How can I back out of recent "updates"?

After the latest updates the three main multimedia apps (Clementine, Audacious and GrabClip) that I use have ALL switched to a very dark grey on black or black on very dark grey with only marginal twiddling available rendering them totally useless as I can’t read their screens.
How can I revert to earlier versions where general usability held a priority over ‘gothic cool’???

To revert, would mean to use timeshift and back out all updates. But the issue can be addressed… which is much better.

The topic below will most likely fix your theme issues. I glanced at clementine and it appears to be a QT application (pacman -Si clementine). kvantum is used to configure qt applications in XFCE. The OP didn’t mentioned which desktop, but your profile showed XFCE. Definitely search this forum.

The above topic’s solution worked for SimpleScreenRecorder on my XFCE machine.

In XFCE Settings > Appearence > Style, I’m using Matcha-azul. This theme appeared in the Kvantum Manager drop-down.

Make a new user ‘TEST’ and verify the issue there.
Using KDE, I can say that Audacious, Clipgrab and (not Clementine, but…) Stawberry are all perfectly well behaved.

As I’m finding out with Guayadeque, sometimes the toolkits are updated and aren’t fully backwards compatible - and then it’s up to the software providers to update software to work with the new environment.

However, in your case I’m pretty confident the issue is somewhere in your /home and configuration files should be the first suspect.

When I used Linux Mint (Cinnamon) I had great fun editing and tweaking themes, but it’s hard to beat default themes (except for being allowed to tweak colours to be not to bright/dark and have decent contrast).

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The easiest way to revert your system back to a previous state is to restore from a Full system/snapshot backup based on rsync. Arch Wiki..

Timeshift, as suggested above, is a nice graphical utility based on rsync (or btrfs snapshots) that helps with taking snapshots, managing them and restoring your system to a previous state if needed.

Now, assuming it’s too late and you don’t have snapshots, technically you could revert specific packages with pacman using the -U switch, provided you’re keeping several versions of your packages in the cache at /var/cache/pacman/pkg/.

See Downgrading Packages - Arch Wiki for warnings/more details.

If Audacious settings for Appearance are set to use QT interface rather than Winamp Classic interface user can choose to use either Native QT theme set by kvantummanager or a built-in Dark theme

I don’t use Clementine or Clipgrab to know about appearance/theme options, but they also use QT
and are probably using a dark theme set by kvantummanager

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Audacious with QT Interface & Native is giving me the SAME interface as QT + Dark. Winamp Classic is not much use as it only shows the currently track. With 20+ days of music having to fight the interface design is so microsoft 1980

I don’t have the old packages, the system update before last left my system unbootable, forcing me to do a fresh install that failed to provide the gtk icon themes, all I can find are dozens of microscopically varied kde matcha dross.

Please post response to this command to show active kvantum theme

cat ~/.config/Kvantum/kvantum.kvconfig

I agree that Winamp Classic is not good for what you need
I prefer qmmp as a Winamp-style player because it supports Winamp and XMMS themes
(so I can use the same themes I first used 20 years ago)