How to Transfer Widgets Between Themes

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You switched themes and now your widgets are gone. Don’t panic, your widgets aren’t lost. There’s an easy way to recover them, and add them to your new theme.

The first step is to understand how widgets are saved.

Widgets are Saved with Themes

If you switch themes, you’ll notice your widgets are gone. However, if you switch back to your old theme, your widgets will reappear. They’ll have the same content and settings as before.

You don’t actually lose your widgets when you switch themes. You simply change to a new set of widgets when you switch themes. Each theme has its own set of widgets saved in its widget areas.

Now that you know how widgets are connected to themes, it’s to time to figure out how to transfer them between themes.

How to Transfer Widgets Between Themes

You may not have noticed it, but there’s an Inactive Widgets section at the bottom of the Widgets menu.

inactive widgets section in Widgets menu

If you’ve never switched themes, it will be empty. However, once you switch themes, it will display all the widgets you had active in other themes.

widgets in the inactive widgets section

To transfer your widgets between themes, all you need to do is switch themes and then drag the “inactive” widgets out of the Inactive Widgets section and into a widget area.

Once you’ve dragged a widget from the Inactive Widgets section into one of your new theme’s widget areas, it will save automatically.

Following this method, in just a few minutes, you can transfer all your old widgets to your new theme without losing any settings or data.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
This article was written by Ben Sibley. He is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.