Minecraft saves a lot of data in a file called level.dat. What can I use to edit this? When I try to open it in Notepad++ all I get is a bunch of random symbols... æ&$+¿[w.ÜŠÖÄŸ¶…9É2þ

  • I don't know what you are looking to do with level.dat, but to edit a map, you could use MCEdit. To edit your inventory there is also InvEdit.
    – Djorak
    Aug 9, 2011 at 12:43

4 Answers 4


Minecraft's data files are in a proprietary file format called NBT (named binary tag).

You're gonna need an editor specifically designed to open these, such as NBTExplorer (runs on Windows, Linux, Mac).

There is also the appropriately named NBTedit, but apparently it is no longer being updated and the author himself recommends NBTExplorer.

  • I prefer NBTExplorer. Just thought I'd share it for completeness. EDIT: Sorry, but I didn't notice how old this question is :/
    – Lars
    Aug 4, 2013 at 7:10
  • @Lars Yep. When I answered this question, NBTExplorer didn't even exist. Thanks for the heads up though, it does appear to be the best option now.
    – a cat
    Aug 4, 2013 at 14:17
  • For anyone else on Arch Linux: Install mono, run mono path/to/NBTExplorer.exe, open your saves directory, open level.dat and then Data, set allowCommands to 1, save. Bish bosh.
    – l0b0
    Nov 29, 2015 at 22:22
  • 1
    Please note that NBTExplorer is no longer being updated. If you would like something that is kept up to date you may wish to use Tryashtar's NBT Studio.
    – One 2 Many
    Apr 12, 2021 at 3:45

You can open it with WinRAR or Windows Explorer, then edit the file inside with Wordpad, Notepad, or any other program.

The file contains the /gamerule's and the properties like: Cheats, your Seed, the directory of all the world files, the game mode, and more.

But I have not edited it this way though, I just viewed it. So if it breaks your world, then it's not my fault.

So the best way to edit it is NBTExplorer.


The link provided by ShadowPlays is now broken, but the tool it was leading to is still around. It's called WebNBT, and can (at this point) be found here:


If the link doesn't work for you, try googling webnbt, that's how I found the new link


Open it with webNBT Or NBTexplorer and see for yourself.

It's your world files basically, your playerdata and stuff.

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