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I usually host my world on Minecraft by using the “Open LAN server” on my MacBook. However, sometimes I don’t want to play but still want to open the LAN server with my friends. I don’t like keeping Minecraft running in the background because it uses up a lot of CPU power.

Is there any way to start a LAN server without running Minecraft? Please note that I’m not interested in doing anything on the internet—like using Hamachi to create a virtual LAN or hosting a Minecraft server on the internet—I just want to create a LAN a la the in-game option, without actually having Minecraft take up all my computer’s resources.

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There is no way to do exactly what you are asking, but you can simply download the server for your version of Minecraft, and run that without port forwarding. If you need help setting it up on your mac, there are instructions to do so on the Minecraft wiki.

To allow your friends to connect, have them click either "Add Server" or "Direct Connect" in the multiplayer menu, then type either the name of your computer or your IP address in the box.

Using the name of your computer may not work, so if it doesn't or you don't know the name, then you can use your IP address instead. Here is a guide on how to find it on MacOS, and here is a guide for Windows (works on all versions).

When you want to connect to the server, simply do the same but instead of your computer name / IP address, simply type localhost. You will get slightly better performance this way and it will prevent your computer from using your network to communicate with itself, which is obviously redundant.

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