Monthly Archives: December 2014

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.