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This question already has an answer here:

I am creating a custom map in Minecraft, but when I try to set a block, I get the error, "Cannot place block outside of the world." I do believe that this is due to chunks not loading. Is there any kind of Vanilla Chunk Loader that I can use to keep many chunks loaded at the same time? I would prefer if there was no clutter.

I have heard about the Hopper system (I don;t know if it stills works, but then again, it creates too much clutter.

marked as duplicate by B. S. Morganstein, Gigazelle, Dragonrage, Lore Friendly, greg-449 Aug 7 at 6:35

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    There are ways to keep chunks loaded, and ways to load unloaded chunks, but not really anything that's less "clutter" than the hopper method. – SirBenet Apr 5 '15 at 23:19
  • Not a definitive answer, but I've had success in the past using /spreadplayers to teleport a mob to the location and load these chunks, then immediately running /setblock. – Quentin Sep 2 '16 at 11:57
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Try to find your spawn chunks, they are always loaded in Minecraft worlds, it is possible to put a block outside of the world if unloaded, but the spawn chunks are always loaded.

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Hope this helps:

This video tells you how to keep a 12x12 area loaded without hoppers forever, all you need is a nether portal. Watch the whole video, it gets to it at the end. I've tried it minecraft 1.8.3, it works

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    Please summarize the information in the video, so that if it ever gets removed, your answer is still valid. – Frank Apr 7 '15 at 22:07
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    Your edit has not improved your answer, nor even dealt with the main issue it has. Telling people to just watch the whole video is not helpful. – Frank Apr 9 '15 at 13:59
  • If this video is removed, your answer is invalid. Please provide info. – Jim Jones Feb 27 '16 at 16:43

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