A couple months ago I wrote an article on how to theme Pidgin in Windows; Around the time Pidgin 2.7.0 was released GTK+ stand alone was removed from the package and replaced with private GTK+ Runtime making it a little more difficult to apply a theme to Pidgin.

What you will need:

 

Step 1: Install Pidgin
Step 2: Extract the two zip files downloaded earlier to a temporary directory.
Step 3: Copy the folder lib and share from the GTK+ Themes.zip to [Pidgin Installation Directory]\Gtk\ directory (These folders should exist so merge/replace them.)
Step 4: Copy the gtk2_prefs.exe from the GTK Theme Switcher zip file into your [Pidgin Installation Directory]\Gtk\bin\ directory.
Step 5: Find and download a theme – (Here)
Note: Take note of the theme name. You may know of a different site. If you want, post the link in the comments.
Step 6: Extract the theme zip file to [Pidgin Installation Directory]\Gtk\share\themes\
Step 7: You can now run the gtk2_prefs.exe to choose a theme. ([Pidgin Installation Directory]\Gtk\bin\) Select your theme in the new window and use the “Apply for all users” checkbox so that the changes are made to Pidgin’s private GTK+ runtime.
Step 8: Restart or open Pidgin and you should see your new theme.

If you want to customize the theme a bit further you can use a built in plugin to control more aspects of your theme. (Notably Text, Link and different colors across Pidgin)

Step 9: Open the Pidgin Buddy list.
Step 10: At the top menu click Tools\Plugins
Step 11: Scroll down to Pidgin GTK+ Theme Control and check it so it is active.
Step 12: Now with Pidgin GTK+ Theme Control selected click the button Configure Plugin along the bottom of the window.
I’m not going to go in to detail on how to configure the colors

Any feedback you have is 100% encouraged.

 

Update: 7/20/2012

If you have problems with this guide on newer versions of Pidgin, let me know and I will look in to writing a new guide if necessary

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45 Responses to “Guide: Theme Pidgin in Windows (Updated)”

  1. awesome , thanks , used this instruction with Pidgin 2.7.3 , works like a charm.

    [Reply]

    James Kaczynski II Reply:

    @Peter Shalson, I’m glad it worked for you.

    [Reply]

  2. [...] Step 9: Buka Pidgin Buddy list. Step 10: Pilih menu Tools lalu submenu Plugins Step 11: Cari Pidgin GTK+ Theme Control dan cek checkbox.nya. Step 12: Setelah Pidgin GTK+ Theme Control dipilih click tombol Configure Plugin. Silakan mengedit sesuka hati. [sumber] [...]

  3. Adam says:

    Big thx! It works for me very well !

    [Reply]

    James Kaczynski II Reply:

    @Adam, I’m glad that worked out.

    [Reply]

  4. Salomanuel says:

    thanks, finally it worked
    I spent the whole afternoon trying to work it out, but it’s only with the thank of your guide that I did it

    btw, I hate linux stuff AND PEOPLE, everyone says, “go search over google or go to the faqs”
    and, obviously, on pidgin website there is a procedure that doesn’t works

    post this to the pidgin creators and tell them to write that (or link here) on the faqs

    [Reply]

    James Kaczynski II Reply:

    @Salomanuel, Ha, I know exactly how you feel, it took me forever to figure out how to do it originally. It’s much more complicated then it needs to be.

    I had to dig though the pidgin site and some forums among other things to find this out, it is on pidgin somewhere but it’s buried, very buried.

    But thank you for the positive response.

    [Reply]

  5. Elanor says:

    You’re awesome thanks for this.

    [Reply]

  6. blueGIRL says:

    I have a problem… in the window from where i must select my theme, it appears only 2 themes…and none of them is the one I want…

    [Reply]

    Jimmy Reply:

    @blueGIRL, Do you know what version you are currently running? theres a link in the above article for the older version, the instructions are a bit different.

    [Reply]

  7. FiendKing04 says:

    I looked all over for Pidgin’s official page for this, and came across this. Works exactly as the official one, if not better. Many thanks!

    [Reply]

    Jimmy Reply:

    @FiendKing04, Thank you, glad it worked out.

    [Reply]

  8. Stuart says:

    I still cannot locate the theme loader. I restarted Pidgin and there are still no options unde theme in preferences to choose any theme other than the original. What am I doing wrong exactly?

    [Reply]

    Jimmy Reply:

    @Stuart, Did you follow all the steps above and are you on a older version of pidgin? for older versions the instructions are different, theres a link in the article.

    [Reply]

  9. Mike says:

    Awesome instructions. Like the users above, it took me forever to find a way to re-theme Pidgin. Worked like a charm. This should be posted on their official site.

    [Reply]

  10. lamda says:

    awesome guide! 5th search result in “pidgin buddy list theme” query! you should be first

    [Reply]

  11. Loree says:

    Works fine.Nice guide.agreed whit lamba and Thank you.

    [Reply]

  12. Zephyriala says:

    This doesn’t work for me. I’m running 2.7.11 and when I try to run the gtk2_prefs.exe file, it says that ” This application has failed to start because libatk-1.0-0.dll was not found.” What do I do?

    [Reply]

    a3dollabil Reply:

    @Zephyriala,

    Copy that into the Pidgin/Gtk/bin folder, where the .dll is located.

    [Reply]

    Hypercardiac Reply:

    @a3dollabil, Thank you Thank you! I was having the same issue and FINALLY got it to work after moving it! :c)

    [Reply]

  13. zarpex says:

    can’t thank you enough. i’ve been searching for hours and hours and finally it worked. thanks again!

    [Reply]

  14. poop says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. I cannot believe how convoluted it is just to change the themes in Pidgin.

    [Reply]

  15. ARSeNIK says:

    it works great sir. thnx!

    [Reply]

  16. Prem says:

    Gr8 work…. Wonderful help… Thanks a lot…

    [Reply]

  17. Unknown says:

    Spent an unbelielevable amount of time looking for such information all over, so thank you for this guide!

    [Reply]

  18. FiendKing04 says:

    Just upgraded to Pidgin 2,9,0 and it erased all of my Gtk+ information and I found this website, followed the instructions again, and sure enough, it worked again, even two versions later! Many thanks!

    [Reply]

  19. Billy says:

    I followed the steps you gave on a fresh install of Pidgin but they didn’t work. I’m stuck with a grey theme and the theme chooser can’t find any other themes.

    Here’s what the theme chooser window looks like after I went through the steps: http://i.imgur.com/QXTMh.png

    Pidgin has a similar bland grey theme.

    Is there something I’m doing wrong?

    [Reply]

  20. tramadol cat says:

    RkHbJS mumbo jumbo

    [Reply]

  21. Ethan says:

    If it’s not working make sure you rename your “gtkrc-2.0″ file. gtkrc-2.0 is located in your user directory on Windows 7.

    [Reply]

  22. James says:

    Thanks mate, this was driving me insane!

    (Using windows 7 x64)

    [Reply]

  23. Pablo says:

    Awesomeness! In every other article I read they were babbling on about going start menu > gtk+ theme selector and I had no idea where to get it (the new versions don’t install this by default I think?) until I came across this. Thanks! Works for 2.10.0 on win 7 32bit.

    [Reply]

  24. Kris says:

    It’s not working on my WinXP (x86-32). The changing font is the only thing working :(

    [Reply]

    Kris Reply:

    @Kris, Now is all OK. I’ve had to change theme in GTK+ Theme Selector after doing above list.

    [Reply]

  25. Tyger says:

    Thanks! Finally, a comprehensive thorough easy to follow guide on changing the theme on my newly installed Pidgin.

    [Reply]

  26. Andreas says:

    Thanx works great for 2.10.x.
    Hint: if you’re running other GTK apps on windows like Gimp, you have to copy the theme files to the e.g. Gimp themes directory to, otherwise it will change gimp to the default theme, because the gtk config is in your users directory…

    [Reply]

  27. Chad says:

    Found your old article in a google search, which linked to this new one. Still works like a charm. Thanks.

    [Reply]

  28. GMS says:

    Just a note, it only worked for me if I changed the theme while Pidgin was running.

    [Reply]

  29. Patrick says:

    The tutorial worked (Wohoo!). Thanks for this, now i can enjoy Pidgin with my theme that i choosed.

    [Reply]

  30. Sam H says:

    anyone know other places to download more themes?

    [Reply]

  31. Mike says:

    For those who are having problems:

    This wasn’t working for me. I could open the selector but it would not make changes.

    I followed this video, which worked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U74odGiszg

    Basically you just edit a text file with the theme name.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    @Mike, I tried the tutorial in the blog post and in the video there; neither works for me. When I run the gtk theme selector, I can see all the themes, and I’ve confirmed that it is writing to the gtkrc file. But when I open pidgin again, it’s the same bland gray theme as before. Really annoying.

    [Reply]

  32. El Jorge says:

    It didn’t work until I UNCHECKED the Apply to All Users. I guess it had to write it to my user directory.

    [Reply]

  33. LizzardRay says:

    Works GREAT ! Now I building my own ;) Thanks !

    [Reply]

  34. dave says:

    Thanks for the write-up!

    I had same experience as El Jorge — not applying to all users worked for me.

    That and disabling Pidgin GTK+ Theme Control plugin (within Pidgin).

    Thanks again!
    -Dave

    [Reply]

  35. george says:

    You are the best for begginer.Thank you.

    [Reply]

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