How to Install Optifine

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Optifine is a modification that many consider necessary for Minecraft. It allows the installation of Shader Packs, which dramatically change the appearance of Minecraft by adding all new lighting, shadows and reflection effects.

But it also offers tons of new video settings, which can make Minecraft run faster on lower-end systems. It provides options to disable clouds, have a lower render distance than what’s provided in the vanilla game, and control features like Smooth or Dynamic Lighting.

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to install Optifine for Minecraft, as well as get started with installing your first Shader Pack.

Download Optifine

No matter what method you’re going for to install Optifine, you need to download it first. So head to the Optifine Downloads page. It’s likely that Optifine for the latest version of Minecraft will be displayed first, and you might need to press the ‘Show All Versions’ button to find the correct download.

optifine downloads
Optifine Download Page

Select your version, and press the ‘Download’ button, and you’ll have to wait for a few seconds through advertisements. Then you can press the Skip button in the top right corner of the screen.

Afterwards, the download link will become available, which will download a .JAR file to your computer. Make sure this is saved to a location you can access. If this file type doesn’t look right, then you might need to ensure that you have the latest version of Java installed.

Optifine Availability

VersionAvailable
1.7.10Available
1.8.9Available
1.9.4Available
1.10.2Available
1.11.2Available
1.12.2Available
1.13.2Available
1.14.4Available
1.15.2Available
1.16.5Available
1.17.1Available
1.18.1Available

Optifine Standalone

Installing Optifine as a standalone is recommended when you only want to play Vanilla Minecraft. Scroll further down, to our Forge and Fabric guides instead if you’re using a mod launcher.

It’s by far the easiest way of installing Optifine. Take note that this method doesn’t allow the installation of Forge or Fabric mods alongside it, but Datapacks still work.

Install Optifine

Open the Optifine.JAR file that we downloaded in the previous step, and the Optifine installer will open, which will look like the window below. Before proceeding, make sure that the Minecraft Launcher isn’t open, as the Optifine profile won’t install.

The only thing to consider in this window is whether you want need to change the install folder location, but in most cases, this can be left alone.

optifine installer
Optifine Installer

You can then hit the install button. Optifine will install into your Minecraft directory, and will complete after a few seconds. Once it’s complete, you can go ahead and close the Optifine Installer window.

Select the Optifine Profile

Now that Optifine is installed, open up the Minecraft Launcher. In the bottom left corner is a dropdown menu. This contains all of your Minecraft Profiles, which might be your Forge, Fabric and older versions that you have installed.

Open it and select the Optifine option. This is a freshly installed profile which was added during the Optifine installation process. The smaller text will display the version of Minecraft it’s installed for, as well as the version of Optifine.

optifine profile
Optifine Profile

Press the PLAY button in the Minecraft Launcher, and Minecraft will launch with Optifine installed. You can check it’s working by going into the Video Options and seeing a load of new settings which are available to you, including Shaders.

Install Optifine with Forge

Installing Optifine to work alongside Forge isn’t too difficult of a process. Make sure that you have the Optifine.JAR file that we downloaded in the first step.

Add it to the Mods Folder

This Optifine.JAR needs to be placed into your Minecraft mods folder.

This is most often located in:
C:\Users\YOU\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\mods

If you can’t find this folder, try:

  1. Typing %AppData% into your Start Menu and press ENTER. This will bring you to your Roaming folder, and there should be a .minecraft folder in there. Then just place it in the mods folder.
  2. Open Minecraft, go to Resource Packs and press the Open Resource Packs Folder. This should also take you to your Minecraft directory, but you might need to go up one folder level.

With the Optifine.JAR file in your mods folder, double click it to open it. Instead of pressing the ‘Install’ button, press ‘Extract’ instead. This should extract another Optifine.JAR file into your mods folder, but this new one will be a functional mod file instead.

In your mods folder, there will be 2 Optifine.JAR files. Delete the original one, which is the installer file. When you run Minecraft with Forge, Optifine will be installed and functional.

Install Optifine with Fabric

To make Optifine compatible with Fabric, an additional mod needs to be installed, and it’s called OptiFabric.

Download OptiFabric

Use the links below to download the version of OptiFabric that correlates to your version of Minecraft. The links go back to CurseForge, so you can be sure the files are safe, and that you’re supporting mod creators.

VersionAvailable
1.7.10No Release
1.8.9No Release
1.9.4No Release
1.10.2No Release
1.11.2No Release
1.12.2No Release
1.13.2No Release
1.14.4Download
1.15.2Download
1.16.5Download
1.17.1Download
1.18.1Download

When you have the OptiFabric.JAR file, you want to place this in your mods folder in Minecraft.

This is most often located in:
C:\Users\YOU\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\mods

If you can’t find this folder, try:

  1. Typing %AppData% into your Start Menu and press ENTER. This will bring you to your Roaming folder, and there should be a .minecraft folder in there. Then just place it in the mods folder.
  2. Open Minecraft, go to Resource Packs and press the Open Resource Packs Folder. This should also take you to your Minecraft directory, but you might need to go up one folder level.

Don’t open Minecraft yet, because Optifine isn’t ready. We need to follow the steps similar to Forge.

Install the Optifine Mod

Take the Optifine Installer file that we downloaded in the first step of this guide, and place that in your mods folder.

Double click it to open the Installer, and press the ‘Extract’ button. This will extract a working mod version of Optifine into your mods folder. You should have 2 Optifine files in the mods folder, delete the original installer file. When you run Minecraft with your Fabric preset selected, Optifine should be working, thanks to OptiFabric.

Installing Shaders

One of the reasons that you’re likely installing Optifine is so that you can install Shader Packs. These are packs which completely change the appearance of Minecraft, adding all new lighting, shadows and atmospheric effects.

Though they can be quite demanding depending on your system specs. Luckily, there are some packs which are designed for lower-end hardware.

minecraft with shaders
Minecraft with Shaders

First, you’ll need to find a pack that you like the look of. Some of the most popular options include SEUS¬†or Sildur’s Vibrant Shaders. Download the pack of your choice, and you should receive a ZIP file, you don’t need to open or extract this.

Instead, place the ZIP file into the shaderpacks folder in your Minecraft Directory. If this folder doesn’t exist, it’s probably because you haven’t run Minecraft with Optifine installed yet. So go ahead and do that, or manually create the folder yourself.

Then, you can open Minecraft, go to Options > Video Settings > Shaders and select your pack to enable it. Depending on your system, it might take a few seconds (or even minutes) to activate.

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