Save the World: Minecraft PE





Introduction: Save the World: Minecraft PE

Given the number of hours my children have played Minecraft. I'm glad they never lost their game data or Minecraft World, where they are working on. Like everyone else, I regularly backup my device using iTunes. And fortunately it has never been necessary to restore a device.

But what to do if something goes wrong? A full restore of an iPad, because something did not go quite right in survival mode, is going a little too far. And now my oldest daughter has her own smartphone, her "Minecraft World" must be ported.

Because of this, it became time to look at the iOS / Android file structure. And to figure out how to backup/restore the Minecraft Worlds separately. With millions of copies of this game sold, I will not be the only one with this problem. And now this is resolved, it's time to share my solution.

Step 1: Backup From Android

Stop the Minecraft app before creating a backup.

Open the "My Files" application and open the >games>com.mojang>minecraftWorlds-folder. Each folder on this location contains one Minecraft World.

The advantage of Android, over iOS, is the possibility to create a backup of a single world. Just copy the wanted world-folder to another location (e.g. SD-card) or zip the folder and upload it to Google Drive. Don't fortget to remove the zipfile after uploading.

Step 2: Backup From IOS

To make a backup of the Minecraft Worlds on an iOS-device, you must use iTunes.

Stop the Minecraft application before creating a backup. Connect your iOS-device, with an USB cable, to the computer. Select the device and open the Apps-viewer. Scroll down to "File Sharing" and select "Minecraft PE". This will show two, so called, documents: "games" and "internal". These are non-browsable directories in iTunes.

Select the "games"-folder and press the "Save to..." button. Now select your backup destination, and wait until all files are copied to this location.

All your Minecraft Worlds are now stored on your computer.

Step 3: Backup Folder

After saving the iOS or Andriod worlds, we have the following folders on the computer:

\Minecraft Backup
            ...\[World Folder 1]
            ...\[World Folder 2]

World folders have names like "8XYDAAHLAAA=" and "9a0DAHVARAA=", but folders from older versions might contain the name of the world.


Inside the [World folder] is a file named "levelname.txt". This file contains the name of the world. Changing this file doesn't alter the name inside the game. Opening the "level.dat" file reveals another levelname entry (hexadecimal):

0050h: B8 56 00 00 00 00 08 09 00 4C 65 76 65 6C 4E 61 ; ,v.......LevelNa
0060H: 6D 65 08 00 4D 79 20 57 6F 72 6C 64 03 13 00 4C ; me..My World...L

I dont't recommend changing the LevelName outside the Game. But this file is usefull for identifying the name of a world.

Step 4: Restore to Android

Restoring to Andriod can be done with the "My Files" application. Copy the folder from the backup location to the minecraftWorlds-folder. Or download and extract your backup-zipfile from Google Drive. Don't forget to delete the zipfile after extracting.

Step 5: Restore to IOS

Restoring the minecraft worlds on an iOS device overwrites all existing worlds on the device. And I recommend to make an additional backup, before restoring World data.

Restoring is the opposite of a backup. Use the "Add file..." button and select the games folder on the computer. There will be a message that the folder already exists. Select "Replace" and wait until all files are copied to the device.

There is no need to restore the entire backup. Just remember that the "Games" folder is the main folder. It's possible to delete or even duplicate worlds inside the Games folder before restoring.

\Copy of Minecraft Backup
   ...\Games                   <--[Restore Folder]
            ...\cx4DAAdUIAA=   <--[World Folder 1]
            ...\dx4DAAdUIAA=   <--[Renamed Copy of World Folder 1]
            ...\5LIDABcmCwA=   <--[World Folder 3]
            ...\5LIDABcmDwA=   <--[Renamed Copy of World Folder 3]
\Minecraft Backup
            ...\cx4DAAdUIAA= [World Folder 1]
            ...\8XYDAAHLAAA= [World Folder 2]
            ...\5LIDABcmCwA= [World Folder 3]
            ...\9a0DAHVARAA= [World Folder n]

Step 6: Conclusion

Backup and restore using an iOS device is the easyest. But has one disadvantage: iTunes copies all your worlds to a single folder with multiple subfolders. Restoring, from this folder, overwrites all existing worlds on the iOS device. But it's possible to alter or merge backup folders before restoring.

On Android it's possible to backup and restore one folder at a time. The "My Files" app gives direct access to the filesystem. You can keep your backups on the same device (e.g. on the SD-card) or upload them to Google Drive.

And the best of all: Minecraft Worlds are OS independent. It's possible to restore an iOS backup on an Android device (and vice versa).

Finally, to round off, a zipfile with 2 Worlds. And they both contain a Village.


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    9 Discussions


    Question 3 months ago

    Well, my last question may be unnecessary anyway. When it finally got done copying all of the files over, they instantly went away. Then I got a message from itunes saying: "games" could not be copied because an error occured. You do not have enough access privliges for this operation. Dang!

    1 more answer

    Okay, I changed the file location and it's working now.

    My 9 year old daughter's ipad has a number of worlds that she paid for, and they are now locked again. It's telling her she has to use coins to purchase them. I have no idea why, and will this process work. I can see the folders for all of her worlds, and some of them are the locked ones. Thanks in advance.

    I've a windows phone!!! Help me


    7 months ago

    easy process. thanks.

    iFunBox let u restore without losing a world

    This was a great help. I searched and searched and tried other software unsuccessfully, sine I did not think you could do this through iTunes. It was a simple drag and drop of the entire games folder to add to the new device in iTunes. With the other software I could not do an entire folder at once. Thanks again.

    Hi, thank you for your very useful article. I am trying to help my 9yr old son to back up his minecraft worlds. By following your instructions i have managed to back them up to my google drive but when we try to access them from the google drive on another device we are unable to. Please could you advice us on how to do this?
    Thanks Jane

    so amzing