An item with a curse of vanishing will be removed from the game upon the death of the player holding it or storing it in their inventory. Curse of Vanishing cannot be made and can only appear in chest loot or fishing drops. There is no way to remove the curse of vanishing from your items. The curse can be applied to all types of armor, tools, weapons, and miscellaneous items.
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There are two different curses in Minecraft. Curse of vanishing is one of the worst enchantments you can get in Minecraft. It offers no real benefit and only exists to make enchanted items found throughout the world worse. Curse of vanishing tends to be worse than the curse of binding as binding is more of an annoyance and vanishing will remove a lot of progress.
If an item in your inventory has a curse of vanishing on it and you happen to die, the item is removed from the game. It will not drop from the player on death and instead vanish entirely from the game. This can be disheartening when your diamond/netherite armor or tools happens to disappear after an unfortunate encounter. Curse of vanishing has no player benefit and exists to assist players in adventure maps to make an item impossible to retain.
You can fool the curse of vanishing by dropping the item or placing the item in storage before death. The curse of vanishing only triggers when the player dies with the item in their inventory. If the player is holding the item in their mouse cursor and they die before they get a chance to drop it, the item will still vanish. Even mobs can spawn with enchanted items that have a curse of vanishing. If the item were to drop, it disappears due to the curse.
Curse of vanishing will never appear in an enchanting table. The curse is a “treasure enchantment” and will only appear in chest loot or fishing drops. In the Java edition of Minecraft, you may also find a curse of vanishing on villager traded items. This makes loot found throughout the world a little less reliable, but the curse will only apply on death.
Finding cursed items can be particularly annoying if you happen to need a specific enchantment and find it through fishing or chest loot, but it comes with a curse of vanishing. Fishing enchanted books is not that common and it seems like almost every other book you fish up will contain a curse.
In survival Minecraft, there is no way to remove a curse of vanishing from your items. A grindstone will not remove the curse and the item will remain enchanted. If you set the world rules to “keep inventory - True” then the curse will not have any effect.
The list of items that curse of vanishing can appear on or applied to is as follows:
It can be frustrating getting a curse on a nice enchanted item, however, it does not make the item useless. Play around the condition for the curse of vanishing by playing safe and the item will function as if it does not have it at all. This can make dying much more stressful, but it grants some replayability.