Tutorials/Playing and saving Minecraft on a thumb drive

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This tutorial explains how to run Minecraft on a Thumb/Flash/USB drive. It is useful if you want to keep your game data (worlds, resource packs, server list...) when switching computers.

What you will need[edit]

  • A Thumb/Flash/USB drive with at least 512MB of space.
  • A computer that runs Windows, OS X, or any Linux distribution




As minecraft requires more than the single one file it obviously installed, we will collect all the files needed to run and sort them onto the thumb drive for easy access. Please note that if you do not do this right it could crash Minecraft.

  • Plug in your thumb drive and open it
  • Create a folder, name it Minecraft portable (or whatever you want) and double click it
  • In that folder, create two new folders and name them drive and data
    • Note: they must have those EXACT names since we're going to use them in the following steps.
    • There are now three folders on the thumb drive, drive and data, both within Minecraft portable.

For older versions (1.5 and lower) replace drive with bin.

The client[edit]

Now to get and copy the client/launcher to the thumb drive:

  • Locate your minecraft client
    • You need the .exe file, not the shortcut. If you're not sure, there should be a little arrow in the bottom-left corner. If it's there, it means its the shortcut.
    • If you have a shortcut on your desktop/start menu, you can right click it, click "Properties" and click "Open File Location".
  • Copy the Minecraft.exe file and paste it into the bin or drive folder that you have created on the flash drive

The data files[edit]

The Minecraft data files are still missing, here's how to find them:

  • Press ⊞ Windows + R
    • type %APPDATA%
    • hit ENTER
  • Locate your .minecraft folder and copy it
  • Copy said folder and paste it into the data folder
    • Note: any texture packs or other stuff you might have are usually already included here.


For GNU/Linux, your life is made a lot simpler. In this example, I assume minecraft is installed in ~/games/.minecraft (mine is, for better organization, and for the sake of simplicity in the process)

I assume your USB is /dev/sdb1

Run the following in the terminal (make sure you are root, or use sudo):

umount /dev/sdb1
mkdir /media/minecraft
mount /dev/sdb1 /media/minecraft
mkdir /media/minecraft/games # If there is a folder called games in you USB, skip this step
cp -rn ~/games/.minecraft /media/minecraft/ # This might take a while
umount /dev/sdb1
rm /media/minecraft # Double check to make sure that your USB in not mounted!

After that, if you want to play minecraft, just type the following in the terminal (I still assume the USB is /dev/sdb1) (again, you need superuser privileges)

umount /dev/sdb1
mkdir ~/games # skip if there is a folder called games in your home dir
mount /dev/sdb1 ~/games # You would not be able to play any games that are saved in the ~/games dir

Execute your minecraft launcher and you will be good!


  • You will need:
    • A Flash drive (Absolute Minimum 300 MB)
    • Minecraft. (Obviously!)
  • procedure:
    • locate your minecraft files. Press Command+Shift+G while in finder and then paste ~/Library/application support/minecraft into the dialog.
    • copy that minecraft folder in your application support folder.
    • plug in your flash drive and make 2 folders in it:
      • "data" and "launcher"
    • paste your minecraft folder into the "data" folder in the flash drive.
    • drag your launcher into the "launcher" folder
    • Remove your flash drive
    • insert your flash drive into another mac to test
    • open the launcher folder and move the minecraft launcher into your applications folder.
    • double click the launcher to open it. Then after minecraft loads exit it.
    • again go to users/YOURNAME/library/application support
    • in "application support" delete the minecraft folder.
    • drag the minecraft folder in your data folder on your flash drive to the desktop.
    • then drag it from your desktop into application support.
    • run minecraft again.

There you go :D

Setting up[edit]

Now that all the data files are there, we need to tell windows how to handle them on the thumb drive and for that, we will create a batch file.

  • Press ⊞ Windows + R
    • type notepad
    • hit ENTER
  • Copy and paste this code into Notepad or a similar text editor. (Note: If your .exe is located in the bin folder, replace drive with bin):
set APPDATA=%CD%\data
  • For whatever reason, if you use minecraft.jar, type this:
set APPDATA=%CD%\data
  • Now click File > Save As ...
  • Locate your Minecraft portable folder (not bin or data) and double-click it
  • Name this file "Launcher.bat"
    • Note: Make sure to include the "" - or else Notepad will correct it to Launcher.bat.txt and it will not work.

All done[edit]

That's it, all should work perfectly. Minecraft may take a little longer to launch, but that's expected, it's just the batch file working. A simple double click on the newly created Launcher.bat will start Minecraft and you can play as usual.

Keep in mind however, should you ever want to use a theme pack or other addon/plugin: when the respective instructions tell you to copy files you will need to use the .minecraft folder on your thumb drive. However, said themes/addons will then of course be integrated in your portable version. Note: This also works in Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive/SkyDrive


If you have any trouble or just don't understand, the original source can be found in this thread.

Cryshal's Alternative Method[edit]

Doesn't work, minecraft still runs from the appdata folder, Minecraft Profile Manager is useless, and java will not run from the flash drive.

What you need:

  • A flash drive. (I'd suggest around 2GB, but varies depending on how many worlds/texture packs you have)
  • Windows

  • First, create a folder named, say, "Flash MC". Then, go on over to get jPortable which lets you run Java right on your flash drive, without it being installed on the computer.
  • You will want to install that onto your flash drive in a directory like \Flash MC\jPortable.
  • Then, go to Minecraft Profile Manager's thread, and download it.
  • Put it into your Portable MC folder. Follow the instructions. (Put minecraft.exe into the same folder that it is in)
  • You should now be able to launch MPM, make a profile and download all the needed Minecraft files to play.


  • MPM runs using JAVA, meaning you must have java running in order for it to work.
  • Computers that are running windows should work just fine, unless they haven't been using Microsoft update.

I hope this helps you!

HiWiki's Method[edit]

Please follow the steps CAREFULLY to avoid minecraft crashing!
This part was made by HiWiki!

WARNING - Do it in your own risk!
Only Works in WINDOWS!

  • In this method you will need:
    • USB (Mininum Space is 2.5GB or more if you have mods and/or texturepacks (You will also need Additional space for worlds))
    • Notepad
    • Minecraft Client
    • And .minecraft folder


  • First things first! You need to make two folders named bin and data
  • Then you place minecraft client inside bin folder
    • If you use a jar (or anything else that run minecraft) will still be placed in the bin folder
  • But the data of minecraft isn't in the data folder yet,
    • So you will need to Press ⊞ Windows + R to open run and type in the dialog box %appdata% then copy .minecraft folder (Also include other folders that also included in minecraft such as .aether)
      • Select those folders then press Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + X if you want to move the files rather than copy it)
  • Then after that Press ⊞ Windows + R to open run again and type notepad then paste the following code in it:
  • But if you use a Jar, put this instead:
  • And if you use a Jar/Exe with a different name such as Minecraft-launcher put this
bin\<name of launcher>.<jar/exe>
  • Then you are all done!


  • You will need Java for this, but if you also want java in your Flash/Thumb/USB drive then scroll down and look for Add Portable Java
  • Any data you have in your .minecraft in appdata will also be in your Flash/Thumb/USB drive

Add Portable Java Method[edit]

You will need an extra 0.5 GB in your Drive for this to work!

  • Now you have done the above
  • Time to add portable java! (YAY!)
  • 1st, Click this link
  • Then on the page that redirected you, click Download Now or this link
  • Then open PortableApps.com_Platform_Setup_11.2.exe then wait until you see the add apps section
    • Make sure you place the setup in the Flash/Thumb/USB drive!
  • Then in utilities find and tick the boxes jPortable,jPortable Launcher,jPortable Browser switch then press install
  • Then wait for it to install then after that, your done!

How to open jPortable[edit]

  • First, find the folder PortableApps in your Flash/Thumb/USB drive
  • Then double click start, Then press jPortable Launcher
  • A window will open, then find the jar (Don't worry if it shows jar can be opened only change it to all files then find your exe)
  • Then after that press open then your minecraft will open
Cons and how to fix them[edit]
  • The minecraft directory is not there, if that happens then press edit profile then find and locate your data folder in file explorer then right click it then press properties
    • Also in the edit profile window tick the Game directory box
    • Now a window should open, so you will Select the text by dragging in the Location Line then paste it in the Game directory box then include this \.minecraft or paste it in the Game directory box
  • Then you are done!


This part was made by HiWiki! If there is information that is not here, then I did not made it, then also PM so I can restore it If there's any problem PM me and i'll help you (But not all the time) The original source can be found in this thread.

I hope this part helps you!

Changing the launcher file to use an autorun.inf[edit]

If you are using an autorun.inf instead of using

set APPDATA=%CD%\data


set APPDATA=%CD%\data

change the file to this:

set APPDATA=Minecraft portable\data
cd Minecraft portable\drive\

Video Tutorial[edit]

A video tutorial showing the step-by-step procedure on how to make Minecraft portable and run it from a USB thumb drive without Java installed