How to Completely Uninstall and Reinstall Minecraft Game Launcher

Minecraft is one of the most popular video games in the world, with over 140 million monthly active players. As with any piece of software, sometimes issues can arise that require uninstalling and reinstalling the game launcher to fix. This guide will walk you through completely removing Minecraft from your computer and then installing a fresh copy.

Why Uninstall and Reinstall the Launcher

There are a few common reasons why you may need to uninstall and reinstall the Minecraft launcher:

  • Fixing bugs or crashes: A clean install can resolve launcher errors, crashes on startup, or in-game glitches.
  • Clearing old/corrupted files: Over time, the .minecraft folder can accumulate damaged or outdated files that hurt performance.
  • Remove mods/texture packs: Deleting everything is the simplest way to get rid of mods or resource packs you no longer want.
  • Free up storage space: A complete reinstallation lets you delete unneeded Minecraft files taking up drive space.

Backing Up Your Game Saves

Before uninstalling, it’s important to back up your save files unless you don’t care about losing your Minecraft worlds and progression:

  • Press Win + R to open the Windows Run dialog
  • Type %appdata% and press Enter
  • Open the .minecraft folder
  • Copy the saves folder to a safe location like your Desktop or Documents folder

This preserves all your saved Minecraft worlds, settings, and statistics.

Uninstalling the Minecraft Launcher

To completely remove Minecraft from a Windows 10/11 computer:

  • DO NOT delete the Minecraft launcher itself
  • Press Win + R and type %appdata%
  • Delete the .minecraft folder
  • Open Control Panel > Uninstall a Program
  • Uninstall any version of Minecraft or related programs

On Mac:

  • Open Finder > Applications
  • Drag Minecraft to the Trash
  • Delete the .minecraft folder in your User directory


  • Open the Minecraft folder
  • Delete everything except the saves folder you backed up

Reinstalling Minecraft

Once Minecraft has been completely removed from your system, reinstalling is simple:

  • Download the launcher from
  • Run the installer and follow the prompts
  • Sign in with your Microsoft/Mojang account
  • Start Minecraft!

The launcher will automatically redownload the necessary files as the game opens for the first time.

Restoring Backed Up Saves

If you want to restore your old worlds and settings:

  • Browse to the .minecraft folder again after reinstalling
  • Copy your saves folder back into the .minecraft folder
  • Confirm overwriting any files
  • Launch Minecraft to access your previous saves

Troubleshooting Issues

Some common problems and their solutions:

  • Launcher won’t open – Reset the launcher from app settings or redownload it
  • Crashes or bugs continue – Update graphics drivers and Java, make exceptions in antivirus
  • Can’t sign into account – Password issues, Microsoft account problems
  • Worlds missing – Recover from original saves backup

Improving Minecraft Performance

After a fresh install, there are many steps you can take to boost FPS and optimize Minecraft:

  • Close other programs using RAM/GPU like web browsers
  • Adjust Video Settings to minimize lag
  • Reduce Render Distance to 6-10 chunks
  • Install performance mods like OptiFine or Sodium
  • Change Java garbage collection flags
  • Pre-generate chunks with Chunk Pregen mod
  • Use Linux or OpenJ9 for better underlying performance

A complete reinstallation presents an ideal opportunity to start over with a faster, smoother, and improved Minecraft experience whether you are playing singleplayer or multiplayer.

When to Reinstall the Launcher

Some signs it’s time for a clean slate by removing and redownloading Minecraft:

  • Frequent crashes, freezes, or visual corruption
  • Extremely long load times
  • Weird in-game glitches and behavior
  • Corrupted worlds or lost data
  • Out of storage space
  • Removing mods

Back up your saves, delete the .minecraft folder, install the latest launcher, and restore worlds to refresh everything.

A clean reinstallation takes a bit of time but resolves many common issues with Minecraft not working properly. Follow this guide when needed to keep playing without problems.