Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Java Installation and Security

Maintenance | Downloads | About Java

Java Get Powered

Do You NEED Java?

Java is necessary only for certain features of LibreOffice, Apache OpenOffice and perhaps to allow other software to run on your computer.

Java Vulnerable

Java, along with Flash and Adobe Reader, has been known to make Windows insecure for some time. Mac and Linux users now share that vulnerability.

Remove Java if you don't need it. If installed, be sure to frequently update it and to uninstall older versions.

Oracle has released a massive Critical Patch Update (CPU) for July [2018], addressing 334 security vulnerabilities covering a vast swathe of its enterprise portfolio. Of the 334 vulnerabilities covered this month, 61 are rated critical, with a CVSS rating between nine and 10. — ThreatPost

Future Browser Support Deprecated

Oracle has deprecated all support for browser plugins starting with version 9 (released in September 2017 and no longer supported).

If installed, I recommend disabling the Java plugin in your web browser — enabling it ONLY for trusted sites. See Java browser plugin recommendations.

Java Maintenance

Update Java Regularly

Update Java whenever updates are available. These releases fix security flaws in Java.

Version 9 & Later Not Supported in Browsers

Version 9 removed all support for browser plugins, primarily because the major browsers no longer support them, largely a result of the rapidly growing mobile market that never supported Java.

Java versions 9 and 10 are short-term (half-year) releases after which a longer term version 11 will be released in September 2018.

Avoid Third-party Software

Prevent Java Updater from installing third-party software.

  1. Open the Java Control Panel: Start ⇒ Control Panel ⇒ Java. If you see categories in the Control Panel, look for Java in Programs.
  2. Click on the Advanced tab.
  3. Scroll down to the Miscellaneous section at the bottom and place a check mark in “Suppress sponsor offers when installing or updating Java.”

If you uninstall Java, this setting will be removed, but as long as you de-select any optional software when downloading new Java versions and check during installation you shouldn't see third-party software installed on your system.

Uninstall Older Versions

I recommend uninstalling all previous versions of Java when updating. Old and unsupported versions of Java are a serious security risk and can leave your system vulnerable.

Uninstalling older versions of Java from your system ensures that Java applications will run with the latest security and performance improvements on your system. —Oracle

Java Updater May Not Remove Older Versions

Java's updater may not automatically remove all older versions, leaving your system vulnerable.

Oracle provides instructions for uninstalling out-of-date Java versions.

I recommend that you manually verify that older versions have been removed from your system.

Uninstall Option During Update

During installation of a new version, you should see the option to uninstall older versions:

Java Out of Date

You can also run the Java Uninstall tool. See also, How do I uninstall Java on my Windows computer?

Uninstall Java when Updating

To secure your computer I recommend that you manually uninstall all current versions, cleaning out any remaining Java-related AppData entries before installing the most recent version available so you're running only the most recent version.

Manually Checking for Older Versions

Alternatively, you need to check to see if option to uninstall older versions has removed all older versions.

In either case, I recommend cleaning up the Java folders in AppData.

Cleaning Up AppData Java Folders

You need to be careful when following the instructions in this section. You can seriously harm your Windows installation if critical files are removed.

After running Java's Uninstall Older Versions option, I still found an obsolete Java version in the Sun AppData folder:

The Sun AppData folder still contains older versions of Java

This image if for illustrative purposes only. When this image was captured Java 8 Update 51 was the current version but is now obsolete.

Cleaning Up Java Folders in AppData

Be sure you've either uninstalled Java (all versions) or have run the option to uninstall outdated versions before proceeding.

Like most Windows programs, Java keeps data in AppData (in folders labelled Oracle and Sun in the LocalLow folder).

To clean up obsolete Java folders, follow these instructions:

  1. Navigate to the Java folders by opening the AppData then LocalLow folders.
  2. Look for the Oracle and Sun folders and delete the appropriate folder(s):
    • If you've uninstalled Java completely, you can delete both the Oracle and Sun folders.
    • If you've only removed outdated versions, open the Sun folder then delete any folders containing older versions that is present (the jre1.8._45 folder in the above example).

Locating AppData

The AppData folder is located in C:\Users\[user]\AppData. Navigate to the C: drive then open the Users folder and look for a folder with your user name. Inside you'll see the AppData folder (if you've made hidden files and folders visible).

Windows 10 users can use File Explorer to view the AppData folder. Windows 7 users can open their User folder (often located on their desktop) to view the AppData folder:

AppData folder in the User's Files folder

AppData Hidden by Windows

The AppData folder is normally hidden by Windows.

  • Windows 7 users can change this in the Folder Options in Control Panel to show hidden files, folders and drives in the View menu.
  • Windows 10 users can change this in File Explorer Options (search for “File Folder Settings”). Check “Show hidden files, folders and drives” in the View menu.

Firefox & Java Security

Browsers No Longer Support Java

In current versions of Firefox, NPAPI-based plugins other than Flash are blocked. This includes the removal of support for Java.

Beginning in Firefox version 52 released March 7, 2017, installed NPAPI plugins are no longer supported in Firefox, except for Adobe Flash. Some of the plugins that will no longer load in Firefox, even though they may be installed on your computer, include Java, Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Acrobat. — Mozilla Support

Oracle Stops Support for Browser Plugins

Most current browsers no longer support Java plugins and Oracle has responded by deprecated all support for browser plugins starting with version 9 (released in September 2017 but already obsolete).

Java 8 continues to be available, but will now be the last remaining version of Java available to consumers that will support browser plugins.

The functions these plugins provided is now primarily provided within the browser itself using HTML5 technologies but sites requiring Java or similar discontinued technologies will no longer work.

How to Use Java if it is Blocked

Mozilla support provides instructions on how to allow Java on trusted sites (e.g. for Pogo.com).

  • This workaround will not allow you to run Java in Firefox version 52 or later.
  • Opera is recommended if you need to run Java on sites like Pogo. Opera links to Java 9 which is no longer supported (download version 8 from Oracle instead).
  • Internet Explorer 11 is the only other browser that may continue to support Java, but should not be used for regular surfing because it is both vulnerable and deeply tied into Windows.

Pogo now has three classes of games based upon their requirement for Java, Flash or HTML5. In the near future only the HTML5 versions will continue to work because of changing technology.

I found Pogo's documentation for running Java was not current and didn't help with Firefox.

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Java Downloads

Update to the Most Recent Version

Because security vulnerabilities are discovered all the time, it is recommended that you regularly update to the latest Java version and ensure older ones are removed.

Download Java

This the area most consumers should choose to download the latest version of Java specific for their operating system:

Download More Recent Java Versions

The more recent versions of Java (currently Java 10) are available from Oracle and include JDK, Server JRE and JRE. Consumers should choose the JRE.

Note that these versions will no longer support browser integration.

Java for Windows

Windows system requirements are relatively minor: a Pentium 2 266 MHz or faster processor with at least 128 MB of physical RAM is recommended. You will also need a minimum of 124 MB of free disk space.

32- or 64-Bit?

Java support in browsers is fast disappearing even as the use of 64-bit browsers is gaining strength. Most browsers already block Java even if it is installed. Current Java versions (except version 8) will no longer support Java plugins within browsers.

However, Java is also used by programs like LibreOffice and OpenOffice for certain functions.

It is recommended that you install 64-bit Java on 64-bit systems; 32-bit otherwise. If you have both versions installed, you'll have to update both for security reasons.

It is safer to uninstall Java if you no longer require it.

Java for Linux

Java for Mac

Installing Java on the Mac has changed with the release of the newer versions (Oracle's Java version 7u25 and below have been disabled by Apple in OS X).

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About Java

[Java is] a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. —Oracle

Java is most visible in online games such as those on Pogo.com and Yahoo Games as well as many phone- and tablet-based applications.

Enterprise-level Java applications run services for companies.

Oracle purchased Sun and along with it the rights to Java. Oracle is an established company long associated with corporate software.

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Java is a Cross-Platform Environment

Java is a cross-platform environment used to create regular programs that can run on virtually any operating system and on thousands of other devices.

The only requirement is that a Java “virtual machine” (JVM or JRE) is available for the operating system or device which translates Java into something the operating system or device can understand.

You might want to check out Oracle's Java SE Security so you understand the risks of installing and running Java.

Java Programs and Applets

The most common use of Java is still small programs called applets, but there are Java programs, especially in the emerging phone and tablet markets.

Java Development

Many Java resources are aging or obsolete. You can begin with these IBM developerWorks resources:

Learning More About Java

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Related Resources

Related resources on this site:

or check the resources index.

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www.RussHarvey.bc.ca/resources/java.html
Updated: August 8, 2018