How to install OptiFine to massively enhance 'Minecraft's' graphics and add new features

  • You can install OptiFine for free by downloading it from the official website, and then launching “Minecraft.”
  • OptiFine can be used with Minecraft Forge, or separately from it.
  • OptiFine lets you optimize “Minecraft” for your computer, as well as change the graphics.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

OptiFine is a versatile program that many “Minecraft” players can’t imagine going without, particularly when playing on a less capable computer. It’s a “Minecraft: Java Edition” optimizer, allowing computers with less memory and less powerful graphics cards to run the game more smoothly.

OptiFine also gives you access to tons of new texture packs and HD shaders to make your game look as good as possible, as well a few useful new gameplay mechanics, including the famous “OptiFine Zoom.”

It’s different from mods in how it’s installed and runs, but is similar in that it changes how the game looks and works.

Here are two ways to install and use OptiFine, depending on whether or not you want to use it with other mods.

Important: Like most modifications, OptiFine only works with “Minecraft: Java Edition.” There’s no official version of OptiFine for “Minecraft: Bedrock Edition.”

You can see more differences between “Java” and “Bedrock” by checking out our article, “‘Minecraft Java’ vs. ‘Bedrock:’ A full breakdown of Minecraft’s two major versions and which one you should buy.”

How to install and run OptiFine in ‘Minecraft’ without mods

1. In a web browser of your choice, navigate to the OptiFine downloads page. If you aren’t running the most current version of “Minecraft,” click “Show all versions” to find and select your version. 

2. Click “Download” next to the version of OptiFine that you want. Click “Skip” in the top-right corner after a brief countdown if you’re taken to an ad break page.

Download the version of OptiFine that matches your version of “Minecraft.”Emma Witman/Insider

3. Click “Download” when you’re redirected to the OptiFine download, and save it anywhere you can find it. You may see a warning about your download from your browser and/or computer, which you can safely disregard.

If you’re shown an ad page, wait for the “Skip” option to appear, and you’ll be brought to this page.Emma Witman/Insider

4. Navigate to the downloaded OptiFine file, which will be an executable .jar file. Double-click the file to open the installer and click “Install.” You should then see a message saying OptiFine has been successfully installed.

OptiFine has a quick and simple installation interface.Emma Witman/Insider

5. Open your Minecraft Launcher, and in the drop-down menu to the left of the “Play” button, make sure that “OptiFine” is selected. Once it is, click “Play.”

6. When “Minecraft” loads, select “Options…” from the main menu, then “Video Settings.” You’ll know that the OptiFine download was successful if you see added options like “Shaders,” “Details,” and “Animations.”

OptiFine will add a few categories to Video Settings, like “Details…” and “Animations…” within which are a wealth of customizable settings.Emma Witman/Insider

How to install and run OptiFine to work with ‘Minecraft’ mods

1. Follow the first three steps to download OptiFine as shown above. If you haven’t already, download Minecraft Forge as well. You can follow our guide here.

2. Open the Minecraft Launcher app.

3. In the drop-down menu near the green play button, select “forge” then click “Play” to launch.

4. You’ll see the “Mods” option in the Minecraft main menu. Click it, then select “Open mods folder.” Java will automatically open the mods folder created by Forge.

This button is a shortcut to the mods folder.Emma Witman/Insider

5. Drag and drop the .jar OptiFine file that you downloaded into this mods folder.

Put the OptiFine file in the same place as your mods.Emma Witman/Insider

6. Close “Minecraft” and relaunch it, again running the Forge installation version. This time on the load screen, you should see the message “Found 2 modfiles to load” pass by, indicating that OptiFine has been incorporated into Forge.

7. You can check that it’s been installed correctly the same way as before: By going into the main menu and selecting “Options…” then “Video Settings.” If there are additional options like “Shaders,” “Details,” and “Animations,” then OptiFine is installed.

How to get started using OptiFine

OptiFine adds a lot of new options and settings to your game, so it can be a bit confusing to jump right in. Here’s some of the basic features, explained.

Increasing your frames per second

If you hover your cursor over the various new settings, OptiFine will let you know what they mean, and which selection will speed up your game the most.

OptiFine will give you info on what the various options mean.Emma Witman/Insider

Not all the tips that OptiFine gives will be correct for your specific computer and setup. Test them all out and see what runs well, and what you like.

Pne quick FPS booster is to select “All OFF” for “Animation Settings.” If you don’t want to make such a drastic change, try doing a controlled experiment by enabling one setting at a time, and then checking how game performance is affected.

There’s an easy “All OFF” button to use if you’re desperate for performance.Emma Witman/Insider

You can hit “F3” on PC, or “fn + F3” on Mac to pull up and monitor your FPS speed and other metrics while playing.

Add shader packs

Shader packs change how the lighting works in your “Minecraft” world. That might not sound like much, but once you start using these shaders, you’ll quickly see how big a difference they can make.

Shaders can completely transform the look of your game.Emma Witman/Insider

Once you’ve downloaded a shader pack, open “Minecraft” and then select “Options,” “Video Settings,” and “Shaders.” At the bottom of the shaders menu, click “Shaders Folder.”

This will open up a new folder on your computer. Move the pack you downloaded into this folder, then restart “Minecraft.”

Once it restarts, you’ll see the new shaders pack in the “Shaders” menu.

Optifine zoom

One of the more random additions, installing OptiFine automatically gives you the ability to zoom in your camera while playing. This is great for seeing things that are far away, without risking life and limb by getting too close.

OptiFine’s zoom function adds a new camera feature.William Antonelli/Insider

The default key to zoom will either be C or the left Ctrl key.

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