Me and a group of friends spent months building a city on our minecraft server. After we started having server errors we decided that it would be best to completely reinstall minecraft. So we backed up the world folder to our computer and did a complete server reinstall for minecraft.

After moving the world folder back and loading it on our server, we are now spawned in the middle of nowhere and have not been able to find the city we've spent months building. It's an infinite world and we've spent about 2 weeks looking for the city we've built but have not been able to find it.

Are we screwed? or is there another way to locate a city that we have built? I don't see why simply moving our world folder back into the MC directory and pointing to it in the server.properties file wouldn't work. Our old server was running Mc 1.8.3 with spigot. And this one runs 1.8.8 with spigot.

  • 1
    Do you have anything that's unique to your world/city? I think MCEdit has a function where you can find certain blocks by selecting a region, though I don't know if that helps.
    – 54D
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 17:14
  • There's also a possibility that your old chunks were deleted and became replaced with newly generated ones (which obviously won't have <whatever you built in it>).
    – aytimothy
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 11:28
  • Aren't the player files (with location) also in the world file? If you're on the same world then you should have still been at the city; I would guess that you're not using the correct world.
    – SirBenet
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 16:04
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Finding my house in minecraft
    – pppery
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 14:25

4 Answers 4


There is a way to find the city without using external programs: Open your world folder, and then the region folder. In there, you should see files with names like this: r.<x>.<z>.mca multiply the x and z value by 32, and you will get the chunkcoordinates of the chunks inside that file. Join the running server and press F3. There should be a line saying

Chunk: x y z

Compare these values to the region file coordinates you found in your world folder. The region files should be roughly around 2 spots: The place where you are now, and the place, where you were before the reset.


The best thing to do is to use MCEdit - it distinguishes explored chunks and unexplored chunks and you can do move player and move spawnpoint - zoom out in MCEdit, and try to find the building.

Otherwise, you are screwed. Sorry.

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    Crap, I tried using MC Edit, but I didn't see anything. It was just blank forest. Why wouldn't backing up the world folder work? I'm confused.
    – user122647
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 16:32
  • @user122647 I'm pretty sure the world folder is out of date - have you ever tried to play a world that was not your version, and it said "Converting"? While it's converting, something probably messed up.
    – Mingle Li
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 17:29

When you logged in first on the reinstalled server you and your friends got new Identities from the server, you should look for the player files, and rename them with your new file's name. I did something similar once, when i wanted to transfer my MP map to SP and had to do that because my character also seemed to be lost.

Can I retrieve the position of an offline player in SMP?

Or with this link you can probably check your "offline" lost character's location, then you just have to toggle F3 and get back to your city.


You can also use some mapping tools. For example JourneyMap, which also offers exporting to PNG pictures or into web browser. Then you can just look at the map, finding it more easily (and you will see what is already explored)

If it is server, you can also use Dynmap (it is for Forge and also for Spigot/Bukkit servers), which also supports prerendering the whole map - so then you won't need to explore again, it will just render from your map files. Then all you need is to look on the map in your browser.

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