I've got a 4 GB SanDisk Cruzer here with practically nothing on it, and I'm about to go house-sit for a friend with a computer but no internet. It sure would be nice to play Minecraft while he's away, but I'd just as soon not muck around in his Documents and Settings\Application Files folders.

Is it possible to have Minecraft and my world on the flash drive itself such that I can play it directly from the drive, rather than installing to each computer I bring it to?

  • 2
    Related question: Run MineOS from USB stick
    – Ben Blank
    Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 23:36
  • 1
    @Ben Only sort of related. The only relevance is reassurance about the expected lifespan of a USB drive used in this manner. Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 2:52
  • @SevenSidedDie — MineOS is also an alternative to custom launchers when it comes to creating a portable install of Minecraft. All in all, it seemed worth linking.
    – Ben Blank
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 5:58
  • As a possible workaround (involving a lot less hassle), you could possibly use your phone as a means to connect to the internet (wifi access point or modem), that will get you through the initial sign-in process at least.
    – wonea
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 10:08
  • 1
    @Ben It would still need the Minecraft client installed somewhere, though, right? It doesn't seem like it would help much to run a local server… but if there's something I'm missing that makes it more helpful than I realise, perhaps explaining in a full answer is warranted. ;) Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 14:45

5 Answers 5


PortableApps hosts a Minecraft Portable launcher that will run off a USB stick, though you have to run it once for it to download and store the data and binaries from minecraft.net (as required by the Minecraft end-user license). I haven't tested it, but it claims to use the native launcher to be forward-compatible as new versions of Minecraft are released.

On the Minecraft Forums, there is a Java-based portable launcher that explicitly advertises compatibility with version 1.8.

There is also an article about creating a Windows batch file by hand that will make Minecraft look for its files and your saves on a USB key.

  • Gonna give this a try, but all the same I think we have our answer, barring somebody else coming forward with a better solution.
    – jsnlxndrlv
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 5:12
@echo off
Title Minecraft Launcher
start %CD%\minecraft.exe

Save that into a .bat file in the same folder as Minecraft on your flash drive.


I don't know how to do the same on a Mac, though.

  • 2
    Mac version: HOME=/Volumes/NAMEOFYOURFLASHDRIVE/Minecraft /Applications/Minecraft.app/Contents/MacOS/JavaApplicationStub. I don't know of a nice simple way to make it find the path automatically.
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 3:35
  • i'd be careful with this on. because it sets the APPDATA path for every application Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 8:45

For people who want to do this in the future:


Step 1: Open TextEdit then go to the menu on Top>Format>Make Plain Text, then type in these codes one by one:

echo Minecraft Launcher
cd /Volumes/FLASH\ DRIVE\ NAME
open Minecraft.app

Replace FLASH\ DRIVE\ NAME with what you of your drive and escape spaces using \.

Step 2: Save this file as as ANYTHING.command

Step 3: Open Terminal and type chmod +x

Step 4: Drag the file to the window and press return. Thats it.


Step 1: Open Notepad and type

@echo off
Title Minecraft Launcher
set APPDATA="%CD%\Library\Application Support"
start %CD%\minecraft.exe

Step 2: Save it as ANYTHING.bat


Using Kevin Reid's comment on the Windows .bat file, here is a Mac .command file that will do the same thing.

echo Minecraft Launcher
cd /Volumes/FLASH\ DRIVE\ NAME
open Minecraft.app

Note that if there are spaces in your flash drive's name, you will need to include a '\' before each space.


Do what Dalran said for Mac, but for Windows, make sure the minecraft.exe is not in a folder, make sure that in the Library>Application Support folder, the minecraft folder has been changed to .minecraft, and put this in the .bat file (not what Dalran said)

SET APPDATA=%CD%\Library\Application Support


For some reason Windows doesn't allow you to add a dot at the beginning of a folder's name. If you forgot to change the minecraft folder to .minecraft while on the Mac, simply change it to


while on Windows and it will automatically delete the last . for you.

edit: One way to avoid that E/\Users\YOUR USER\Library\Application Support\minecraft folder being made, or Minecraft running off your computer's Minecraft folders and/or making a new minecraft folder in the real application support, is to open the Minecraft launcher, choose the profile you want, edit the profile, and where it says source, change that to

volumes/FLASH\ DRIVE\ NAME/Library/Application Support/minecraft

^ Do not listen to what that edit says!!! ^ The only reason that folder was made was because Game Directory was selected as on in the first place.

Edit #2: So, I figured out why it wouldn't run on Windows, I had set my profiles to have way to much ram, and the computer I was using simply didn't have the processing power, so I changed that and it ran just fine (on both the VMBox and an actual Windows computer), though a bit laggy (I recommend getting something like a 2x2/4x4/8x8 texture/resource pack which should help, as well as editing the video settings to have things like max fps, low viewing distance, no clouds, etc. (depending on your computers abilities, or if you even have that set up for your profile).

Basically, don't mess around to much with the profile editor like I did, all you should change is the version selection section, the profile name, launcher visibility, and maybe resolution.

  • Too confusing.!
    – Bryce
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 21:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .