I have set up a Minecraft server for my 5-year-old son and a friend of his. They use it in creative mode to build stuff.

Today, my son copied instructions he saw in a YouTube video and created a Wither boss. Upon creation, it blew up two quite beloved constructions of his and proceeded to wreak havoc in their town.

This is when I got called in. I had hoped that some kind of operator command would be available to kill a monster and found

/kill @e[type=WitherBoss]

but that killed my avatar rather than the Wither. I think this is due to these options not yet being available. Would upgrading the server to the latest version allow me to kill it this way?

If not, what is the best way to get rid of the thing? It does not necessarily have to die - if it were to sit somewhere a bit further away from the constructions and be quiet, that would be fine too.

But I'm looking for a way with preferably little or no fighting skill required, since neither of us has much of that. And it'd be nice if we can save some of the scenery as well; he was rather shaken and sad already due to the destruction.

  • You could make backups of the world to Dropbox or a similar cloud storage which got revisions. So you could always roll the server back if something like this happens.
    – Apache
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 12:18
  • @shiki I do have a backup, but it is a couple weeks old.
    – flup
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 13:05
  • Just a weird thought: have the kid experience the consequences of typing in things from the internet. Worse things than that can happen. (Let's not talk about unsupervised use of Youtube; that's for Parenting. ;)) Arguably, permanent loss of some structures is enough, though.
    – Raphael
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 7:44
  • @Raphael I thought this was big enough a consequence already, yes :)
    – flup
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 22:16

3 Answers 3


As of Minecraft 1.11, you can kill a wither boss with a relatively simple command: /kill @e[type=wither] (or /kill @e[type=WitherBoss] between 1.8 and 1.10). This will literally do what it says on the tin, and kill all wither bosses in the world (hopefully just one).

If you're not in a version after 1.8, you can also set the difficulty to peaceful with /difficulty 0. If they had any pet creepers or anything like that, you can spawn them back in and give them name tags again using spawn eggs, since they will also go away upon setting the difficulty to peaceful.

  • In recent versions of minecraft, the correct command is /kill @e[type=wither]
    – pppery
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 17:04

Unionhawk's answer is the easiest. But if you don't want to eliminate all mobs there's an alternative. Get into "godmode":

/effect Player_name 1 50000 5
/effect Player_name 5 50000 255
/effect Player_name 8 50000 15
/effect Player_name 10 50000 255
/effect Player_name 21 50000 50
/effect Player_name 23 50000 255

Now you can kill the wither with a single hit. Your jump and speed are also enhanced in case you want to do this in survival.

Once done, this will bring you back to your normal state:

/effect clear Player_name

Commands explained

/effect Player_name 1 50000 5 #Move faster
/effect Player_name 5 50000 255 #kill with a single blow
/effect Player_name 8 50000 15 #jump higher
/effect Player_name 10 50000 255 #Fast life regeneration
/effect Player_name 21 50000 50 #Extra hearts in health bar
/effect Player_name 23 50000 255 #Never get hungry

In the jump command, the "15" may be changed depending on your desired jumping height. If you are in creative, you might not need the jump command at all and you can just fly towards the wither instead.

  • 1
    Thanks! This answer allowed me to choose between making the world easier or myself tougher (and get a reputation with my son as a superhero problemsolver) and allows specific targeting. My son had only one pet creeper and I thought I'd not risk any further damage to the world, so I went for the easier world.
    – flup
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 13:04
  • Is this not a part of the Essentials CraftBukkit plugin, or is this now available within vanilla Minecraft?
    – J.W.F.
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 0:04
  • This works in Vanilla (Therefore it also works in Single player). Reference: minecraft.gamepedia.com/Commands#effect . Your confusion probably stems from the fact that the Essentials plugin overrides many Vanilla commands. Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 4:35
  • 1.13 syntax: /effect give Player_name <speed|strength|jump_boost|regeneration|health_boost|saturation> 50000 <level>
    – pppery
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 17:07

/kill @e[type=Wither] or /kill @a[type=Wither]

  • 1.13 syntax: /kill @e[type=wither]
    – pppery
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 17:07

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