Error applying site theme: A theme with the name "Citrus 1011" and version already exists on the server.

Today, I had to create a site template of a specific site and create a new site based on that template on the same server and the same web application. Everything went ok creating the site template and creating the new site. However when I wanted to apply a the same theme to the site as the source site, I got the following error message:


A theme with the name “Citrus 1011” and version already exists on the server.


Crap, what the f*** !


Luckily for me, one of my colleagues, Jonathan Martiat, had encountered this before and also rememered the solution.If you encounter this error then do the following:


1. Open the website in SharePoint Designer and delete the _themes folder completely.
2. execute an iisreset on your frontend server(s)
3. reapply the necessary site theme


….and that’s it !


I must admit, that I had tried to do it without executing an iisreset and although I did still get the error message, the site theme was indeed applied, but doing it after iisreset, completely wipes out the error message


So, thanks Jonathan for the good tip and hopefully you guys also benefit from this post.

11 thoughts on “Error applying site theme: A theme with the name "Citrus 1011" and version already exists on the server.

  1. Hi Matt,

    I do not know the exact reason why the error occurs, only that I can reproduce it by creating a site template of a specific site and creating a new site based on that template on the same server and the same web application

    best regards,

    Thanks for the comment though 🙂

  2. I’m a SharePoint noob, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with ghosting (aka custimization). Once your theme or css has been edited in SharePoint Designer, it moves to the content database. After the edit, your css is pulled from the content database rather than the files system. Delete the theme in SharePoint Designer removes it from the content database, therefore SharePoint looks at the file system.

  3. I followed the directions and it worked great. thanks for the tip.

    Note: I checked the _themes folder before I deleted it and I saw the folder for the theme i was trying to add. It appeared that is got partially added and that was what was causing the issue but the above resolved it.

  4. Have SP2 applied and no longer need to do a iisreset for the message to show up after you delete _themes.

    Thanks for solution.

  5. Thanks for the info! I have also found that this error can result if you have copied a theme from another site and renamed it, but forgot to rename the inf file.

  6. Thanks for the post. we have a custom theme which was caching, there the template created out of it produced similar error message. this solution resolved my issue.

  7. Few steps to resolve this issue
    Remember Themes are case sensative.
    Themes INF file should have the smae name as theme name(Ref folder location 12/templates/themes/themename)
    SPThemes.xml should have an entry for the newly created theme
    (Ref Location 12/templates/layouts/1033/sptheme.xml)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *