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Backing Up Your Minecraft Files

Hi, everyone!

Well, every update, the same thing always happens:  some of you find it easy to switch between the last version and the current one to switch between playing on Eagleworld and the latest version of single player.  Some of you do not.  Well, I think it's time to show you how to navigate switching Minecraft between versions so you can go back-and-forth with ease.

Important Note: I am providing this information for you to learn how to back up your own files.  This information should NOT be used to share your Minecraft files with others.  That is strictly against the Terms and Conditions of Minecraft.  You can read about it on minecraft.net here.

Also note that this document assumes the previous version of Minecraft is 1.4, and the current version of Minecraft is 1.5.

Step One: Back up your current Minecraft files

  • Get to your Application Data directory first:
    • On Windows XP: Start -> Run, type %APPDATA% into the field and hit OK.
    • On Windows Vista/7: Start, type %APPDATA% into the Search field and hit Enter.
  • Enter the ".minecraft" directory.
  • You will see two directories that you need to save: "bin" and "resources."
  • Create a new directory under the .minecraft directory called "backup-1.4."
  • Hold down the Shift key and left-click the "bin" and "resources" directories.  Both will now be highlighted.
  • Click and drag both directories into the "backup-1.4" directory.  This will move the directory into the backup directory completely.
  • You now have a saved backup of your Minecraft files in your "backup-1.4" directory.

Step Two: Update to the latest version of Minecraft

  • This is the easy part.  Start the Minecraft Launcher executable as normal.
  • Minecraft will automatically download all the "bin" and "resources" files fresh since you have removed the two directories completely.  This will avoid conflicts with any 1.4 custom mods you might have installed.
  • Test and make sure Minecraft is working properly.
  • Once you have tested Minecraft on Beta 1.5, you can quit Minecraft for now.

Step Three: Make a backup of the unmodified 1.5 files

  • At this point, you should now make a backup of version 1.5 with no client mods installed.
  • Re-enter the .minecraft directory as per the Step One instructions above.
  • Create a new directory called "backup-1.5" just like in Step One.
  • Select the "bin" and "resources" directories using the Shift-Click method in Step One.
  • Hit Control + C to copy the directories.  You do not want to delete them from the .minecraft folder.
  • Enter the "backup-1.5" directory.
  • Hit Control + V to paste a copy of the directories into the backup directory.
  • You now have a backup of the latest Minecraft version with no mods installed.

Step Four: Install any client mods you like

  • You do not need this step if you do not use client mods.
  • Install any mods you wish as per the mod's instructions as normal.
  • If necessary, you can always restore your bin and resources directories with the backups from Step Three.

Step Five: Make a backup of your finished Beta 1.5 Install

  • Once you have Minecraft how you want it on Beta 1.5, you can now make a copy of your finished install.
  • As with Step Four, this step is unnecessary if you do not use client mods.
  • Follow the Step Three directions once again, except use a directory called "backup-1.5-custom" this time.
  • Once done, you will now have Minecraft completely backed up.

How to switch between versions

  • At any time if you need to switch between versions of Minecraft, it's now really simple:
  • Shut down Minecraft if it is currently running.
  • Enter the .minecraft directory as in Step One.
  • Completely delete the "bin" and "resources" directories.
  • Enter the backup directory of the version you want to use (e.g. the 1.4 backup)
  • Select both directory and hit Control + C to copy them.
  • Exit the directory to get back to the .minecraft directory.
  • Hit Control + V to paste the two directories back into the Minecraft.
  • Launch Minecraft again to run the game in the version you want.  Make sure to not update if prompted.

This should cover everyone's needs in backing up Minecraft.  If you do not use client mods at all, you can completely ignore Step Four and Step Five.  Let me know if anything is unclear.  I'll clarify it for you.

Hopefully now you won't have to choose between Eagleworld and the latest version anymore!


Posted by EagleRock

Filed under: Help Desk Leave a comment
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  1. Awesome. As for me, I’m just going to put my bin and resources files on my flash drive from the old version. That way I can go ahead and update to check out new stuff in singleplayer, but once I get bored there, I’ll just put them back into my .minecraft directory and hop back on the server.

    Overall, thanks for the info. :) ^_^

  2. server not working (May 7, 7pm)? Or is it just me? “Stream Ended” after 1 minute trying to connect.

    • The server hosed up thanks to an un-updated plugin. When I got home I fixed it right away. I’m hoping to update the plugins that are causing the issues soon.

  3. for vista do this, for xp do this, for mac os who cares

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