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I'm running a multisite network with 200+ themes installed and activated. Is there a way to manipulate the list of available themes in wp-admin so that certain theme does not appear in the list? I want to do it without editing core files.

I know WordPress gets the list of available themes from the function get_themes(). And that there is a function called get_allowed_themes() that might be the solution. But no idea about how to use it.

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The following filter works in Multisite in the following screens:

  • /wp-admin/network/themes.php
  • /wp-admin/network/site-themes.php?id=1 (individual sites allowed themes)
add_filter( 'all_themes', 'wpse_55081_remove_themes_ms' );
function wpse_55081_remove_themes_ms($themes)
    unset($themes['Twenty Ten'], $themes['Twenty Eleven']);
    return $themes;

For the regular theme selector in a single site or sub-site of a network /wp-admin/themes.php (Appearance -> Themes), looks like there's no hook...

I found that $wp_themes global var holds the array with all themes, but couldn't manage to unset items in it...

The old jQuery trickery does the job, but pagination may become funny...

add_action( 'admin_head-themes.php', 'wpse_55081_remove_themes' );

function wpse_55081_remove_themes()
    <script type="text/javascript">
    jQuery(document).ready( function($) {


Looks like there's a new hook on the block: extra_theme_headers.
But there's something weird:

  • it is documented as a new filter in WP 3.4
  • but it appears in wp-includes/deprecated.php (?!)
 * The returning $arr is always empty, but we are able to unset items in the global $wp_themes
 * Works in all theme screens, Multisite or Single Site (and doesn't bugs pagination)
 * It is defined this way: apply_filters( 'extra_theme_headers', array() )
 * The array value is always empty but, if we return it, the filter doesn't works..
add_filter( 'extra_theme_headers', 'wpse_55081_remove_themes_everywhere', 10, 1 );

function wpse_55081_remove_themes_everywhere($arr)
    global $wp_themes;
    unset($wp_themes['Convertible/Convertible'], $wp_themes['grido-child'], $wp_themes['ilost'], $wp_themes['parallels'], $wp_themes['twentyeleven']);
    // return $arr;
share|improve this answer
The second looks better than the first one, since it uses $themes as a global var. I'm going to try out it. Thanks. – grosshat Jun 13 '12 at 17:14
The second code works only for the admin page devoted to manage themes, not for the theme editor select menu. – grosshat Jun 14 '12 at 8:03
@grosshat : I've updated my answer with an explicit differentiation of where each code applies. – brasofilo Jun 14 '12 at 15:31
@grosshat : please check the last update. Only one filter can handle everything, but there's something I don't get about it (see code comments). – brasofilo Jun 19 '12 at 20:39
Yep, I see. Weird, documented as a new filter and at the same time already deprecated. I'll try out it. Thanks. – grosshat Jun 20 '12 at 6:39
add_filter( 'wp_prepare_themes_for_js', 'hideThemes');
function hideThemes($arr){
    foreach($arr as $key => &$value){
        //unset what you want
    return $arr;

Or alternatively:

add_filter( 'wp_prepare_themes_for_js', 'hideThemes');
function hideThemes($arr){


    return $arr;
share|improve this answer
Please explain why this answer is helpful. – kaiser Mar 13 '14 at 16:44
This is helpful because it is the answer - I actually prefer this method to the accepted solution - as this doesn't rely on and functions/methods in deprecated - I modified the code slightly which makes even simpler (added to the answer above) – acSlater Oct 2 '14 at 13:13

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