Enable ‘Shell theme’ in Gnome Tweak Tool in Ubuntu

Last updated: May 15, 2017

gnome shell

This quick tutorial is going to show Gnome Desktop beginners how to enable the ‘Shell theme’ drop-down box in the Gnome Tweak Tool.

A Gnome Shell theme changes shell buttons, colors, panels, etc. The setting is disabled by default in Gnome Tweak Tool, and you’ll see the prompt “Shell user-theme extension not enabled” when you hover the cursor over the alert icon.

shell theme disabled

As it prompts, you need to enable user-theme extension. While it’s not available by default, install it via following steps:

1. Open Firefox web browser and go to https://extensions.gnome.org:

Click the link text “click here to install browser extension” and follow the pop-ups to install the browser extension:

shell browser extension

2. After that, refresh the web page, if you get an error prompt that “native host connector is not detected“,

then open terminal via Ctrl+Alt+T and run command:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

gnome shell extension

3. Finally go to https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/19/user-themes/.

Click the switch to turn on and then select install the Gnome Shell extension:

User Themes extension

After all, restart Gnome Tweak Tool and you’ll see the Shell theme drop-down box enabled after enabled the User Themes extension.

shell theme enabled


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/ubuntuhandbook1

4 responses to Enable ‘Shell theme’ in Gnome Tweak Tool in Ubuntu

  1. Dude, thnx a lot. Hello from Russia :)

  2. Perfecte tú si que en saps, merçès.

  3. not working -_- i am using ubuntu 16.04

    • at least you gave specific information as to what didn’t work, so that the chance of solving the problem is very high