .themes folder in your Home directory.

The extracted theme folders are placed inside the themes directory on Home.
The Themes directory on Home

After that, look for the installed theme on the application tab of the themes app.

Newly added themes are accessible from the respective section of the themes app.
Newly Added Themes
Remember that the themes must be made to work on Cinnamon, even though it is a fork from GNOME, not all themes made for GNOME work on Cinnamon.

You can see that the new theme just changes the entire look of Cinnamon!

A New theme is applied to the desktop and applications in Cinnamon Desktop
A New Theme is Applied

Installing third-party themes in Linux Mint using GNOME-Look

Often the themes found on Cinnamon Looks are a bit outdated or less frequently developed. Developers of many modern GNOME themes also release a theme variant for Cinnamon. While not all themes have it, you can download and check those that have Cinnamon support.

Fluent Round, a modern GNOME theme has a Cinnamon folder, which means, it will work more or less good on Cinnamon.
Fluent Theme has Cinnamon Variant

In the above screenshot, you can see that there is a “Cinnamon” folder inside the popular GNOME theme “Fluent Round”. Thus, if you copy such themes (entire theme folder) to ~/.themes you can apply it to both desktop and applications.

The Fluent Round Light theme is applied to the Cinnamon; both desktop and application themes.
Fluent Round Light Compact Theme Applied

Changing theme is one part of Cinnamon customization. You can also change the look of Linux Mint by changing the icons.

How To Install Icon Themes In Linux Mint Cinnamon [Beginner Tip]
Brief: This quick tutorial for beginners shows how to install and change icon themes in Linux Mint. If you think the default Mint themes and icons are not good enough for you, why not change it? In this quick tip for beginners, we shall see how to install icon themes

Revert Back to Default

Didn’t like the applied setup? You need not worry! You can simply revert it back to the default using one single click.

Open the themes app. By default, you should be on the Simplistic view. Now, from “Custom”, make it “Mint Y”. That’s it. You are back to the default Linux Mint themes.


Reverting the themes back to the default Cinnamon theme.

Wrapping Up

I hope now you know how to change themes in Linux Mint. Which theme are you going to use?

You can also apply themes to Flatpak apps, so that the system get a uniform look everywhere!

Flatpak Apps Look Out of Place? Here’s How to Apply GTK Themes on Flatpak Applications
Flatpak applications don’t play along well with system themes because of their sandbox nature. With a little effort, you can make them work with system themes.

For more customize tips, here is a concise guide on customizing the Cinnamon Desktop:

7 Ways to Customize Cinnamon Desktop in Linux Mint
The traditional Cinnamon desktop can be tweaked to look different and customized for your needs. Here’s how to do that.
This article was originally contributed by João Gondim back in 2020. It was further edited and enhanced by our author to reflect latest information.
About the author


Linux tinkerer by day, Lord of the Rings fanatic by night. When I'm not busy conquering the command line, you can find me kicking back and watching some football while quoting JRR Tolkien

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