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Minecraft LAN not working: 6 ways to fix it

Playing online games with your friends on a local network has long been a pastime for gamers everywhere. However, we’ve all hit that one annoying issue, especially when playing our favorite creator/builder game, Minecraft. Is your Minecraft LAN not working? Don’t worry, here’s how you can fix it.

Charles Whitmore

Charles Whitmore

Minecraft LAN not working: 6 ways to fix it

Why is my Minecraft LAN not working?

Sometimes, when you connect to a solo player game in Minecraft, you might not be able to connect to your LAN party. Luckily, the issue of a Minecraft LAN connection not working isn’t the end of the world, and is typically an easy fix. The first step for fixing your LAN malfunctions is identifying the source of the connection issue.

Here’s a list of some of the most common reasons your Minecraft LAN isn’t working. Work your way down the list of causes and identify which one applies to your game session.

  • The computers or devices aren’t connected in the same network.
  • Antivirus software is disrupting the LAN connection.
  • A firewall under a certain configuration can prevent a LAN from connecting.
  • Some routers have security measures to prevent devices on the network connecting with each other. This is called AP isolation and could be the cause of your LAN not working.
  • The LAN host’s computer doesn’t meet the hardware requirements.
  • Some players could be playing with mods that aren’t compatible with the other players’ games.
  • If you’re on Windows, “Network discovery” could be turned off, disallowing file sharing.
  • Timeout errors when players try to connect in time but can’t.

Now that you’ve identified the issue, here are the ways in which you can fix your Minecraft LAN game.

How to fix Minecraft LAN not working

Fix 1. Double check that all computers and devices are connected to the same network and are using the same IP address

This should be the first port of call when your group encounters LAN disruption. It’s typically a case of human error and forgetting to connect every computer. Nonetheless, it’s an easily rectifiable mistake.

Bear in mind that different computers on a LAN that are using wired or wireless internet will be running from different IP addresses. If this happens, then you won’t be able to play together. The easiest way to fix this is to have everyone either connect to the internet using only wired or wireless. Any combination of the two internet connection methods will result in the LAN not working.

Fix 2. Change your Firewall settings and activate network discovery

This fix is for Windows computers and devices. The built-in firewall may need to be reconfigured to allow sharing between computers and devices in the same network. Don’t worry, adjusting firewall settings isn’t complex at all.

    1. Open up the “Control panel.”
    2. Open “Systems and security” and then select “Windows Defender Firewall,” then “Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.”
    3. On the next page, click on “Change settings” and scroll down the list of apps until you find “Network discovery.” Make sure the box is checked so network discovery is now enabled. Click “OK.” Now that network discovery is enabled with the firewall, it’s time to turn it on.
    4. Go back to the “Start” menu and find your device’s “Settings.”
    5. From “Settings,” go to “Network and internet” and select “Status.” In the right window, click “Sharing options.”
    6. Directly under “Sharing options” you will see a “Network discovery” section. Make sure it is turned on, and the checkbox is on “Turn on automatic setup of network connected devices.”
    7. Click “Save changes” and hopefully your Minecraft LAN not working will be a thing of the past.

Fix 3. Make sure everyone is running the same version of Minecraft

Minecraft has existed for over a decade, there have been several different iterations throughout the years. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that one of your compatriots is using an out-of-date version of the game. Check that everyone on the LAN is playing the latest version of Minecraft.

If you want to run on a different version of Minecraft, luckily you can choose which to play from the Minecraft Launcher. Select “Edit profile” and you’ll be shown a dropdown menu of different versions of Minecraft you can choose to play.

Fix 4. Uninstall mods and try to play again

We all know that one of the biggest advantages of computer gaming is the ability to play around with game mods, a freedom console gamers don’t get. As fun as experimenting with mods can be, it can also potentially crash your game, or cause LAN issues when other players try to play your game without the same mods installed.

Try to uninstall all your Minecraft mods and restart the LAN session.

Fix 5. Reset all network settings

Resetting your network settings should only be an option once you’ve exhausted all others. However, it could also be the solution to your LAN issue. By resetting the network settings, you’ll return everything to default without troubleshooting or deleting any files.

All you need to do is head into your computer’s “Settings” once again. Click on “Network and internet.” Scroll down until you see the “Status” section. From this section, click “Network reset” on the right side. Once the network has been reset, restart your computers and devices and see if your LAN issues persist.

Fix 6. Reinstall Minecraft

Uninstalling and reinstalling a game or app is a tried and true method of potentially fixing an issue. If your LAN issues still persist despite trying all methods to identify the problem, try removing Minecraft from your computer and reinstalling it.

If you’re linked up with a fast connection, reinstalling the game shouldn’t be an issue. The base game itself is less than a gigabyte of data. It’s the worlds created that can take up a large amount of storage space.

Hopefully, with these fixes, you’ll be playing local multiplayer again in no time.

How can you fix Minecraft LAN not working on a Mac?

Minecraft is popular across all platforms, including Mac. While some LAN issues can be solved using the same techniques as on Windows computers and devices, there’s another reason why LAN isn’t working. Mac will try to use IPv6, whereas your LAN might require IPv4. Luckily, reverting your Internet Protocol to IPv4 is a simple process of copying and pasting a line of code.

Open up the Minecraft Launcher. From the launcher, click on the “Installations” tab and pick whichever player profile you want to reconfigure to IPv4. Open up the “More options” tab. Now, you’ll see two fields called “Java executable” and “JVM arguments.” In the “JVM Arguments” field, copy and paste this line of code right at the start of the criteria bar:

-Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true

Apply the changes and you should now be able to connect to a LAN.

How can you fix your LAN world not showing up?

If you’re trying to host a Minecraft LAN world and other players can’t find it on their world lists, it’s typically due to a setting not being toggled. When creating a new world and configuring the multiplayer options, you’ll see an option called “Visible to LAN players.”

As the creator of a Minecraft LAN world, you need to make sure this option is always toggled on, otherwise your players will be searching for something they can’t see.

What should I do if I keep getting kicked out of the Minecraft server?

Some players have the worst luck, or in this case, internet connection. If you keep getting kicked out of the Minecraft server, or if a friend is struggling to connect, don’t worry – it’s more than likely not due to report-worthy offensive behavior.

When you or another player keep getting kicked out, it’s normally due to an unstable internet connection. If a player’s ping reaches certain levels, they’ll be kicked from a server so they can’t disrupt anyone else’s experience with lag.

Avoid LAN problems on Minecraft with Meshnet

Although open ports are risky, port forwarding can let computers that aren’t physically connected to the LAN network join in on the private Minecraft server. You should know that you risk compromising your cybersecurity if you willingly play with open ports. Luckily, there’s a solution to this issue with NordVPN’s Meshnet.

Using Meshnet, did you know you can remotely join a Minecraft LAN server when connected to a device that isn’t on the original LAN network? You won’t have to worry about opening your ports, because Meshnet allows you to connect without opening yourself up for attack.


Charles Whitmore
Charles Whitmore Charles Whitmore
Charles is a content writer with a passion for online privacy and freedom of knowledge. A technophile with a weakness for full Smart Home integration – he believes everyone should strive to keep up-to-date with their cybersec.