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I want to start a new theme for my Multsite install instead of simply modifying the current theme. The problem is I have a lot of sites running on Multsite so it would be a little painful to change all my sites to the new theme one by one.

Is there a way to change the theme of sites by more then one at a time? In sites in network admin I can see a bulk actions option but when I select my sites and click apply, it does nothing (should it!?)

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Any progress? Was my answer helpful? Do you still miss something? – toscho Oct 6 '12 at 22:29

Create a MU plugin and filter 'template_directory'.

Sample code to force TwentyEleven on all sites:

<?php # -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
// Plugin Name: Force Styleswitch
// 08.06.2012
add_filter( 'template_directory', 't5_switch_theme', 10, 3 );

function t5_switch_theme( $template_dir, $template, $theme_root )
    $forced_theme = 'twentyeleven';

    if ( $template !== $forced_theme )
        update_option( 'stylesheet', $forced_theme );

    return "$theme_root/$forced_theme";

You could also iterate over all blogs – use get_blog_count() and switch_to_blog() – and run the update just once.

The Network enable action in wp-admin/network/themes.php just makes a theme available on a site, it doesn’t set it as active theme.

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