I've seen a lot of questions for finding specific items in chests using commands using testforblock but how would you test if any block/item has been placed in a chest?


  • As in, like a remote comparator?
    – MrLemon
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:40
  • @MrLemon I'm unsure what a comparator is fully used for. What I want is a command testing for an item in a chest, then a comparator next to that command block to activate another command block. Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:42
  • A comparator next to a chest (or any container), will output a redstone signal based on how full the chest is. For a chest, every full stack increases the output signal power by 0.44 (15/27). This number is rounded up, so that any single item in a chest produces an output power of 1.
    – MrLemon
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:47
  • @MrLemon I guess it is like a remote comparator then. It needs to do the same thing just from further away Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


You can use

/testforblock x y z minecraft:chest -1 {Items:[{}]}

Note the extra {} in the Items list. {Items:[{}]} checks if the list of item tags contains an item that matches all the tags present in {}. Obviously, {} does not contain any tags, meaning every item in the game matches this1.

You can achieve the opposite behavior using {Items:[]}, which will test for an empty list of items.

1 Technically, everything matches {}, including Creepers, but the Items tag limits the scope for us.

  • 1
    For once, Minecraft commands behave exactly like I thought they would.
    – MrLemon
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:59
  • Thanks! I needed this to create a mailbox type system on the server. This works perfectly! Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 16:01

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