Changing game versions

By default, Minecraft is set to the most current version of the game. However, there are times when you may want to change to another version, such as to ensure compatibility with a certain server or mod, or to use a weekly snapshot (beta version). To change to a different version of the game, you must create a launcher configuration with the desired version, and set the game to use that configuration.

Before changing your game version, please understand that if you try to play on one of your current worlds, and you access that world using an older version of the game where certain features had not yet been added, you may irrevocably damage your world. You should back up your worlds when playing previous versions or snapshots. You can do this by locating and then making a copy of your game files.

All game versions can be accessed and loaded from within the game launcher that you already use. Each launcher configuration saves various settings, including your game's version. You can easily create a new launcher configuration, then switch between them to quickly change game versions or settings. To start, load Minecraft, log in, then click "Launch Options". If you can not see the menu shown in the picture below, click the button with the three parallel lines in the upper right corner of the launcher.

Once you've clicked "Launch Options", you will be taken to a window where you can create or edit launcher configurations. To enable the choice of experimental versions known as "snapshots", turn on "Enable snapshots".

The "Latest Release" profile already in the list is the default and can not be changed, so to change the game version you will need to create a new one. To do so, click "Add new".

If you want to change the java executable, JVM arguments, or log config of the launcher configuration, make sure you also turn on "Advanced settings".

Here you'll find a number of options for managing the selected configuration:
  • Name - Name your profile so that you'll remember its settings in the future. This could be "Minecraft version 1.8", "Modding Profile", or anything else you'd like to label it as.
  • Version - Choose what version you wish to play when you run the game with this configuration.
  • Resolution - This is the game's default resolution.
  • Game directory - This determines where Minecraft data is stored.
If you have "Advanced settings" turned on, you will also be able to change the following:
  • Java executable - Determines Java's executable file.
  • JVM arguments - Allows you to launch the game with additional Java criteria (arguments).
  • Log Config - Allows you to use a manual logging configuration.

You can also click the icon next to the name to change it. Once you've set up your configuration, click "Save".

Now you have a new launcher configuration! Yay! To use it, go to one of the other menus (such as "News" in the below example) and click the arrow next to "Play". This will allow you to choose the launcher configuration, and you can launch the game and play the version you chose.

Did you find this article helpful?