Why Can’t I Join My Friends’ Minecraft World?

If you are struggling to join your friends’ world on Minecraft, it could be due to the fact that you are on different versions of the game, you are experiencing issues with your firewall or antivirus software, or are having permission-related problems.

Ever since I first played Minecraft back in the Alpha well over a decade ago, I have spent plenty of hours in the game on numerous platforms. But like many other players of this game, there have been occasions where I have struggled to join my friend’s world.

This guide is going to take you through some of the most common reasons why you may be unable to join your friends’ Minecraft world.

Key Takeaways

  • Update your game and/or make sure you are on the same version as your friend.
  • Check your firewall/antivirus settings to make sure they are not blocking the program from accessing certain networks.
  • Your account may be set up in a way that prevents you from connecting with different servers, and you will need to adjust your permissions.

1. You are on Different Versions of the Game

One of the most common reasons why players cannot join their friends’ world on Minecraft is due to them having different versions of the game. For example, those playing on the Java version of Minecraft won’t be able to play with those on the Bedrock version.

Make sure you and your friends are both playing on the same version before ever trying to join their world. If not, you will be unable to join and will often be greeted with an “Outdated Server” message.

Take time to learn the differences between each version, and which makes the most sense for you and your friend group. For example, Java cannot be played on console, but is the only option available for Linux and Mac users.

On the other hand, Bedrock can be played on PC, mobile devices, and consoles like the PS5 and Nintendo Switch. However, there has recently been a Java & Bedrock edition released for Windows that allows the game to be cross-played with any current edition of Minecraft.

2. Issues With Windows Firewall or Antivirus Software

Having a firewall or antivirus software on your PC is very important for keeping it safe. Unfortunately, they can also be the reason why you can’t join your friends’ Minecraft world.

These will often block certain programs from accessing different networks and servers, for your own protection. As a result, you will fail to connect to the necessary servers to join your friends’ world. To rectify this, you need to adjust your firewall settings.

On your PC, this is done by searching for Firewall & network protection in your search bar. From there, select Allow an app through firewall > Change Settings, and then locate Minecraft and ensure that both boxes are checked.

You may also need to check your antivirus settings and make sure applications aren’t being blocked because they access different servers. But beware that if you are using a free/limited version of your antivirus software, you may not be able to change settings in the way you need.

3. Permission-Related Problems

The privacy settings of your Microsoft account or the account of your friend could be the reason for the issue. Many accounts have limited permissions by default, and this will hold people back from joining other servers. This is especially true if it is a child’s account.

In order to play multiplayer, you or your friend will need to change the permissions to allow your account to be able to play multiplayer and connect to different servers. If you are on a child’s account, you will require an adult or parental account to lift or change these restrictions.

You also might not be whitelisted on your friend’s server, and will thus be unable to join and play. Many servers will have a whitelist of authorized users to ensure unauthorized people don’t ruin the world and grief, so you will need to be included on this list to visit the world.


Here are a few frequently asked questions by those who may be struggling to join their friends’ Minecraft world.

Why can’t I join friends on other platforms?

Minecraft is a cross-platform game that can be played on many platforms including PC, Mac, Android devices, iPhones, Xbox consoles, PS4, and PS5. However, in order to play with other devices, you need to ensure that you have set up cross-play on your device or console.

Many accounts disallow playing with people outside of the platform by default, so this will need to be changed. If you are still experiencing issues, it could also be related to an issue with either account, and simply logging out and back in might deal with the problem.

Why is my friend not joinable on Minecraft?

Sometimes, an issue will arise when you not only can’t join your friends’ world, but your friend won’t even show up on your friends’ list. If this happens, the most likely culprit is that they have set their account to “Appear Offline”, and thus are not able to be discovered.

Also, your friend will need to have their world open and set to allow for multiplayer for you to be able to see and join it.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are several potential reasons why you may be unable to join your friend to play in their world. We hope that our provided solutions have been able to help you identify the problem and solve it so you can build and create with your friend.

Are there other potential reasons for being unable to join a friend’s world that you’re aware of and feel like we should have mentioned? If so, we’d love to hear from you in a comment below.

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