Minecraft Wiki

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.

Snapshots available in the launcher[]

To play a snapshot, first download the Minecraft launcher. The download link is available on the website at minecraft.net/download.

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 snapshots for the upcoming release, or for the most recent release if snapshots haven't begun yet for an upcoming release. Usually only the last snapshot in per week is available, except the most recent week, when they're all available – although the exact list may vary, as it is at the discretion of Mojang which snapshots are listed.

To select a snapshot, follow these steps:

  • Create new profile for snapshots. 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.
    • (this makes no sense)

Now, you can play both latest release versions and development versions 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 a good practice to keep your worlds separated and prevent compatibility issues from destroying your maps.)

If you want to change to a different snapshot, hit Edit Profile on the launcher and choose the specific snapshot from Use versions dropdown box.

Video tutorial[]

Snapshots no longer available in the launcher[]

Each time the launcher closes, it automatically removes snapshots from its Use version list that don't belong to its current set of snapshots, which, as explained above, is usually the most recent set of snapshots, and usually only the last one per week. Due to this, older snapshots become unavailable from that list over time, but the launcher can certainly still play them. Though the launcher's list is kept short, Mojang doesn't remove old snapshot files from the location on the web that the launcher uses. So here's how to do this:

Step 1: Navigate to the specific snapshot page on this wiki, which can be accessed via the snapshot history page, and download the client .jar 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".

Snapshots for 1.6 to present[]

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.

Step 6: Start Minecraft launcher, go into your profile settings and make sure snapshots are enabled. You will be able to select the version you downloaded.

Congratulations, you have installed a snapshot!

Older snapshots[]

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".

Step 7: Start Minecraft launcher, go into your profile settings and make sure snapshots are enabled. You will be able to select the version you downloaded.

Congratulations, you have installed a snapshot!


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.