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I'm trying to install Minecraft for my son and would really appreciate some help - sorry this is so basic! My son has a Windows 10 laptop and we bought Minecraft Java from the Minecraft site. It seems to download a .exe file but when we try to open it we get the error code 0x803F8001

Having done a bit of searching my questions are:

  1. Do we need to install Minecraft Launcher in order to install/use Minecraft Java?

  2. Does the Launcher have to come from the MS store?

  3. If download Launcher can you still use Java? ie - it doesn't force you to use Bedrock?

Sorry again for basic questions. I use Mac - windows is a mystery to me, as is Minecraft!

Thanks John

3 Answers 3

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The Minecraft Launcher license is not currently available for your account. Make sure you're signed in to the Microsoft Store and try again. We include an error code if you need it: 0x803F8001.

Minecraft has recently moved to a new launcher. Previously, you'd download an installer .exe from the minecraft.net website, you'd run this installer file, and the Minecraft Launcher will be installed as an application on your Windows 10 machine.

Now, the Launcher used to begin playing Minecraft: Java Edition is a purchasable app from the Microsoft Store. It's free, but you may not be able to get it if you did not buy Minecraft: Java Edition on the Minecraft website.

Now, you bought a copy of Minecraft: Java Edition using a Microsoft account. Before you will be able to download the new Launcher app, you must sign into your Microsoft account within the Microsoft Store application. Type ms-windows-store://signin into your browser's address bar. It will activate the Microsoft Store login page.

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You don’t technically need the launcher to play Minecraft, however it is highly recommended and is necessary to install Minecraft. The launcher will allow you to play both Java and Bedrock, assuming that they are both purchased. I do not know if the non MS store launcher is still available for download, however it seems you can fix the error you are getting by clearing the Microsoft store cache.

According to an Xbox ambassador on the Microsoft community:

To correct the error, press the [Win] + [R] keys on your keyboard simultaneously, enter "WSReset" and confirm with [Return].

Doing so should allow you to use the MS store version.

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To answer the first question, yes, to play Minecraft Java, you do typically need a launcher.

To answer the second question (does the launcher have to come from the MS store?), no, it doesn't, you can just use the older Windows 7/8 version. Simply visit https://launcher.mojang.com/download/MinecraftInstaller.msi. If you don't trust the link, just go to the downloads page, and instead of selecting Windows 10/11, select Windows 7/8. This is what I'd do if I used Windows as my primary OS.

To answer the third question, the launcher existed long before Bedrock, but recently allowed you to play Bedrock.

The reason why I added this answer is because the others didn't have instructions of how to get away from the Microsoft store.

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