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When a major version of Minecraft is released, it takes a while before mods are updated to work with it. It can happen that you want to install the new version, but keep a copy of the old version with mods installed.

Windows version keeps data in %appdata%/.minecraft regardless of the executable's version. Is it possible to keep two versions of Minecraft installed at the same time, without conflicts?

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Run the old version as a different user? –  ChrisF Sep 1 '11 at 11:47
    
You beat me to this question :( –  Joe the Person Sep 11 '11 at 4:01
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10 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Minecraft puts the data in %AppData%, so you can just make batch files which set %AppData% to some other location before running the game.

This is a trivial but flexible working example:

@echo off
set LAUNCHER=c:\games\minecraft\minecraft.exe
set SUPPLEMENT=.minecraft-supplemental
set APPDATA=%APPDATA%\%SUPPLEMENT%
%LAUNCHER%

This will make that launch of Minecraft keep and look for its data (including your saves and even mods) in %AppData%\.minecraft-supplemental\.minecraft\. (The extra level of folder structure is unnecessary but harmless, and it would be hard to eliminate it without breaking the sorts of things that the %AppData% convention was designed to avoid breaking.)

Note that this will keep everything separate -- remembered login, achievements, saves, Minecraft version, mods -- everything. As a bonus, this not only means that you can keep different versions of Minecraft installed, you can segregate different login names into their own installs with their own saves, useful for sharing a computer with other Minecraft players.

You can make multiple versions of that batch file and change the %SUPPLEMENT% variable to keep the copies' data separate. (Yes, it's currently set to a dumb name. Customize it to taste. I suggest .minecraft-[username].) You can even use different Minecraft launchers by changing the %LAUNCHER% variable, allowing different versions (or users) to use different launchers.

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This seems like the most elegant solution. I found a forum thread describing this approach. –  Jonathan Drain Sep 5 '11 at 16:43
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Uh, how about pointing only the %appdata%\.minecraft folder somewhere else? Pointing the entire %appdata% somewhere else is sure to cause problems, as nearly every program on your computer uses it. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Aug 17 '12 at 20:49
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@BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft, he did say to put the variable in a batch file, so it would only be changed inside the file. The batch file would have two lines, one to change the variable, one to call minecraft. That's the technique I use, it works nicely. –  Cyclops Aug 22 '12 at 23:28
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You can do a similar thing on OSX/Linux using symlinks. –  Richard J. Ross III Oct 14 '12 at 20:12
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@Trejkaz Minecraft doesn't use an equivalent to the %appdata% path on Linux or OSX, so no, not really. Symlinks are the easiest way to go in that case. The "perfect" way would be to run it in a chroot jail, but that's non-trivial. (Not hard, either, though.) –  SevenSidedDie Oct 19 '12 at 19:03
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The Magic Launcher lets you do this.

You could use the Technic Launcher. It's Open Source, so you can modify the source code to use the versions you desire.

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This has already been done. See MagicLauncher. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 14 '12 at 18:22
    
@SevenSidedDie Thanks, I modified the answer –  Zommuter Oct 15 '12 at 6:47
    
This was the first I've seen this Q in a while, and at the time I was on the mobile site (where submitting posts can be a pain). Enjoy the rep! :) –  SevenSidedDie Oct 15 '12 at 6:50
    
@SevenSidedDie Yay, precious rep :-D –  Zommuter Oct 15 '12 at 7:54
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How about changing the folder's name; i.e., %Appdata%\roaming\.minecraft to \.minecraft2 or something...

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hey jay, welcome to the Arqade! But doesn't your answer just repeat what has already been stated in more detail? –  Zommuter Aug 20 '12 at 14:58
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You could go into the "bin" folder of ".minecraft" and then copy and paste your minecraft.jar file in another folder, keeping it there until it's needed.

You can locate your bin folder by pressing your start menu, type in "%appdata%" -> "Roaming" -> ".minecraft" -> "bin", click on "bin" and back-up your "minecraft.jar" file at the bottom.

When you want to play a previous version of Minecraft, just simply delete the "minecraft.jar" that's already in your "bin" folder, then copy and paste the back-up "minecraft.jar" into the "bin" folder and you're set.

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Quite a few people use a launcher called MultiMC. This allows you to set up multiple installations of Minecraft and swap between them.

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You could install each one on different Windows users, since the AppData folder is in the user directory, and not the program files directory.

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I found this:

The Minecraft Version Changer Tool.

It includes a jar downloader that can download about 20 versions from early Alpha to Release 1.1 (including many snapshots). I expect 1.2 to be added soon, as they seem to do a very good job keeping it updated.

I have tested it, and it works well for me. It completely isolates the different jars so I am able to keep one .jar for modding without it affecting my other one at all.

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This isn't a perfect solution, but you could always install linux to a flash drive (I'd suggest an 8 GB or larger card, and installing Ubuntu) and boot/run a second copy of minecraft from it. As a bonus, you would now have a portable copy of minecraft.

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In Windows 7 you can make two different Minecraft folders wherever you want, then put a directory symbolic link (that points to one of those folders) named .minecraft to %APPDATA%
MKLINK /D %APPDATA%\.minecraft path\to\your\directory
To change the version, remove the link and make a link to the other folder.

Linux, KDE: In Dolphin file manager drag one of your folders to your home folder, select "Make a link" and rename it to .minecraft (note that it will be hidden, so you have to press Alt+. to show it and remove.

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I have no idea what you just said, but I need to know what it means so I can do it. Note: I'm usually pretty computer savvy, but I dont know what a 'directory symbolic link is' and your block quote line by itself doesnt really tell me what I need to know. –  Ender Mar 21 '12 at 15:25
    
Maybe this might help, my minecraft path is currently C:\Users\Ender\%Appdata%\roaming\.minecraft\. –  Ender Mar 21 '12 at 15:36
    
@Ender: It's a command to type in the command prompt or the Start->Run window. Anyway, I just thought, this is not the best way... –  BlaXpirit Mar 21 '12 at 15:39
    
Thanks for responding, but that doesn't help me at all :( Do you have yahoo IM? –  Ender Mar 21 '12 at 15:41
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Might I suggest Sandboxie? Its original intentions were more along the lines of security, however, it should serve the purpose you are looking for. Any program run in sandboxie is forced to keep it's files separate of everything else in your system. As long as you run one version or another within Sandboxie always, you should be fine.

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protected by Community Nov 23 '12 at 7:32

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