Minecraft: User Not Premium – fix it, find out what causes it, and stop it from happening again.

Tried to log on to Minecraft but faced with the dreaded Minecraft “User Not Premium” error? No worries. Depending on what’s causing it, this is usually a pretty easy fix – so hang on to your hat, grab your Diamond Pick, and prepare – we’re going in.

Updated 13th June 2012

THIS JUST IN – Mojang’s “top 3 reasons for User Not Premium”

Marc from Mojang was kind enough to stop by the Pot to give us some info straight from the source on the “User Not Premium” bug. Here’s his list of the top 3 reasons for User Not Premium problems:

The top reasons for users to claim they are not premium:

  1. They have attempted a purchase, but something in the process failed, and didn’t properly inform them. Double check your bank account.
  2. Moneybookers (or, less frequently, Paypal) has refunded you. Double check your bank account (unfortunately, it takes a few days to show up).
  3. The user has registered multiple usernames, one is premium, the others are not, and they’re using the wrong one.

His full comment is here – I’d recommend having a read of it (and the linked article) if you’re having problems.

What causes “User not Premium”? Minecraft’s inner workings…

The problem you’re having if Minecraft’s throwing a “User Not Premium” error at you is actually pretty simple.

Whenever you start Minecraft up, as an anti-piracy precaution, it checks in with the main Minecraft server at minecraft.net to find out if you’ve actually paid for the game.

There’s some confusion about this – whilst at one point Minecraft was free, it isn’t any longer. If you want to play the game, you need to purchase it, for a pretty modest fee (15 Euros at time of writing).

However, if you have paid, you can still end up with the game thinking you haven’t – that’s what causes this error. In that case, something’s blocking Minecraft from accessing the servers at Minecraft.net. By default, if it can’t check if you have paid for the game, it assumes you haven’t. (That might sound harsh, but otherwise pirates would simply disconnect from the Internet before play!)

So, how do we fix that? Usually, it’s fairly simple.


A note on cracked copies of Minecraft

I think you should buy Minecraft if you want to play it. Notch has put a hell of a lot of work into the game and deserves to be rewarded.

Regardless, though, cracked copies of Minecraft only work out being free if your time is worthless. Notch and the Mojang team are pretty clever guys, and by deciding to cheat them, you end up having to jump through all sorts of hoops and fiddle about just to play the game you want to play. That takes a bundle of time that you could have spent playing the game.

So, if you’re reading this article hoping to find a way around the Premium protections – the best way, taking into account the time it’ll take you, is to just buy the darn thing already.

For the vast majority who are honest – how to fix the User Not Premium bug

First things first, on the “Have you turned it off and on again” level – are you currently connected to the Internet? It’s worth trying to load up Minecraft.net and check you can connect to it – it might be that the server’s down, or that your router’s had a funny and thrown you offline.

It’s also worth, no kidding, trying turning your computer off and on again. Minecraft can sometimes get a bit confused, and a reboot will tend to sort it out. Try restarting Minecraft a few times, too. Sometimes this will cause whatever’s stopping you from connecting to shake loose. We’re not sure why, but it does work.

If neither of these things are the problem, it may be that you actually haven’t bought the game – even though you think you have. Check your email for the date when you purchased Minecraft. If you haven’t receieved a confirmation email from Moneybookers.com, the chances are your bank has realised that you’re trying to make a transaction with a foreign company – Mojang’s payment processors are based in London – and has voided the transaction on the assumption you’re the victim of fraud. Phone your bank and explain the situation.

(See this excellent comment for more details on this potential problem/solution.)

If that doesn’t work, it’s time for more advanced tactics.

If you’re trying to play a multiplayer game, double-check the IP you’re using to connect. Retype it from scratch and try again. If that still doesn’t work, try playing single-player – if you can do that but not multiplayer, it’s time to contact your server admin and ask them what’s up.

If all of this isn’t working, there’s a good chance that the latest version of Minecraft has messed something up. Check the official Minecraft support forums and see if there are a lot of other people posting similar problems. If so, the chances are it’s a problem on the Minecraft side, and there’ll be a fix soon. Often, you can also fix the problem by reverting to an older version of Minecraft – there are a variety of ways to do this, and if it works, people will probably be posting about it in the forums.

Failing all that, put up a post yourself, or contact Mojang support! The Minecraft community is extremely active and helpful, and Mojang are very active at responding to user problems – it might sound crazy to suggest it, but there’s a pretty good chance they’ll come up with a solution!

Did that work for you? Do you know other solutions to the Minecraft “User not premium” problem? Post them below!

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