Minecraft comes into its own when you have friends to play with, but nothing spoils the fun when you try to connect to a friend’s world, and you get the “Minecraft unable to connect to world” error.
There are various reasons why this happens, and we’ll walk you through the most likely issues so you can get back to mining and crafting like real gamers.
1. Check your connection
Eliminate the possibility of network issues before opening Minecraft. Head to How To Fix Intermittent Internet Connection In Windows 10 Or 8 Easy Ways To Troubleshoot Network Connection To Fix Spotty Internet Connection.
The quickest way to spot-check a connection is to switch to another network. If you don’t have another network available, try using your phone as a mobile hotspot. If Minecraft starts working fine on another internet connection, that’s a clue that your ISP or local network may be the problem.
2. Restart Minecraft (and your computer)
Classic troubleshooting tips are still relevant. Some things may have changed while running your Minecraft session or a problem in your PC’s network driver. Even if you’re playing Minecraft on a console, it can’t hurt to restart the machine to see if that helps.
3. Check for updates
Generally, you need the same version of Minecraft as the world you’re trying to connect to. So the world host and anyone trying to connect to that world should have the latest version.
4. Check Windows Updates
While making sure that Minecraft is properly updated, you should also check if there are any pending Windows updates. If it’s been a while since you’ve updated Windows, your Minecraft copy may be too new and no longer work with older Windows components, or a known bug may have been fixed later.
5. Recharge your private world
This patch is not the one we used ourselves, but players on the forums seem to be having good luck with it. For some reason, reloading one of your private worlds allows you to connect to a friend’s world. It’s unclear why this might work, but one explanation is that loading one of your worlds overwrites a shared config file which may have been corrupted or have incorrect values. Either way, it can’t hurt to try:
- Launch Minecraft and log in with your Microsoft account.
- Select To play.
- Go to the worlds and launch one of your own worlds (create one if you don’t have one).
- Open the game menu and select Save and Exit.
- You should now be back at the main menu. Choose the Friends tab and try to join their world again.
If that was the problem, you should log in with no problem.
6. Change your firewall settings
A firewall is a hardware or software system that controls which applications can send or receive data over the Internet. When you first run an application in Windows that asks to send or receive data, a pop-up asks if you want to let the program pass through the Windows Defender Firewall.
If you accidentally said no or were never asked to approve a firewall exception, you can either disable Windows Firewall (not recommended) or create an exception for Minecraft. For step-by-step instructions, learn how to adjust Microsoft Windows 10 firewall rules and settings.
If it’s not the Windows Firewall, another firewall may be blocking Minecraft. Your router most likely has its own firewall solution, but you’ll need to consult the manual as the exact details on adding exceptions vary by brand and model. If someone else is running the network, you will need to request permission to let Minecraft traffic through. Minecraft is widely used in education, so as long as you have a legitimate reason, it shouldn’t be a problem.
You can completely disable Windows Firewall to make sure it’s not a firewall rule that’s causing the problem. However, if you don’t have another firewall solution (as in your route), you should immediately re-enable it after testing is complete. You may also have a firewall in your antivirus software, so make sure it’s disabled or add an exception to it for Minecraft.
7. Remove and re-add your friend
In some cases, it seems that the friends list in Minecraft can get corrupted for some reason. To fix this problem, you need to remove your friends from the list and then add them again.
Before you do this, you can test if friend list corruption is the problem by trying to join a stranger’s world. If it succeeds, you’re probably dealing with a corrupt friends list. On the other hand, if the issue only affects joining people on your friends list, delete that person and send them a new invite.
8. Update your network card drivers
Network problems can be attributed to outdated drivers, so it’s a good idea to check if new drivers are available for your network interface. One way to check for adapter problems is to switch to another. For example, switch to Ethernet when using Wi-Fi and see if the problem goes away. If so, go to the website of the company that manufactures the problematic adapter or visit your motherboard’s driver page to get the latest driver.
9. Use a VPN
If the problem is with the specific Minecraft server or the routing path to that server, use a VPN. By changing the location of the VPN server you use, you can change the path your data takes on the network and bypass the roadblock that prevents you from connecting to the server.
10. Stop using a VPN
If you were already using a VPN or proxy server when getting this error, you should do the opposite of the above and stop using the VPN. At least temporarily, to see if that’s part of the problem. If you’re trying to play Minecraft on a network that’s blocking it (like a work or school network), try switching to another VPN, proxy server, or service.
11. Enable Multiplayer
If you’re using the version of Minecraft purchased from the Microsoft Store (also the PC Game Pass version), your Xbox profile influences your online experience. You must ensure that multiplayer settings are enabled on this account or Minecraft will fail to connect.
1. Open a web browser and go to the official Xbox Live website.
2. Log in with your Microsoft/Xbox credentials.
3. Select the tab that says Xbox One/Windows 10 Online Safety.
4. Under You can join multiplayer gamesensure that Allow is selected.
5. Select Submitthen close the webpage.
Make sure to restart Minecraft before trying to log in again.
12. Install the Java version of Minecraft
Nowadays, players use the Bedrock edition of the game purchased from the Microsoft Store. This modern Minecraft port is based on the mobile Pocket Edition of the game. It is a complete rewrite of Minecraft and it is the version that covers all the different platforms from iOS to Android to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, PC and everything in between.
The original game created by Mojang (before Microsoft bought it) was written in Java. Incredibly, the Java edition of Minecraft is still maintained and played to this day. If the Bedrock Edition doesn’t work for you, try the Java Edition on your PC.
There are key differences between these versions that affect how they look, feel, and play. However, if you and your friends can’t get Bedrock to work, then the Java version is better than no Minecraft at all. If you’re using Xbox Game Pass for PC, you can access both versions of the game through the Xbox app on Windows.
Change your Minecraft platform
If you can’t fix Minecraft on PC, consider playing it on another platform. Minecraft games are available on every central console and mobile device. You can even use a controller if you’re playing Minecraft on an iPhone or iPad. If you’re sticking to a PC and have one of the latest graphics cards, you might want to spice things up even more by enabling ray tracing in Minecraft.