How to Change Minecraft Skins

In Minecraft, you can play as an alien, a medieval knight or a futuristic soldier. How? By changing your skin.

The image below is what a typical Minecraft character looks like. In this case, using the default character skin for Steve (the other default skin is Alex). When you’re playing Minecraft, you can take a look at yourself by pressing the F5 key. Pressing F5 again changes the view, where you’ll be able to see your character up close.

The default skin, Steve, is decent enough, but very boring. If you play on a server, playing as ‘Steve’ screams ‘beginner’. Luckily for you, the process of changing Minecraft skins is easy.

How to Change Minecraft Skins in the Desktop Edition (Java)

Note: the ability to change you skin inside the Java launcher is temporarily disabled. Please follow the instructions below for changing your skin via the Web at


Changing Minecraft Skins in the PC/Desktop edition of the game has evolved over the years, and the good news is it keeps getting easier. There are two basic sets of instructions to follow, depending on whether you want to change your skin to one of the featured ones in the built-in skin chooser or if you want to install one of the many millions of downloadable skins available on the web.

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Changing Minecraft Skins In-Game

With recent updates to the game, Minecraft has made it very easy to quickly change your skin to one of several featured/pre-selected skins in the game. This is done using the very handy Skin Chooser feature. Just click on the clothes hanger icon below your character on the main title screen to get started.

Minecraft Skins Chooser
The Minecraft Skins Chooser is activated by clicking on the clothes hanger icon under your avatar.

From here, you can preview and select a variety of skins. Many are free, but some must first be unlocked with Minecraft Coins, which are used to purchase in-game downloadable content. The for-purchase skins are marked with a white lock icon.

Minecraft Skins Chooser - Happy Emoji
The Minecraft Skins Chooser lets you select from several featured skins and skin packs.

Changing Minecraft Skins with downloads from the web

Of course, you’re not limited to the skins you find using the Skin Chooser feature. Far from it! There are countless skins available around the Web, almost all of which are created and shared by dedicated Minecraft players. The process of finding and downloading new Minecraft skins around the Web is a little more complex, but simple if you follow these steps.

1. Download your new skins

Minecraft skins are very small images in PNG format. The uninstalled skins look like unassembled paper dolls:

This is Alex, the other default Minecraft skin

You can download skins from websites like Skindex or MinecraftSkins. It doesn’t matter where you save your skins, as long as you remember the name of the folder. Also, if you change file names, it’ll make it easier to organize your collection.

On Skindex and other websites, you can find hundreds of skins to suit everybody’s taste.

2. Login to

Once you have your desired skin, go to your profile on the official Minecraft website. Click on Profile and log in with your Mojang account (the username is the email you used to register).

3. Upload your skin from the Profile page

Once you’re on the profile page, click the Browse button and browse through the folders until you find your skin. After you’ve selected the skin, press Upload and wait for the confirmation message.

Click Browse, select the skin by double-clicking on it, and then press Upload.

4. Enter Minecraft and try out your skin

Now, all you need to do is log into Minecraft; if you’re already in the game, leave and then enter again. After that, just load up a world (it doesn’t matter which) and press F5 to see your new skin. Quite a change, don’t you think?

He has the look of a bad boy. Monsters will run away.

5. Customize your skin from the menu

Since the update to Minecraft 1.8, skins are able to incorporate separate items such as coats, jackets or hats, without having to install any mods.

To customize your skin, go to Options> Skin Customization. Bear in mind that only the most recent skins are compatible with the Minecraft 1.8 features.

Where to find Minecraft Skins on the web

There are almost as many websites to find Minecraft Skins as there are skins themselves! You can find some of the best resources for locating the best Minecraft Skins on Softonic Solutions, a collection of recommendations from the Minecraft community:

What are the best Minecraft skins?

What are the best resources for finding Minecraft skins?

Best Resources for Minecraft Skins

Some of the top-recommended sites for finding and downloading creative Minecraft Skins include Nova Skin, MCSkinSearch, the SkinDex, and NameMC. Most of these sites have extensive libraries of downloadable skins, along with preview and screenshot capabilities.

The Skindex

The Skindex, located at, is the most popular Minecraft skins repository on the Web. It features millions of user-submitted skins and has a convenient search system to find just the skin you’re looking for. A user voting system helps determine the top skins on the site, and the “Latest” list shows you the most recent skins submitted. The site can be overwhelming at first, but no matter what type of Minecraft skin you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it here.


NameMC didn’t originally start out as a skin repository. It was first conceived as an updated list of soon-to-expire Minecraft names. If you want to change your Minecraft username to something new, NameMC has the definitive list of new names that are about to become available.

However, the site also features a gallery of new and trending Minecraft skins for viewing and downloading. The skin preview feature is much more advanced than the one you’ll find on the Skindex — NameMC has larger models and you can rotate and view each skin from different angles before downloading it. There’s also a very handy “Apply” feature which will let you log into your account and immediately place that skin on your avatar. No downloading/uploading required!

How to Create Your own Minecraft Skins

To create your own Minecraft skins, all you have to do is create a PNG image at the right size. There are free editors which you can use create skins in just a few minutes. Our favorite is MCSkinner. Another option is Minecraft SkinEdit (Windows | Mac)

Editing a skin can be as simple as choosing a color and painting over the reference skin (Steve). You can also upload existing skins and superimpose them as if they were costumes. Pretty easily, you can change your skin and shake off that ‘beginner’ label.

As you can see, changing Minecraft skins is fairly simple and it’s just one of the many ways you can customize and enhance your Minecraft gameplay experience. Looking for more ways to expand the game? Take a peek at the following articles:

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