Minecraft Pocket Edition World Vanished!

So, you, or a small person near you, have been playing Minecraft Pocket Edition on your Android device (similar issues on Apple devices I believe) when one day that world that you, or small person near you, have been working on for five months has disappeared!! The end of the world can be distressing time, but there is a way for you to save, or at least resurrect the world. Here’s how.

Basically, the cause of your consternation is almost certainly the corruption of your level.dat file for the lost world, what you need to do is replace it with something like the original. If you have previously made a backup then now is the time to feel smug, if not then all is not lost.

First, plug your device into a computer and mount it as USB storage. Next, navigate your way into games -> com.mojang. Copy the minecraftWorlds folder to a backup location on your computer. Now, in the unlikely event something goes wrong you can restore the whole folder.

Now, enter the minecraftWorlds folder, you’ll see a list of folders named after the worlds that you have created. Navigate into the folder of the world that you thought was lost. Now you will see a folder named db – this is where all your hard work is stored, and a file called level.dat. If you see that level.dat has zero size, then you see the problem. What you need to do is create a new file something like the lost one. There are two ways to do this:

1. Read elsewhere on the internet where you will be able to read what the file contains and then type it in yourself – I don’t recommend this, too easy to get it wrong.

2. Copy the same file from a similar world.

  • Start Minecraft on your tablet.
  • Create a new world with the same name and parameters (e.g. creative) as the one you lost.
  • Exit Minecraft
  • Connect your tablet to your computer and mount it as USB storage.
  • Browse the folders you just mounted and go to games -> com.mojang -> minecraftWorlds
  • Sort alphabetically and you should see two worlds one with the name of the lost world (e.g. MyWorld) and the new one you just made (e.g. MyWorld-).
  • Go into the MyWorld- folder and copy level.dat file from there to your MyWorld folder.
  • You can now delete the MyWorld- folder, but careful you get the right one, eh?
  • Unmount your device.
  • Reboot your device (this seems to be necessary for Minecraft to pick up the folder).
  • Start Minecraft, your lost world is there!

At this point, you may consider connecting your tablet to your computer again and making a backup of everything….Feel free to leave comments on your success or otherwise.

I didn’t write Minecraft Pocket Edition, but if I did I like to think that I would have employed some defensive programming technique to stop this kind of file corruption occurring without making a backup within the programme itself.

18 thoughts on “Minecraft Pocket Edition World Vanished!

      1. Jonathan Post author

        Great to hear that it has helped someone else. I know how important these Minecraft worlds can be!

        Reply
        1. Emma Cat

          Hi! Will this work with an android mobile?? Two worlds have disappeared in the space of a week 🙁 🙁 🙁

          Reply
  1. Nick

    Hi, iPad connected but I can’t navigate to games.>com.mojang. When I right click the iPad icon on my pc, it just gives me the DCIM folder and photos. Would you please advise how I can navigate to the games folder?

    Thanks for your help! Nick

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Post author

      Hi, to acheive this I installed a zip programme from google play, zipped the whole of the com.mojang directory in the games folder and copied it somewhere safe. Then, do the factory reset, create the games folder, unzip the file into it, install minecraft… And all is well! If you get problems then as long as you have the whole of the com.mojang folder somewhere, e.g. on your computer you should have everything you need.

      Reply
  2. Mod Harris

    Thank you so much for these clear instructions this has actually worked for us!! Our little man will be so happy. Only thing we had to work out were the file names in the minecraft world which were different random letters. Soon worked it out though based on looking at size of bytes and then found the world name in text file. Huge thanks again. Mod Harris

    Reply
  3. KATHY

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    This actually worked! Our folders weren’t named though, just a bunch of letter/number combos. But, we were able to find the lost world by the Date Created and Last Modified options….and followed your instructions from there.

    Reply

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