Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Hi I am trying to apply a theme to Pidgin in Windows 7 but cannot find out how. I looked here which tells me to place them in:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\GTK\2.0\share\themes

but that didn't work, so I tried:


To no avail. Where do I put them or is there a plugin to do this? The option appears to be available in preferences but iI don't know where to put them so it can detect them.

share|improve this question

6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Have you tried restarting the app after putting the themes in the folder? Sometimes, applications only scan certain plugins or themes folders when they are started.

share|improve this answer
tried this to no avail –  Jonno_FTW Sep 7 '09 at 11:11
Awfully strange behavior, in this case... –  alex Sep 7 '09 at 11:15
Doesn't work for me. If I choose any theme other than MS-Windows, I get a generic bland gray theme. –  Josh Nov 12 '10 at 5:32

Pidgin use to come with a GTK application in which you could select from any of the GTK themes and change your pidgin theme. For some reason unknown to me after pidgin 2.7 it started using a private GTK library and not using the GTK themes the way it did previously. I have only found this information by reading around the net and on the official pidgin wiki so if this info is incorrect I apologize. I am dissappointed by this as well as many people are Im sure because pidgin looks like garbage as an application. At work I use a mac and I have adium and it is much much much much nicer.

share|improve this answer
+1 It's definitely a gotcha. –  Mikel Jan 20 '11 at 1:57

Thanks for the last update. Got me in the right direction.

However for Pidgin Portable, one needs to follow http://portableapps.com/node/23728 Look at the more detailed instructions in the message thread below the main explanation.

share|improve this answer

The instructions you use are speaking about the GTK theme, which only affects the buttons/menus/other controls. (And the GTK theme is set in ~/.gtkrc-2.0 in case you want to change that too.)

Smiley themes should be installed to ~/.purple/smileys/ (%AppData%\.purple\smileys\)

share|improve this answer
I am using Windows. This does does not work. –  Jonno_FTW Sep 8 '09 at 13:18

As Jesse alludes to, your gtkrc is found in C:\Program Files\pidgin\gtk\etc\gtk-2.0 according to the What is a gtkrc file and where can I find it? FAQ entry.

See also: How do I change to look and feel?

share|improve this answer

I know this question is years old, but I stubmled across it recently. Here is a newer tutorial that uses Windows 7 and Pidgin 2.7.9 (which does not come with the GTK stuff installed)


share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.