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What does whitelist mean in Minecraft?

Most private servers have a feature called whitelist to only allow certain players (Image via Minecraft)
Most private servers have a feature called whitelist to only allow certain players (Image via Minecraft)
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Akshat Kabra

In Minecraft, whitelisting is a popular term that is frequently used amongst experienced players. Since the sandbox game is widely multiplayer, there are millions of servers on which users can play the game together. These servers can be created and controlled by one or several players simultaneously. The moderators of the server supervise all the events on the server, including those who can or cannot join.

There are loads of servers in the game that are free and open to all. Famous servers like Hypixel, Mineplex, Complex Gaming, etc., have thousands of concurrent players in the same lobby. However, if a small group of gamers want to play in a private world and don't want others to join, they can whitelist certain players and block everyone else.


How to whitelist players and how does it work in Minecraft

Whitelisting

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When users create a private server that is not visible or accessible to anyone, only the server owner can join and play. However, if they want to open the world only to particular users, the server owner can whitelist these people in the server settings so they can join.

This essentially codes the server and allows access to players on the whitelist by verifying their Minecraft account. Once users hit play in any private server world, this verification process takes place, and only whitelisted players enter the world successfully.

Whitelist only allows certain players to join a server and blocks every other player (Image via Minecraft)
Whitelist only allows certain players to join a server and blocks every other player (Image via Minecraft)

Usually, server owners only whitelist a few people, and the rest of the playerbase will automatically be on the blacklist and won't be able to join.

Even if players have the original server IP address of the world, they won't be able to join simply because the server detects a non-whitelisted user trying to enter the server. This is the real power of whitelisting on the server. It completely secures a private server, allowing a small group of users to peacefully play in their own world.

Popular private servers like Dream SMP, Origins SMP, Hermitcraft, etc., all use the whitelist feature to secure their servers from intruders. Players can only join these popular servers when their server owners include their name and account in the whitelist.


Commands used for configuring whitelist

If a player is a server owner or an operator, they can easily manage the whitelist of a Minecraft server right from the game itself. When these players are on the server, they can type in different commands to manage the list. By simply typing '/whitelist', they can either switch it on or off and add or remove any player from it.

Server operators in Java Edition can always join the server, even if the whitelist does not have their name. However, this does not apply to Bedrock Edition. The server operator's name needs to be on the whitelist of a Bedrock Edition server for them to join the world.


Edited by Shaheen Banu
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