How to fix a corrupt Minecraft world or restore it from a backup

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How to fix a corrupt Minecraft world or restore it from a backup

Unfortunately, Mojang’s sandbox game Minecraft is known for corrupting worlds and making them unplayable. If you’ve spent hundreds of hours in a particular world, it can be heartbreaking to discover that you can no longer access it.

Fortunately, depending on the level of corruption, it is possible to restore your Minecraft world from a backup. That is how.

The quick fix for corrupted worlds on PC

First, try creating a new world with the same name and world seed as your lost world. Occasionally this will cause Minecraft to load your old world with your inventory intact. This solution will potentially work for any version of Minecraft.

Note: For the sake of this tutorial, we will call the lost world “Corrupted World.”

To create a new world with the same world seed:

  1. Opened Minecraft.
  2. Select the original world, then click Edit.
  1. Click Export world generation settings. This will export a .JSON file to your save folder.
  1. Go back to the world menu. Click create new world and name the world the same as the original world.
  1. Select More global options.
  1. Click import settings. This will open File Explorer.
  1. In the address bar, type %application data%.
  1. Opened .Minecraft.
  1. double click save. This is where the Minecraft world folders are saved.
  1. open your Corrupted Worldselect the file worldgen_settings_export.json and click Opened. Wait for the world to generate, then close Minecraft.

If this doesn’t work, continue with the more detailed solutions below.

Longest fix for corrupted worlds on PC

If the quick fix didn’t work for you, manually creating a new world and copying the old game files may fix the problem. This solution should work for both Java Edition and Bedrock Edition on Windows.

This process should also work on a Mac, but the game files are saved in the hidden Library/Application Support folder.

Step 1 – Create a new world

The first step is to open Minecraft using the launcher and create a new world with the same seed as the original world. If you don’t have the seed on hand, you can find it by following the guide in the first solution.

Step 2: Transfer Level.dat files

The next step is to transfer the necessary files to your new world. We recommend creating a backup of your world before doing this step. We cover how to do it below.

To transfer the world files:

  1. press the windows key + R open To run.
  2. Type %application data% and press Get into.

3. Double click .Minecraft.

4. Double-click the save file.

5. Open Corrupted World and find level.dat, level.dat_mcr (not always present), level.dat_oldY session.lock. Right click and copy/paste each of these files into your new world folder. In Minecraft Bedrock Edition, you only need to transfer level.dat.

6. Restart Minecraft and load your world.

How to restore a Minecraft world from a backup

If you have a backup folder of your Minecraft world, restoring your world is easy. All you have to do is transfer the world from the backup to your saves folder.

Note: We recommend creating a backup of your game saves before doing this, as it will delete your local saves. You can do this in-game by selecting your world, clicking Edit, and selecting make a backup. Backups are stored inside the .minecraft folder in a second folder called Backups.

How to restore your world on PC/Mac

To restore your backup Minecraft worlds on PC, simply navigate to the game save folder as above, delete the corrupted world, and copy/paste the backup world there. The process is the same for a Mac. To easily find your game files on Mac or Windows, open Minecraft, click on your corrupted world, select Edit, then click Open backup folder.

How to restore your world in Pocket Edition

If you play Minecraft on Android or iPhone, Minecraft PE now tries to repair corrupted saves automatically (as of Pocket Edition v0.11.0 alpha). If this doesn’t work, you can try to restore your save file by accessing your phone’s automatic backups (eg Samsung Backup, Google Backup or iCloud on iOS). Hopefully these have backed up your Minecraft data and will be able to restore your world.

If you don’t know, this is how you can backup and restore data on Android and iPhone.

How to restore your world on console

On Xbox and PlayStation, the process for restoring your world is quite different.

On Xbox:

  1. Uninstall Minecraft.
  2. Delete your game save data by navigating to System > Storage > Clear local save games.
  1. Clear your MAC address by navigating to Net > Network Configuration > Advanced settings > Alternate MAC Address > Sure.
  2. Reinstall Minecraft and launch it. You should sync your saves from the Xbox Live cloud backup server.

On PlayStation:

To restore a save world on PlayStation, you need a PS Plus account before the game gets corrupted. To restore your open world Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Data saved in online storage.

Here, select Download to system storage, then select the world you want to restore and choose Download.

How to restore a previous version on a Windows PC

Minecraft automatically stores backup files for each of its worlds on Microsoft Windows. Of course, going back to this will mean you lose some of your progress, but that’s better than losing the world entirely.

To go back to your previous version of the Minecraft world:

  1. navigate to the save folder as above.
  1. Find your world and then double click on the folder.
  1. Find the file level.dat and copy it to another location to create a backup. Then delete the file from the world folder.
  1. Rename level.dat_old for level.dat.
  1. Reload Minecraft and see if your world is now working properly.

The problem is that you’ll start at a random location (often extremely far from your builds) and you’ll have to locate them, so hopefully you’ll have the coordinates written down. Also, any information about mods, add-ons, or add-ons will be lost, and your inventory will be empty. Unfortunately, these are unavoidable problems with this method.

How to partially restore your world

If nothing else works and you don’t know the original world seed, it’s still possible to partially restore your Minecraft world. To do it:

  1. Create a new world with any seed and name.
  2. Navigate to your world folder as above and transfer the CorruptedWorld level.dat file in your new world folder.
  1. Opened Minecraft and load your new world. All the shards you saved in the original world will be loaded into the new seed. However, there are likely to be large cliffs/strange formations between the new and old world where they don’t line up.

Backing up your data is the safest option

Hopefully, these methods have helped you to restore your corrupt Minecraft files and you can get back to the game. Just keep in mind that the best option for protecting your Minecraft saves (and all of your personal data) is to back up your data frequently.

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