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How do I downgrade Minecraft to play on a server running an older version?

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Regularly backup your minecraft folder. Then going backwords is easy and doesn't require you to download the software from somewhere else. –  Zoredache Apr 4 '11 at 7:45
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With the new launcher, you can specify any version :) –  Timtech Oct 12 '13 at 23:42
    
I don't see why this needs a bounty, it's been answered well by @Unionhawk below. –  hedgehog1029 Oct 13 '13 at 11:40
    
@hedgehog1029 a) check the times before commenting (the bounty was placed before the answer), b) it's his rep to do with as he pleases. –  Nick T Oct 13 '13 at 20:08
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4 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted
+50

With the new launcher (launcher version 1.2.5), it's really easy to decide what version of Minecraft you want to use. Let's say I'm playing on a server that for some reason is still running Minecraft Beta 1.7.3, for that old Minecraft nostalgic feel.

In the new launcher, you're going to want to select "New Profile". In this case, we want the "Allow old beta" checked. Normally, you won't want this, but in this random case, you will. Normally, the dropdown will only show release versions; if you want to be allowed to select an older or snapshot version, you will need to check the appropriate box.

Selecting beta 1.7.3

And if you want to change this version later, you can select "Edit Profile" and change it manually. Note that if you have it set to "use latest version", it will always use the latest release version (or snapshot, if that option is selected).

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Caution - Notch doesn't want you to do this!

You'll need to source the files for the previous version yourself and place them in .minecraft/bin, and tell your firewall to prevent Minecraft from accessing the internet so it can't download the new files. Try and find a friend who hasn't downloaded the update yet :-)

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You can just tell it not to update when it asks you. –  Javier Badia Apr 3 '11 at 19:38
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@Javier: The option not to update was added in one of the later versions; not all versions will give you the option. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Nov 29 '11 at 2:01
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The answer varies depending on what launcher version you are using. In the latest (when this post was written), you can choose whether or not you wish to update. If so, you press Update, and if not, you press Not Now.

If you are using an older launcher version, you would have to get the old minecraft.jar and put it in your .minecraft\bin, wherever that may be. Don't forget to either kill your internet when logging in and play offline, or use your firewall to prevent Minecraft from accessing the internet.

The minecraft.jar s can be downloaded from the link below, just change it to whatever version you would like to download. The link below will give you version 1.4.6. If you want a snapshot version, use the second link below. As you can see, that one will give you version 12w50b. Note that as fredley said, Notch disproves of this.

http://assets.minecraft.net/1_4_6/minecraft.jar
http://assets.minecraft.net/12w50b/minecraft.jar

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To downgrade your Minecraft, get the new launcher (http://minecraft.net/download). Log in with your account on the Log In page, unless you have done so before, where you just choose your account. Now click on New Profile. Go into the section named 'Version Selection'. Here, under Use Version, select the version that you want. Now click Save Profile, and use that profile to log in to the server you want.

Remember

  • If you need Minecraft Beta, you must check Allow use of "Beta" Versions.
  • If you need Minecraft Alpha, you must check Allow use of "Alpha" Versions.
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