How to change skins in XBMC on Apple TV

by umOuch on November 2, 2012

Making my Apple TV sexy is one thing I am passionate about. Whether you are want to change the background, adjust the location of your menu options, or even change the complete look and feel of your operating system, XBMC allows you to do it all! If you are a regular visitor to our site, you know that we are fans of XBMC and what it can do for you, and your Apple TV. Of all the benefits it offers, my favorite has to be the fact that XBMC offers skins. These skins are free to download, free to install, and free to design.

There are roughly 30 skins available today at XBMC has “stable” skins that can be added via their repo, they have “stable “ skins that you can add via third party repositories, and they have skins that are in development that you can add, test, and play with.

This is the area of XBMC that I find myself playing with on a regular basis month to month. So, first-things-first: how do we change a skin with in XBMC?


  • Decide what skin you would like: you can find a complete list of XMBC skins here.
  • If needed, add the repository for that skin (click for help with repos)

Changing Your Skin:

Step 1: Navigate to the “Settings” menu under “SYSTEM” in XBMC.

Step 2: Select the “Appearance” tab on the left side bar.

Step 3: Under the “Skin” field on the right side of the window, select the name of your current skin. It should display “Confluence” by default.

Step 4: Select the name of the skin which you wish to use, I’ve chosen “Quartz” as an example (I will tell you why after we get through the HOW TO facet of this article).

Step 5: You will then see, after a few seconds, the interface change completely.

Things to consider:

The Apple TV is a unit with limited power. XBMC is a tool of tremendous power! If you are trying to use the fanciest skins, with the most abundant features, you will find that the Apple TV will begin to move at a snails pace. It is important when looking at skins to consider the effect it will have on your OS. That said, I have tested every skin you can find… yes, EVERY SKIN YOU CAN FIND and I can give you a little help on what skins offer a great experience without costing you performance:

(in no specific order)

The best place to go, if you want to investigate yourself or need some help with XBMC skins would be the official SKINS thread at

(This article is also available in Spanish / Este artículo también está disponible en español)

  • I changed the skin of XMBC on my Apple TV2, and with the skin (don’t know the name) that is loaded now.. I no longer have access to “System” – “Appearance” 🙁

  • jojobean

    you need to ssh into your atv2 and delete all skin folders with the exception of confluence, when rebooted xbmc will load Confluence as default skin

  • 4themusic

    ViNcent each skin has a unique way to navigate. Download the full version on your pc. Then download. All skins that you like. Navigate on pc
    Then try the Appletv hopefully similar

  • David gallacher

    changed skin to retouched now cant use apple tv2 any help in glasgow

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