I installed Minecraft 1.7.2 and after installation it showed the launcher, and I played the game successfully.

But after I closed it, I realized there's no shortcut for Minecraft on the desktop, and when I go to my .minecraft folder and try to run anything there (such as launcher.jar, or 1.7.2.jar) none will open and nothing happens.

How do I start Minecraft?

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    It's probably in your downloads folder. Can you check there?
    – 3ventic
    Feb 1, 2014 at 15:12
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is the computer equivalent of misplacing your socks and asking us to help you find it. Feb 1, 2014 at 16:03
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    @PrivatePansy, et al. - This question isn't worded the greatest, but it is, in fact, a very common misunderstanding with how Minecraft is installed and run. Not understanding the launcher is the launcher and not an installation program is not equivalent to misplacing socks. It's equivalent to thinking shoes are socks.
    – au revoir
    Feb 1, 2014 at 19:05
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    @LessPop_MoreFizz - Downvote away. It should not be closed.
    – au revoir
    Feb 1, 2014 at 19:13

3 Answers 3


Minecraft does not "install" like a usual program (in fact, Minecraft.exe is not an installer). When started, it creates and uses a folder for itself (.minecraft), which contains the *.jar executables and assets, but it doesn't create a new launcher executable that is registered in the OS somewhere.

Minecraft is launched through the Minecraft.exe file you originally downloaded (and is probably in a Downloads folder somewhere, or whatever you picked as the download directory), which then runs the .minecraft/launcher.jar archive in java.

I recommend moving (and, if necessary, downloading again) the Minecraft.exe to a "safe" directory (say, making a new Program Data/Mojang/Minecraft directory and placing it there, or moving it to the .minecraft directory itself) and then making a shortcut to it on the Desktop. Minecraft will not do this on its own, as I described above.


Minecraft launcher won't create a shortcut by default. You can find the launcher in your downloads folder. To find your downloads folder, check your browser settings.


To find any application on Windows Vista/7/8 and above, you can also follow these steps:

  1. Press the Start button on your keyboard (between Ctrl and Alt, to the left of the spacebar)
  2. Immediately after pressing it, start typing the name of what you are looking for (e.g. "Minecraft"
  3. You should see the application appear as a search result. Click it (or select with arrow keys and press Enter) to launch the application.

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