How to Fix ‘shell user theme extension not enabled’ Error on Ubuntu

We often hear that you can customize your Ubuntu desktop as per your preference but when you face an issue where you can’t change your Shell theme makes things painful.

But with shown steps, you can easily overcome that issue and tweak your Ubuntu desktop as per your taste.

Installing Shell Extensions

Open your terminal by using Ctrl + Alt + t and follow these given commands:

 sudo apt update 

This will update all the indexes in already installed repositories which enables you to download the latest and greatest software.

user shell theme

Gnome-tweaks has already been installed on your Ubuntu system, now use the following command to install gnome extensions:

 sudo apt install gnome-shell-extensions 

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extensions

You have installed all the necessary tools required to use shell themes. Now let’s download and enable user themes.

Enabling User Themes with Extensions

Open your favorite browser and go to Gnome extensions. Click on “Click here to install browser extension”

click on extension install

If you are using any chromium-based browser such as brave or google chrome, you will be prompted to the web store for downloading the extension.

Now, click on Add to Chrome to download the extensions

Click on Add to chrome

Click on Add Extension

Final add extension

Now go to  Gnome extensions and search for user themes. Click on the appropriate results as shown in the image.

searching user themes and click

Click on the button to install

Turning on the extension

Now, open extensions from the menu and enable user themes.

Enabling user themes

Now you won’t have that error anymore

Final result

Frequently Asked Questions on Shell User Themes

How to enable shell themes in Ubuntu?

Open your Gnome-tweaks tool and you will find extensions on the right bar. Click on extensions and enable user themes extensions. Now reopen gnome-tweaks and click on Appearance and you will get all the shell themes installed on the Shell option.

How do I enable GNOME shell extensions?

All the extensions which you have downloaded will be listed on the extensions tool. Open extensions from the menu and you will get to see all the system default and user-added themes. You can enable, disable and also remove them from your system


It might be frustrating to have an error that stops you to customize your Ubuntu desktop But by following simple steps as we have shown, you can overcome that issue and have a great time with a customized Ubuntu desktop

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Sagar Sharma

Sagar always uses Linux to its core and loves to write the technical side of system administration! While he's not writing, you can always find him exploring new Linux distros!

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