Softonic review

A Free Minecraft Launcher from Microsoft

Minecraft Launcher is a free game utility for Windows that enables access to various Minecraft titles on Windows 10 and 11 operating systems. One of the most popular franchises in the past decade, the Minecraft Launcher is a free and convenient way to manage and maintain a few of your favorite Minecraft games. Genernal requirements are Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higher and x64 architecture.

Similar to SKLauncher, this Launcher is free. However, the games it supports must be purchased individually. On the other hand, one perk is that it allows for cross-play with friends no matter which platform they are playing the game on. The Minecraft Launcher takes up very little space and serves as a one-stop portal for the base game on Windows, Minecraft: Java Edition, and Minecraft Dungeons.

Three Minecraft games on one hub

For PC players who want to play Minecraft, this launcher is a free, easy, and lightweight hub to suit your needs. All you’ll need to do is sign up for a Microsoft account, or log in to one you’ve already made, and you can install this on up to ten different Windows 10 devices. It’ll only take up about 10.13 MB of storage.

The Minecraft Launcher provides access to three versions of Minecraft: Minecraft for Windows, the bedrock of the game; Minecraft: Java Edition; and Minecraft Dungeons. If you’re the kind of player who hops between these three different games, the launcher is a must-have. It provides quick and easy switching between the titles at the press of a button. Cross-play with Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One is another plus.

The main appeal of this app is tied to whether the consumer enjoys the Minecraft series in general. To that end, it’s important to know what you’ll be getting with each of the three games mentioned above. Minecraft for Windows is the baseline experience; an expansive adventure through a charming, block-laden world rife with creative potential and collaborative projects to embark upon with your friends.

A different experience from Minecraft for Windows and Minecraft: Javascript, Minecraft Dungeons is more of a fighting experience. In this installment, you’ll be braving dungeons, either alone or with up to four friends, that are packed with enemies, secrets, and treasure. In this more narrative chapter of the franchise, you’ll be spelunking and excavating widely varying levels in an epic quest to save the villagers from the evil Arch-Illager.

Minecraft Launcher vs SKLauncher

The ongoing popularity of Minecraft has led to numerous launchers catered to organizing and accessing the games, each with its own quirks and caveats. Many players simply opt for getting a Mojang account, as that is tied directly to the developer, but options like this Minecraft Launcher or SKLauncher are also commonly sought after.

The main reason for this is that there’s a lot of potential fun playing with Minecraft mods. SKLauncher is one of the best available, keeping everything partitioned and running smoothly behind the scenes. It allows for quick and modular access to whatever add-ons with which you wish to outfit your experience. SKLauncher maintains a clean UI to keep your content accessible at a glance, gives you the choice of how much RAM you want it to use, and is available in over 20 languages.

Compared to the Minecraft Launcher, the SKLauncher is the recommended option. The Minecraft Launcher unfortunately suffers from frequent error messages and faulty downloads. This makes launching the game inconsistent, and in some rare circumstances, it may even corrupt your game data. It’s odd that a product advertised by the Microsoft Store would be less stable than its third-party counterpart, but this seems to be the case.

Organize and launch your favorite Minecraft games

Free to download, the Minecraft Launcher is an impressively designed nexus that efficiently consolidates existing Minecraft games into one place. Though its performance on Windows 10 and Windows 11 is often inconsistent and buggy, the concept of the Minecraft Launcher is a solid one. Handy when you’re trying to save time and storage, however, it does lose points for some lingering flaws that need to be addressed. 

When it works, this is indeed a helpful utility that unifies most of the Minecraft games in one location. It liberates you from the drudging responsibility of downloading multiple game launchers just to enjoy three different Minecraft games. For newcomers to Minecraft, we suggest giving the Minecraft Launcher a try. For established Minecraft players, it’s probably better to stick to SKLauncher or whichever has already become your preference over the years.


  • Multiple Minecraft titles in one place
  • Catered to Windows 10/11
  • Cross-platform support
  • Lightweight


  • Buggy; may not launch
  • Frequent recurring error messages
  • Inferior mod support and organization

Also available in other platforms

Program available in other languages

User reviews about Minecraft Launcher

  • Elliander Eldridge

    by Elliander Eldridge

    The reliance on the Windows Store to even download this earns a 1 star from me. I can run windows apps, but the windows store never works for me and hasn't for many years now. I came to this page because I was looking for a place to download what I p More


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