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Java

Do You Need Java? | Maintenance| Downloads | About Java

Java Get Powered

Java is a Cross-Platform Environment

Java is a cross-platform environment originally developed by Sun Microsystems (purchased by Oracle Corporation in 2010) 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.

Do You Need Java?

Most people no longer need Java. HTML5 technologies allow modern browsers and mobile devices to work without plugins.

Java Support Ended for Most Browsers

Java 8 is the last version of Java available to consumers that will support browser plugins. Most current browsers no longer support Java plugins.

Java-based Games Disappearing

Java has been most visible to consumers on online game sites such as Pogo.com and Yahoo Games. HTML5-based games are replacing Java-based games.

Java and Flash are two technologies that have powered Pogo games for many years, but they're no longer supported by most web browsers. Because of this, we're retiring some older Flash-based games from Pogo in March 2020. The rest of our Flash games will go away later in the year. — Pogo

Remove Java If You Don't Need It

Uninstalling Java eliminates vulnerabilities to your computer. It can be reinstalled if necessary.

Java is Vulnerable

There are things you can do to increase the security of Java.

A long-term examination carried out by AV-TEST has proven that Adobe's Reader and Flash and all versions of Java are together responsible for a total of 66 percent of the vulnerabilities in Windows systems exploited by malware. Such weaknesses enable Trojans and other forms of malware to invade PC systems, in some cases in an unstoppable manner. — AV-TEST

LibreOffice & OpenOffice

The LibreOffice & OpenOffice requirement for Java may not affect you. I ran LibreOffice for six months without any issues.

For certain features of the software — but not most — Java is required. Java is notably required for Base. — LibreOffice System Requirements

Java Maintenance

Like all software, Java must be maintained.

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.

Download the current release then verify that older versions have been removed.

Updates Fix Security Flaws

Java critical patch updates fix security flaws in Java.

These are generally released on the Tuesday closest to:

  • January 17th
  • April 17th
  • July 17th
  • October 17th

Additional security updates may be released.

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 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

Run the Java Uninstall tool. Uninstalling Java on Windows computers.

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

You need to check to see if the option to uninstall older versions has removed all older versions. I recommend checking the Java folders in AppData.

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

Java 8 Update 51, now obsolete, was the current version when this image was captured.

Cleaning Up AppData Java Folders

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

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

Uninstall Java First

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

  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).

The version numbers above are examples only. Always maintain the most recent Java version available for your operating system, removing anything older.

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 or, like Windows 7 users, can open their User folder (C:\Users\Username) to view the AppData folder:

AppData folder in the User's Files folder

The AppData folder is normally hidden by Windows so you'll need to unhide them to see or edit them.

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Java Downloads

Avoid Third-party Software

Avoid Java from installing third-party software. Deselect any options during download and watch for third-party addons during installation.

There is an option in the Java Control Panel to suppress sponsor offers during updates. This is only present if Java is installed.

Java License Changed

The Java license changed on April 16, 2019. Free Java downloads are only for personal use. Commercial use is subject to a fee.

The new Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE is substantially different from prior Oracle Java licenses. The new license permits certain uses, such as personal use and development use, at no cost -- but other uses authorized under prior Oracle Java licenses may no longer be available. Please review the terms carefully before downloading and using this product. — Oracle

Downloading Java

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

64- or 32-bit?

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.

32-bit browsers were often installed on 64-bit systems because many plugins didn't offer 64-bit versions. Most such plugins are now deprecated or unsupported.

System Requirements

Java for Windows

Windows system requirements are relatively minor.

Windows 10 (8u51 and above), Windows 8.x Desktop, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (64-bit) and Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 (64-bit) are supported.

Windows XP and Windows 7 can run Java but it is not officially supported (nor recommended).

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).

 

About Java

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

Consumer Java Use

Java Consumer Support Ending

Consumer-level Java applications are disappearing.

Public updates for Oracle Java SE 8 will remain available for individual, personal use through at least the end of 2020. — Oracle

Enterprise Java Growing

That is not to say that Java is finished. It plays a major role in enterprise, particularly in the cloud.

Organizations are moving applications, platforms, and infrastructure traditionally set inside corporate data centers into high-scale, high-availability cloud services. Java's inherent portability means applications and services work across public cloud, private cloud, on-premise, and hybrid environments. — Oracle

Java Programs and Applications

Java applications included some unusual ones (many now obsolete).

Enterprise-level Java applications run services for companies.

Learning Java Programming

There are an estimated 12 million Java developers.

Java Enterprise Security

Oracle's Java Security Libraries will help you understand the risks of installing and running Java.

Java security technology provides the developer with a comprehensive security framework for writing applications, and also provides the user or administrator with a set of tools to securely manage applications. —Oracle

Learning More About Java

Related Resources

Related resources on this site:

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

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Updated: November 27, 2020