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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 because HTML5 technologies will allow modern browsers to perform the same functions without plugins.

Java Plugins Unsupported

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 plugins are now either unsupported or blocked by most browsers except Internet Explorer, an obsolete browser.

Remove Java If You Don't Need It

If you don't need (or use) Java, you should remove it to eliminate vulnerabilities to your computer.

Java is Vulnerable

It has been know for some time that Adobe Reader, Flash and Java are responsible the majority of vulnerabilities in Windows systems exploited by malware:

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

By uninstalling Java you can determine if it is really necessary. It can be quickly reinstalled if you need it.

LibreOffice & OpenOffice

LibreOffice & OpenOffice may require Java only for extended functionality.

LibreOffice worked without Java for 6 months on my computer, so I removed it.

Maintain Java If Installed

If Java remains installed, update it frequently. Uninstall older versions.

Future Browser Support Deprecated

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

Because of this, consumers are still running Java version 8 (released on March 18, 2014). Later versions are primarily of interest to developers.

Avoid Third-party Software

The best way to avoid Java from installing third-party software is to deselect any options during download and to watch during installation for third-party addons.

To prevent the automatic updates from installing third-party software, open the Java Control Panel:

  1. Click on Start ⇒ Settings ⇒ search for “Control Panel”
  2. Look for the Java Control Panel.
    • If you see categories in the Control Panel, Java is in Programs.
    • The Java Control Panel will not be available if you have uninstalled Java.
  3. Click on the Advanced tab.
  4. Scroll down to the Miscellaneous section at the bottom and place a check mark in “Suppress sponsor offers when installing or updating Java.”

These instructions have been updated for Windows 10. Legacy users won't have to search for the Control Panel.

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

When this image was captured Java 8 Update 51 was the current version (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). These folders are hidden by default.

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).

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 (often located on their desktop) 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.

Java Support Ended for Most Browsers

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).

The functions these plugins provided is now primarily provided with HTML5 technologies built into browsers. Sites requiring Java or similar discontinued technologies will no longer work with modern browsers.

Java 8 Final Version to Support Plugins

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

Only IE Supports Java Plugins

Internet Explorer 11 is the only browser that may continue to support Java, but should not be used for regular surfing because it is both vulnerable and no longer being developed.

Pogo Ends Java Support

Pogo has retired support for Java-based games and Flash-based games will soon follow (Flash Player's end of life is December 31st, 2020).

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

Java games are already gone from Pogo. Soon only HTML5 games will work.

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Java Downloads

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

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

Download the most recent version from Oracle. Consumers should choose the JRE (the JDKis for developers). Current versions no longer support browser integration.

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.

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 has been most visible to consumers on online game sites such as Pogo.com and Yahoo Games.

These games are now being replaced with HTML5-based games.

Java Consumer Support Ending

Consumer-level Java applications are disappearing because of a history of vulnerabilities in Java plugins.

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 disappearing. 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: September 8, 2020