ExpressionEngine® 3 User Guide

Legacy Documentation

You are using the documentation for version 3.5.17. Go here for the latest version or check here for your available upgrades to the latest version.

Forum Templates

Control Panel Location: Developer Tools ‣ Template Manager ‣ Forums

The ExpressionEngine Forums make use of “themes” to determine how they are displayed. The Forum Module comes with a “default” theme, which is located in your installation under themes/forum_themes/.

In order to edit the Templates inside the Control Panel, set the theme folders and files to be writable. See File Permissions for details.

If you plan to make changes to your theme, we recommend that you make a copy of the themes/forum_themes/default/ directory, name it something else, and make your changes to that one. You can easily switch themes simply by choosing a new one under Default Preferences.

For anyone creating their own theme or modifying one, the original “PSD” version of the “ExpressionEngine Forums” graphic is available for download.

Permission Restrictions

  • Access settings: Design & Content
  • Template Management Allowed actions: Manage Template Settings
  • Template Management Allowed actions: Create New Templates
  • Template Management Allowed actions: Edit Templates
  • Template Management Allowed actions: Delete Templates
  • Template Management Allowed template groups



This will take you to Template Settings.

Export All

All templates, with their template groups, will be zipped and downloaded.

Search Templates

Searches template contents for the phrase.

Theme Selector

The dropdown in the upper right corner of the table’s container will select which forum theme’s templates are being managed.


The icons in the manage column perform actions on the template in its row.


This will take you to the template’s edit form.