I was playing on my main world when my laptop ran out of power. I found a charger and woke it up, but Minecraft had crashed. Now, it doesn't appear in the world selection screen!

I have verified that it still exists in the Minecraft folder, and the directory contents look to be in order.

Does Minecraft save an internal flag somewhere when it crashes hard? If so, how do I reset it?

  • What are the contents of the save directory? Is it missing e.g. level.dat? If it is you may need to manually restore its contents, which may be tricky.
    – fredley
    Oct 11, 2011 at 22:37
  • 1
    @fredley level.dat is present and not empty. I'll have to get a closer look later, when I have access to my regular computer.
    – Maxpm
    Oct 13, 2011 at 17:20

3 Answers 3


This usually happens if the world is corrupted. There is no way to know what could be salvaged, but you can try the following:

  1. Delete or rename level.dat (it is corrupted and this is why it is not showing in the list of worlds).
  2. Rename level.dat_old (this is a backup file) to level.dat.
  3. Start Minecraft and see if the world appears. If yes, good on you.

If the above doesn't work it means the backup file is also corrupted. There is probably no way to recover:

  • world seed
  • world spawn and your player spawn (bed)
  • player location
  • player inventory

But usually the buildings are the most important part of the world and there is still more we can do to try to recover them! Try the following:

  1. Create a new world with the same name as the old one.
  2. Copy its level.dat file over the corrupted file.
  3. Start Minecraft (you will see both the old and the new worlds now) and open the old world. You'll probably appear in a different place (may even be inside a block). Look around to find your buildings.
  4. If all looks good and you want to continue playing in this world keep in mind that you'll have terrain generation boundaries, because the world seed is now different.

It sounds like something has got corrupted with your save file - to the extent that Minecraft no longer recognizes it. Your best solution is to restore from backup.

I'm taking it you don't have a backup, so the next best thing is to try and open it with another program, e.g. MCEdit, with which you can make some trivial edits and re-save, which may help restore your save file to an acceptable state. Note that MCEdit is not tied to your Minecraft save folder, you can manually load a map from any level.dat.

If this doesn't work (MCEdit won't open the file), you will have to sort things out manually. You'll need to look at the contents of your save file, and see where things could be going wrong. A good reference is the Java class that creates the save files. Good luck!


I have had this happen to me and I found a easy way to recover the world

Step 1: find out the seed. if you don’t know the seed use NBTExplorer Download: https://www.minecraftforum.net/forums/mapping-and-modding-java-edition/minecraft-tools/1262665-nbtexplorer-nbt-editor-for-windows-and-mac

Step 2: make a new world with the same seed and go back to the main menu

Step 3: go to saves folder in .minecraft and copy the region folder from the old world to the new and replace all files

Step 4: load the world up and boom your world is back

Step 5: (only if you want your inventory) go back to the saves folder and copy the playerdata Folder

And enjoy

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