Xperia Themes: how it works and where to get it

Xperia Themes provide extensive options for you to personalise your Sony Xperia device. Several hundred interchangeable graphic elements are available for skinning, from icons and buttons, to different backgrounds and accent colours. Although the changes can be extensive with Xperia Themes, all the familiar controls and paths of the user interface are retained. Read on to learn more about Xperia Themes, and how we are taking this feature even further.

What items can be changed through a theme?
Xperia Themes work on top of Sony’s skin and apps in Xperia devices, and has the power to change the appearance of basically any part of the Android software. You can say that a theme tells the operating system to fetch resources, such as icons and values, from an external package – a skin. The mechanism can work on basically any resource in the phone, built into the system or even into an app. Xperia Themes are applied in runtime, which means that there is no need to restart the device to apply a new theme. This way, you can see the changes instantly.

Xperia Themes UI elements

Example of elements that can be changed with Xperia Themes: (1) Homescreen indicators, (2) Volume bars, (3) Navigation bars, (4) Switches.

Today, there are hundreds of graphical elements that can be skinned in Xperia Themes. Starting from the most obvious UI elements like the wallpaper for the home screen and lock screen, down to the smallest components like navigation bar icons, checkboxes, switches, sliders and buttons. In the future, we plan to increase the number of elements and apps that can be skinned with Xperia Themes, so stay tuned for more!

Xperia Themes examples

Xperia Themes, from left: ‘Rock On’, ‘Sci-Fi’, and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ (coming soon).

More than 20 Xperia Themes available, more being added
There are currently more than 20 high quality Xperia Themes to choose and personalise your Xperia device. The selection offers a variety of distinctive styles, with themes like Rock On, Sci-Fi, Woody, African Leopard, PROBOT, Tri Flat, or Steampunk.

Xperia Theme ‘Woody' on Tablet Z

The Xperia Theme called ‘Woody’, running on Sony Xperia Tablet Z.

Find Xperia Themes on your Xperia smartphone
If you have a Sony Xperia smartphone or tablet running Android 4.3 or later, you can discover and download all Xperia Themes via the Sony Select recommendation service. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go into the Theme Picker via Settings > Personalisation > Theme (as shown below). You can reach Settings from the menu listing all apps.

    The Xperia Theme ‘Tri Flat’

  2. Click the (+) plus sign in the top right corner of the screen to launch Sony Select. You can now browse all Xperia Themes. Remember to check back once in a while, since more themes are being added all the time.

    The Xperia Theme ‘Tri Flat’


We would love to hear your thoughts on the Xperia Themes feature, so please let us know in the comments below!

More information

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  1. By Jibin John


    Does Xperia M (C1904) have a ‘Grayscale’ or a similar option?? If yes, how do I activate this option? If No, what other option/solution can give me a similar effect?

  2. By sher elahi


    Hi my mobal Sony z2
    Themes not working?themes open?
    Unfortunately, com.sonymobile. Runtimeskinning.core has stopped….. what problem my mobal

  3. By venkatesh waran


    The volume bars can’t show in my mobile

  4. By James Murray


    Is it possible to set it so that the themes randomly change from time to time?

  5. By Ronan Mhd


    a have 4.0.4 can u do this theme for 4.0.4 plz sorry 4 bad english

  6. By Gustavo Martins


    Hi developers Today I was thinking about get the original KitKat navbar on android Lollipop (5.1.1 in my mobile 🙂 I’m really excited about getting it so can YOU make it possible?

  7. By Mary Trappe


    I can’t get the black theme back and I think I have just pressed a button incorrectly and lost it any ideas?

  8. By Palash Thakur


    Please, please, please…… I can’t download these great themes on my Xperia l,make them compatible for Xperia l also

  9. By Andy Graham


    I would like to build some themes by my own… plz guide me through the steps involved..

    • By Anna Aleryd


      Hi Andy,

      Thank you for commenting! With the Theme Creator BETA tool, released in March this year, you can create your own themes for Xperia devices. Learn more on the Theme Creator pages.

      Best regards,
      Anna from Developer World

  10. By Ramly Abbdillah


    how to upgrade os version on kitkat for Sony Xperia Sola MT27i ? help me

  11. By paoquan


    Why is there no option for the Onyx colour theme in the default themes? It was there on my Xperia arc with android 2.3.4 and there on my Xperia Go with android 2.3.7
    But I upgraded to a new phone, an Xperia Z1 compact with android 4.4.4 and there is no dark theme ie the Onyx available. The other colours are still there but no Onyx.
    Please help.

    • By paoquan


      Okay, I have the official Sony black theme, but it doesn’t change the text from dark text on a white background to white text on a black background which is what I need.
      This is the next thing to achieve.
      One step at a time I suppose.

  12. By ALI GH


    where is xperia sola? i need help to unlocking boot loader. i cant find the xperia sola on list

    • By Ramly Abbdillah


      yes,i too,i need help to unlocking bootloader.i cant find the Xperia Sola on list !

  13. By John Carlo Romero


    Why my xperia L can’t download themes?

  14. By Ricky Bozzi


    Hey, I’ve bought, downloaded and triied many themes,but can someone please please tell me why I can’t change the Sony main colour?

    I mean in the settings page, etc. It’s always, always white. And I’m getting fed up of white. Especially at night, it hurts my eyes. No matter which themes I’ve downloaded, all they do is change the backround, and sometimes the bottom bar. But Sony won’t let me change the main colour, and it’s annoying. Even with the themes that are supposed to do just that (according the screenshots on the app page) and reading the comments, it seems to work for everyone else.

    I’m using a Sony Xperia SP.

    It seems that rooting the phone is the only way to change the eyehurting black writing on white background to white writing on black background.

    • By shahzeb mughal


      Hi i also tried many themes but wasn’t able to get rid of the whitish thingy.
      Now i finally found a theme that doesn’t completely change white to black but actually changes it to dark grey which look closer to black.
      Theme name is “kara theme” i downloaded it from play store
      Try it, might help u.

      • By Ricky Bozzi


        Thanks..but I’ve looked and can’t find it.

      • By paoquan


        A nice effort with the kara theme but it only darkens the bg slightly. The text is still black.
        If you want to text in a dark room, we need white/light font on a black bg.
        I do no understand why this cannot be changed.
        Sony need to enable this function. It will not affect apps, but when I work late in the office and the lights are low, I do not want me phone shining out like a beacon every time I send or receive a text message.

  15. By charlie muscat


    Why does it have featured themes ads at the top of my themes? Can i get rid of this? It looks like a spyware advert!