Understanding licensing and transferring themes on Shopify

When you purchase a theme from the Shopify Theme Store, that theme is licensed exclusively to the store where the purchase was made. This means that unlicensed themes don't qualify for support or updates when new features are rolled out. For more detailed information on licensing, refer to Shopify’s Terms of Service.

Actions for unlicensed themes

If you're notified that you have an unlicensed theme or you've received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice, then you must take one of the following specific actions:

  • Purchase: Consider buying the theme for the store where you plan to use it.
  • Delete: If you choose not to purchase the theme, then you must remove it from your theme library.
  • Transfer: In cases where you previously purchased a theme for an old store but no longer use it there, you might be able to transfer it to your new store.

Requirements for transferring a theme

When transferring a theme purchased from the Shopify Theme Store, remember that a theme can only be used on one store at a time. To successfully transfer a paid theme from one store to another, ensure the following criteria are met:

  • Both accounts have the same account owner email associated with them.
  • You're the registered owner of both accounts.
  • You're closing the original store that the theme was purchased on. After the theme is transferred, the closed store can't be reopened.

Transfer a theme

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Themes.
  2. Next to the theme that you want to transfer, click Actions > Download theme file. An email containing the file will be sent to you.
  3. Download the file from the email to your device.
  4. Ensure that you fully download the file from the email onto your device before proceeding.
  5. Remove the theme from the original store, including any renamed copies. If only copies exist, then add a free theme to delete all paid theme copies.
  6. Close the original store.
  7. To upload the theme file to the new store, go to Online Store > Themes, and then click Add theme > Upload zip file. Refer to adding, previewing, and buying themes for more detailed information.
  8. Purchase the theme again for the new store.
  9. Optional: Contact Shopify Support to receive a refund on the original theme invoice. Refunds are based on the original purchase price, even if the current price is higher.

Downloaded content

Products, collections, menus, pages, and blog posts aren't included in the theme transfer process. To transfer certain types of store information, such as products and customers, consider learning how to duplicate a store using CSV files. Additionally, familiarize yourself with how to prepare to switch themes effectively.

Can't find answers you're looking for? We're here to help you.