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How To: Add Summerboard Themes to The iPhone Manually

Macish White iPhone Sumerboard theme

How To Add Summerboard Themes to the iPhone Manually

Topic Description:  Summerboard is currently the most popular program for applying themes (different wallpaper, icons, dock, and status bar designs typically) to a jailbroken iPhone.  It is installed via the Installer program on the iPhone itself.  In Installer, you can also find dozens of Summerboard themes for use with the program, to help customize and add some style to your phone.

However, you will also quite often see a theme you just like a lot that is not available on Installer; one that is just listed for download on a theme creator’s or iPhone forum site.  This brief guide will walk you through the simple process of adding a theme manually to your iPhone when you need to.

Requirements & Assumptions:

A jailbroken iPhone.

Knowledge of how to make an SSH connection to your iPhone from your computer.  See our quick guide HERE if you need help with this.

There are slightly different requirements in terms of where to place theme folders and files depending on which iPhone firmware version you are running.  For the purposes of this guide, we’ll assume iPhone’s current 1.1.4 firmware is in use.


  • Download the theme you want to install.
  • If the theme files you downloaded were compressed (downloaded with a .zip, .rar, or similar extension), then extract the files using Winzip, Stuffit, WinRAR or your preferred application for this purpose.  You should now have a folder named (most likely) with the name of the theme itself.  Place this folder on your desktop, or anywhere that’s easy to remember.
  • Connect to your iPhone via SSH.
  • In your SSH program’s Explorer-like window, browse to the following path on the iPhone:  /private/var/mobile/Library/Summerboard/Themes
  • Copy the entire theme folder from your computer to the above directory location, so you end up with it located at /private/var/mobile/Library/Summerboard/Themes/ThemeName folder

It’s also a good idea to confirm that Summerboard can see your new theme before ending your SSH session. 

With most themes, you should also notice that within the main folder (normally named same as the theme), there are individual .png files for the theme’s wallpaper, dock, and statusbar images.  You can replace these with files of your own if you want to further customize a theme.  When doing so, it’s a good idea to rename the existing files before copying over your replacement files, so that if desired you can easily rename them back to revert the theme’s appearance to its default. 

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