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How to install Custom Themes like original ones
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logo   How to install Custom Themes like original ones

Working for Firmwares: 3.00 - Newest

PlayStationTV compatible: Yes

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: approx. 15 min

Credits: Mr.Gas, Major_Tom

  • A custom theme Pack you want to install
  • DB Browser for SQLite 3.7.0
  • a registered e-mail account on your Vita (fail-mail)
  • yifanlu's psvimgtools (backup-editing)
  • FileZilla (HENkaku)

  • Note: This method is temporary and you will need to redo everything after a database rebuild.

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    Step 1: Installing the custom theme files to the memory card

    Since it would be a pain to write every single theme file somewhere to the memory card via the e-mail trick or each time via making a backup for example, its way much easier to just use the PSPEMU part for that in combination with a normal PSP savegame as theme folder.


    At this point you should already have a custom theme downloaded and extracted. We will use the Black XMB Theme as a sample here.


    Download: CustomThemesSavegame.zip

    1) Download the "MY Custom Themes Savegame" from above and place it in your CMA directory


    2) Now copy the the whole PCSF00688-CUSTOM0000000XMB folder into the already existing themes-folder in said savegame




    3) Transfer the savegame via QCMA to your Vita.

    Step 2: Dumping your app.db file

    Depending on your firmware there are different ways to do this:

    Fail-Mail trick - for firmware(s) 3.00 - 3.52

    HENkaku - for firmware 3.60

    Backup Editing - for firmware(s) 3.00 - Newest

    Step 3: Modifying the app.db file

    8) Back on the PC we can now start the SqliteBrowser, open our app.db file..


    ..go to Browse Data and select tbl_theme from the dropdown menu.


    9) Depending on your already installed themes you will already have some entries here. Now just hit the New Record button in the top right hand corner to create a new entry for our custom one.


    10) Fill out the fields like this:

    Field input
    id ux0:pspemu/........./PCSF00688-CUSTOM0000000XMB
    packageImageFilePath preview_thumbnail.png
    homePreviewFilePath preview_page.png
    startPreviewFilePath preview_lockscreen.png
    contentVer 100
    size 0
    type 100

    11) When you're done hit Write Changes and close the programm.

    Step 3: (Re)Installing the modified app.db file

    Fail-Mail trick - for firmware(s) 3.00 - 3.52

    HENkaku - for firmware 3.60

    Backup Editing - for firmware(s) 3.00 - Newest

    Alternatively: Video Tutorial by HackinformerTV via youtube

    FAQ & Troubleshooting

    My Vita performs a database refresh when restarting at the last step.

    This means the app.db got corrupted somehow. Restart at Step 3

    I made my own theme but the previews and wallpapers won't work!?

    All theme png(s) cannot have more than a 256 pixel depth to show!

    Why does the Welcome Park, PS Store or Maps App not work?

    Ask Sony. Alternatively you can use this tutorial for manually themeing icon.

    Some of my apps now have a grey background and are missing the start icons?

    Thats a bug which can happen when adding new records to the app.db.

    My e-mail shows a [?] instead of the photo symbol?!

    Try resetting the Vita's mail account or resend the mail.

    Last updated:
    November 4, 2019