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How to recover corrupted saved worlds in Minecraft 1.17 Caves & Cliffs

A corrupted chunk in a server (Image via bugs.mojang)
A corrupted chunk in a server (Image via bugs.mojang)
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Joe Greene

One of the most unfortunate things to happen in the Minecraft Java Edition is finding out that a single-player world is no longer listed on the world selection screen. This will come as a massive shock to players who have spent countless hours in that world.

Luckily, due to the ability to edit world files and folders in the Java Edition, players can save their worlds from being completely erased.


Also read: Minecraft 1.18 Caves & Cliffs Update Part Two Cave Generation: Everything players need to know


How to recover a world that is not showing on the world selection screen in Minecraft

A view of Minecraft's internal files (Image via StackExchange)
A view of Minecraft's internal files (Image via StackExchange)

The following instructions will allow players to recover a world that is not showing on the Minecraft Java Edition world selection screen:

  • In the Windows Search bar, type "%appdata% and press enter.
  • Locate the .minecraft folder and open it (If it is not there, hit the "views" tab in the top left and check the "Hidden Items" box).
  • In the .minecraft folder, find the saves folder and open it.
  • The saves folder should show all created worlds. Find the world that is not showing up.
  • Make a copy of the desired world.
  • Go into Minecraft and create a new world with the same seed and map generator settings (cheats enabled, worldtype).
  • If the player is unaware of what their seed was, they can use this tool: NBTExplorer.
  • After the world is created, go back to the saves folder.
  • The newly created world should be in the saves folder.
  • Copy and replace the following files from the newly created world into the corrupted world (level.dat, level.dat_mcr, level.dat_old, session.lock). level.dat_mcr may not always be there. This is fine.
  • Do not copy any folders, just the files listed above.
  • Restart Minecraft.
  • Players will see the newly created world in Minecraft. They can launch the one with the folder in which the files were added to.
  • Players will be able to access their old world.

Unfortunately, this technique will result in players losing whatever items they previously had in their inventory. This can be resolved by entering creative mode and recovering whatever items they possessed.

Those who spawn with no items in a random location do not have to worry as players will always spawn at the initial spawn point in a "new" world.

The video below showcases another method of recovering a corrupted saved file in Minecraft.

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Also read: Minecraft Redditor showcases how to remove the noise from sculk sensors


For detailed guides, walkthroughs, tips & more, check out SK Minecraft Wiki

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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