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Optifine Installation Guide

Optifine is essential to any Minecraft installation. Especially for those of you who are running on lower end hardware, as it gives access to many new video settings which can dramatically increase your FPS (frames per second).

We’ve put together a detailed guide below which should help you with installing Optifine. This guide is suitable for all Minecraft Versions, including 1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15 and 1.16. Below, you can also find information on installing shaders, uninstalling Optifine and more. We’ve covered many more Minecraft Guides which you’re free to check out.

What is Optifine

Optifine is a modification for Minecraft which provides a large amount of optimizations, as well as support for shaders. It’s available for all versions of Minecraft, except for when a new version is released. You’ll usually have to wait a few weeks for a preview version to become available.

Some of the features that Optifine provides includes shader support, dynamic lighting, FPS boosts, larger render distances, connected textures, VSync, anti aliasing, configurable animations and more.

How to Install Optifine

There are a few steps you should take before installing Optifine. First, make sure the version of Minecraft that you are installing it for has been run at least once. Secondly, close Minecraft, and the Minecraft Launcher before starting. Follow the steps below to install Optifine.

Step 1: Download Optifine

Head to the Optifine Downloads page. Here, you can see all of the available versions of Optifine. For newer versions of Minecraft, such as 1.15 and 1.16, you may need to click the ‘Preview Versions’ link at the top of the page.

Optifine Versions

Simply click the ‘Download’ button next to any version. A new page will open, and after a few seconds, you can press the Skip button in the top right corner of the page. Now press the new download link, and a Java file will begin to download, specifically a .JAR file.

Step 2: Install Optifine

Once the .JAR file has downloaded, you will want to open it. If Optifine doesn’t open, then you might need to make sure you have Java installed. The Optifine Installer application will open.

Optifine Installer

In the application, it should have set the default installation for Minecraft already. If you have ever changed the location of Minecraft, then you may need to update this folder. When you’re ready, just hit the ‘Install’ button. After a few seconds, the process will be complete and Optifine will be installed.

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How to Use & Run Optifine

With Optifine installed, open up the Minecraft Launcher. In the bottom left corner, there is a drop-down box. Select the box, and select the ‘Optifine’ preset to ensure that Minecraft runs with the Optifine mod. Then hit the ‘PLAY’ button.

Minecraft Launcher

You’ll know if Optifine has worked when you look through the menus. From the main menu, choose Options > Video Settings. You should see a lot of new buttons, some which may be confusing. Some things you might want to look into properly are the Shaders section, the Render Distance and sections such as Quality/Performance.

How to Install Shaders

One of the key things that you might want to do with Optifine is install Shaders. When using Shaders, many graphical aspects of Minecraft will be changed dramatically, such as lighting, shadows, reflections and more.

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optifine shaders
How Minecraft looks with Shaders

Firstly, you need to download some Shaders. Some of the most popular ones are SEUS (Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shaders), although they tend to be for higher end system. Sildur’s Vibrant Shaders have packs available for lower end systems, where you can choose the ‘Lite’ or ‘Medium’ options. Either way, you will receive a ZIP file which are the shaders.

Go to your Minecraft directory and open the ‘shaders’ folder. If you don’t know how to get there, open Minecraft with Optifine. Go to Options > Video Settings > Shaders and press the ‘Shaders Folder’ button in the bottom left corner. All you need to do is place the ZIP file in here and restart Minecraft.

When you next launch the game with Optifine, go to Options > Video Settings > Shaders again. This time, you should see the Shader pack you just downloaded on the left hand side. Select them, give them time to load up and press Done. Shaders will now be installed with Minecraft!

How to Uninstall Optifine

Uninstalling Optifine is simple. Open the Minecraft Launcher and choose the ‘Installations’ button, found at the top of the window. A list of your Minecraft installations will be visible. All you need to do is hover over Optifine until a ‘…’ button becomes visible. Select it, and then choose ‘Delete’ to uninstall Optifine from your Minecraft.

How to Change Optifine Version

Changing your version of Optifine is also quite simple. The easiest thing to do would be to simply go to the Optifine Downloads page, and re-download & install Optifine for your chosen Minecraft Version. 

There is only one downside though. You can only have one version of Optifine installed at a single time. Every-time you try to install another version, the previous version will be removed.

Phillip Anderson
Hey, I'm Phillip Anderson! After studying Video Game Design at University, I began writing articles at PwrDown in my free time. I currently play my games on PC, but also own a PS4 & Nintendo Switch. I'm also a VR enthusiast, owning an Oculus Rift S where you might find me playing Beat Saber or Skyrim VR!