I have seen this issue with bukkit before, but this is completely vanilla. Other players can break blocks and open doors but one user can no longer do this. The user can kill other players but that is it. This has just started happening today.

User is not an admin but can confirm other 'normal' users can play as normal.

Running vanilla 1.7.2 on Ubuntu. I have restarted the service and the user has rebooted their machine.

Is it possible that their user.dat file has some corruption?

  • possible duplicate of Why can't I destroy or place blocks?
    – MBraedley
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 13:49
  • 2
    @MBraedly, maybe if that question were made a bit more general, but it's pretty specific to gamemode changing on a single-player game, whereas on a server, there's another, more likely cause which isn't even possible on Single-player games, since SP players are always op. Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 14:02
  • @BillyMailman No it's not. Read it again. Scope on it was expanded a while ago to cover all cases.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 19:02
  • @MBraedley this question is about breaking blocks on a server hosted game. Specifically a vannilla server version too. The answer insightfully pointed out the new spawn protection in vanilla in 1.7 - something I was not away off and is not mentioned on the other question. That question does not cover all cases. Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 16:15
  • @NeilTrodden The linked question is about all causes of this problem, regardless if it's single player or on a server. In light of the spawn protection introduced in 1.7, perhaps the answers in the linked question need to be update.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


There are two things in a vanilla server that can make a player completely unable to affect blocks. First, they may be inside the protected area around the current default spawn - since 1.7, the protected area's size can be changed in the server's properties file, and the default spawn area can be moved by the setworldspawn command. This would cause other non-op players to also not be able to affect the same blocks, though.

The other likely culprit is that their Game Mode may have changed to Adventure mode. One of the main effects of Adventure mode is that player's cannot break blocks without the correct tools.

The player.dat files are, from what I can tell, stored in the same NBT format as almost all other Minecraft data. The format includes some heavy compression, so any damage or corruption would make the file completely unreadable, and Minecraft would most likely just spawn them in as if they were a brand new user.

  • I had set the world spawn and didn't realise this setting was introduced in this version. Have set to one block and I think all is well!!! I set spawn-protection=0 in my server properties file which protects a single block. Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 13:53

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