Recently I tried to change my skin in minecraft alpha, but it wont change. I've went into the .jar file of the related version, and changed the char.png file to a new one, but minecraft launcher keeps updating the .jar file, reverting my changes. How do I stop it from doing that? Changing the .jar file to "read-only" just crashes the game on launch.

  • 1
    Have you tried setting the file to read-only?
    – Joachim
    Feb 3 at 23:54
  • Yes, the game crashes on launch if its on read-only
    – LaNi
    Feb 4 at 14:41

2 Answers 2


The BetaCraft launcher allows you to change your skin for early versions, as well as fixing many other bugs present in early versions.

  • Looking for a different launcher sure can help, but is there a way to fix that issue without third party software?
    – LaNi
    Feb 9 at 10:51

So the solution that doesn't require you to use third-party launchers is pretty simple but can get messy if you are not careful. In order to stop the launcher from rewriting the files, we have to create a modified version.

To do that, we first have to copy the original version we want to modify in the %appdata%.minecraft\versions directory, and rename the copy to something unique. For example: "TestVer". Its important to rename in the new version folder both the .json and the .jar file to the same name as the folder.

Now, there are changes that you have to do in the .json file. There are lots of different properties in .json file, we need to go to the "assets" property (do not confuse with "assetIndex" for example), find the "download" property inside the "assets", and delete it entirely. The next property to the "downloads" property should be "id" property, which is the version name. Change the "id" property with the version to the custom version name you made before. There are lots of other properties with "id" and "downloads" properties, and the .json file is unorganized and messy, so be careful and don't delete anything under the "libraries" list(Lists in json are identified with [] symbols).

Be also aware that mismatching names could cause issues as well, example is added as image. Now, in order to change the skin, you should open the .jar file as archive, and replace the char.png file with your modified char.png file. Notice that older versions had different skin templates, so you may have to change your char.png file to fit the template of the version, or it will be messy.

After those changes, open the minecraft launcher(or restart it if it was already opened), and you should be able to choose the new modified version, with the skin imported, and play it with no issues.

Credit for the solution, help and images to MasterCaver, who found the solution and guided me on how to make it work. Source to the conversation with MasterCaver:https://www.reddit.com/r/GoldenAgeMinecraft/comments/e5pi0q/comment/kosfjzw/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

The changes in .json file necessary to modify the version. Credit to MasterCaver for the image provided.

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