Tutorials/How to install a snapshot

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Installing snapshots gives us a preview of the upcoming Minecraft version, however a lot of people don't know how to use or install them. Read on to find out.

1.6 to present[edit | edit source]

To install a snapshot in 1.6 and onwards, download the Minecraft launcher. Download link is available on the

Check Enable experimental development versions("snapshots"), now you are able to select snapshot builds. 'Snapshot 1.6.2' means 1.6.2 pre-release.

By default, you can choose and play release versions of Minecraft, e.g. 1.5.2, 1.6.4, 1.7.2 and so forth. Also available are the development versions for the most recent release, usually only the last snapshot released that week.

To select development versions, follow these steps:

  • Create new profile for development versions. Press New Profile button on the launcher. A dialog will open:
    • Name it something like 'Snapshots'.
    • Check Game Directory and add a folder name to the end of the text beside it (the pathname, most likely starting with "C:\").
    • Check Enable experimental development versions("snapshots").
    • Choose the snapshot you like to use.
    • Then, Save Profile.

Now, you can play both latest release version and development version by switching profiles on the launcher. Keep in mind that Minecraft doesn't care about save data compatibility. You should use a temporary world when you test development builds. (Please note that it is possible to enable snapshots without changing the game directory, however separate game directories are to keep your worlds separated and prevent compatibility issues from destroying your maps.)

If you want to compare with older snapshots, hit Edit Profile on the launcher and choose specific version from Use versions dropdown box.

Video tutorial[edit | edit source]

Snapshots no longer available in the launcher[edit | edit source]

Step 1: Navigate to the specific snapshot page, which can be accessed via the snapshot history page, and download the client version on the right-hand side of the page.

For the remaining steps, close Minecraft and the launcher.

Step 2: Go to your .minecraft/versions folder:

  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10: %appdata%\.minecraft\versions\ (Simply put this in your address bar & hit enter)
  • Linux: ~/.minecraft/versions/ (this folder may be hidden in the "Home" folder)*
* To unhide files in the 'Home' folder, press Ctrl+H
  • Mac OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/minecraft/versions/ (this folder may be hidden)

Step 3: Create a folder with the same name as the snapshot, for instance "12w15a" or "14w02a".

1.6 to present[edit | edit source]

Step 4: Move the .jar file that you downloaded into that folder.

Step 5: Download also the .json file from that page into that folder.

Congratulations, you have installed a snapshot!

Pre-1.6[edit | edit source]

Step 4: Move the "minecraft.jar" that you downloaded into that folder, and give it the same name, for instance "12w15a.jar".

Step 5: Create in that folder a .json file with that same name, for instance "12w15a.json", and paste into that file the text from this file.

Step 6: Edit the .json file with a text editor, and change "<Profile Name>" on line 2 to the snapshot name, for instance "12w15a". Also change line 5 where it says "release", to say "snapshot".

Congratulations, you have installed a snapshot!

Warnings[edit | edit source]

Warning 1: Opening existing single player worlds is not without risk: they might become broken or unloadable. If you load the map in the new snapshot & later you downgrade your version of minecraft, the map might contain items that don't exist in that version yet, thus corrupting it. A map can also become corrupt by any bugs in the new snapshot. Don't take any risks: backup your saves! (they are in \.minecraft\saves\)

Warning 2: Minecraft has a tendency of deleting older snapshot folders from the \versions folder when the launcher closes. It is advised to copy the snapshot folder you have just created to a safe location.