Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Java

Maintenance | Downloads | About Java

Java Vulnerable

Java is known to make Windows insecure along with Flash and Java. Mac and Linux users now share that vulnerability.

Firefox now disables Java to protect you. Google Chrome disables it but plans on removing all support soon.

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

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.

If installed, I recommend disabling the Java plugin in your web browser — enabling it ONLY for trusted sites. Firefox disables unsafe plugins automatically.

Java Maintenance

Update Java Regularly

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

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.

Removing older versions of Java from your system ensures that Java applications will run with the most up-to-date security and performance improvements on your system. —Oracle

Uninstall Option During Update

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

Java Out of Date

You need to provide Java permissions to check for these and to enable Java (see Firefox & Java Security).

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

Java Updater May Not Remove Older Versions

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

Recommend Uninstalling Java then Updating

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

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.

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

The AppData folder is normally hidden by Windows, but located in the User folder if visible (see Folder Options in Control Panel to show hidden files, folders and drives):

AppData folder in the User's Files folder

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

The Sun AppData folder still contains older versions of Java

The Java folders are located in LocalLow under AppData. 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).

Firefox & Java Security

Java blocked in Firefox browers

Firefox disables the Java plugin on computers running Windows with Firefox 17 or later running Java 7 Update 11 or earlier (the dark grey box on the right). Java warns you before allowing the vulnerability to be exploited.

 

Firefox displays a warning for Java 7 Update 13  when it is called on a website

You'll likely see a warning similar to the light grey one shown on the right for Java 7 Update 13 or later.

  • Be sure to allow Java to run ONLY on sites you trust. Java can be exploited to infect your computer.
  • I recommend not telling Java to remember the setting. The site may become dangerous in the future and the reminder that Java can be unsafe helps to keep you vigilant.

How to use Java if it's been blocked (e.g. for Pogo.com).

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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

Download the latest version of Java for your operating system:

Most users only need the 32-bit version of Java. If you use a 64-bit version you'll need to maintain and update both versions.

Java for Linux

Java for Mac

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

  • Java 8 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.3 (Lion) or later and administrator privileges for installation.
  • Apple supplied their own version of Java for Java versions 6 and below and used the Software Update feature on the Apple menu to check for the most current Java available for your Mac.
  • Apple's Get Java for your Mac now directs you to the Oracle site.
  • See Oracle's Java Downloads for All Operating Systems for offline installers for the Mac and the Mac download FAQ.

32-Bit Recommended

64-bit browsers have the potential for much faster browsing on 64-bit systems.

However, most addons and plugins are only available for 32-bit browsers so both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) computers currently depend upon 32-bit browsers.

If you do install the 64-bit version of Java you'll need to ensure that you update both the 32- and 64-bit versions.

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www.RussHarvey.bc.ca/resources/java.html
Updated: July 20, 2015

Java Get Powered

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.

Mainstream Java-based applications include LibreOffice and Apace OpenOffice and enterprise-level Java applications run services for companies.

Java is now owned by Oracle, an established company long associated with corporate software rather than consumer software, which purchased Sun, the originator of Java.

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.

Learning More About Java

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Related Resources

Related resources on this site:

or check the resources index.

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