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Minecraft Dungeons could slay your PC’s data when you uninstall it – but there’s an easy fix

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft Dungeons has a really serious bug whereby in certain cases it could remove a hefty chunk of other files from your PC as well as its own data – potentially even wiping the drive the game’s installed on.

As mentioned, this is only happening to some users, and the good news is that there’s now an update for Minecraft Dungeons which solves the problem.

The bug specifically affects players who have installed the game in a custom directory, and then chose to uninstall the Minecraft Dungeons Launcher using the Add/Remove Programs facility in Windows.

In this scenario, there is a chance that the game will remove the parent directory, and if there’s anything in that, Minecraft Dungeons will take those files with it. In other words, if you’ve installed the game in C:\Minecraft Dungeons, the parent folder is your actual C: drive – and that could be entirely wiped.

This problem was highlighted on Twitter by a user who had Minecraft Dungeons installed on their games SSD, and it wiped out the entire drive.

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Quick hotfix

Note that this problem does not affect those who have installed Minecraft Dungeons from the Microsoft Store, and also there is now a hotfix available, as Tom’s Hardware reports. You can apply that fix simply by restarting the Dungeons Launcher, which should then grab it automatically.

Before you uninstall the game, be sure that the Microsoft Dungeons Launcher is running Bootstrap version 166 or higher. To check this, go to Settings > About > Bootstrap, and if the version number is lower than 166, restart the Launcher.

Whatever you do, don’t uninstall the game if you aren’t on version 166 or higher, as you may run the above data wipe risks otherwise.

Why on earth did this happen, then? That’s a good question, and Mojang’s Marcio Oliveira, who is Tech Lead for the Minecraft and Minecraft Dungeons Launcher, explains: “When a player selected a custom ‘Install Location’ in the Dungeons installation dialog, the Dungeons Launcher was taking that location and naively considering that only files written by the Dungeons Launcher would live there.

“Thus, when uninstalling the Launcher, the uninstall logic would simply delete that ‘Install Location’ folder, to leave no traces of program files created by the Launcher on disk.”

That’s a pretty shocking coding oversight, although sadly it’s far from a first in PC gaming. Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor, an RPG released just after the turn of the millennium, suffered from an uninstall bug which could wipe out your system files.

More recently, Realm of the Mad God Exalt – a niche Flash-based RPG mixed with twin-stick shooter – suffered from the same problem as Minecraft Dungeons exhibits here (albeit with the beta client, but still – it’s a terrible error to inflict on the player base).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).