How to uninstall or remove Java (JRE) on Windows and Mac

Looking for a way to get rid of Java on your Windows or Mac computer? While important to some web users, most people don’t want to risk running Java on their machines because of all the security vulnerabilities associated with Java.

In this article, I will walk you through the steps you need to take to completely remove all traces of Java from your Windows machine. The process for Mac is slightly different, so you can scroll down Uninstall Java on Mac partition if you are using OS X.

Note that newer versions of Java (Java 8v20 and later) have a built-in tool to automatically remove old versions of Java, but sometimes even this tool doesn’t get rid of everything. Also, it keeps the latest version installed which you may not need as well.

Is Java installed?

You can check if you have Java installed in Windows by going to Control Panel and searching for it Java badge. If you see it there, it means you have Java installed.

With this control panel option, you can also disable Java in your web browser without uninstalling it. I will also explain this option below. If you go back to Control Panel and click on Programs and Features, you will see all the different versions of Java installed on your computer.

installed versions of java

So what’s next? Well, the first thing I do when uninstalling Java on Windows is to uninstall the older versions first.

Remove older versions of Java

To get rid of older versions, you can download and install the latest version of Java, which will automatically check for older versions and then install the latest version, or you can run the Java Removal Tool.

java removal tool

The applet will check your version of Java and then remove outdated versions. If there are older versions, you will receive a message that will show you the versions and give you the option to remove them.

old versions of java

Click on Remove selected versions button to remove older versions. As you can see, I don’t need to Java 8 Update 60 because I have the last one Java 8 Update 65 is established Now that you only have the latest version, we can do one of two things: disable Java or remove it.

Disable Java

If you occasionally need to use Java for certain websites, but don’t want it to be enabled all the time, you can disable it instead of uninstalling it. To do this, open the Control Panel, click on Java and then click on Security tab

disable java

Uncheck the box Enable Java content in your browser to disable Java in Internet Explorer. It’s worth noting that Chrome doesn’t even support Java anymore since version 42, so you don’t have to worry about it in this browser.

For Firefox, you need to click Toolsthen Appendices and select Plugins. Click on Java platform and then click on Turn off. Note that even though Java is disabled, it may still be out of date and vulnerable to your computer after installation.

Uninstall Java in Windows

To uninstall Java, first uninstall older versions as shown above, then go to Control Panel and Programs and Features. Click on the latest version of Java in the list and click Remove.

remove java

Technically, that’s all you need to do, but if you really want to get rid of all traces of Java, I recommend using a free program called JavaRa. Once downloaded, just run the app. You’ll see a couple of icons, but we want to use that one Remove the Java Runtime.

java gui

The first screen will show that no uninstaller was found, which is fine because we have uninstalled all versions of Java. Just click on Further button

step 1 removal

The most important part of this program is step 2. This is where you need to click Follow the removal procedure button that will remove any leftover Java files, folders, and registry entries.

perform the removal procedure

Even after uninstalling Java using JavaRa’s own tools, I was able to remove another 12 items that remained.

elements removed by java

Click Next and you will see a button to download the latest version. If you don’t want to reinstall Java, just click Further and then press to finish on the next screen. Java is now completely removed from your Windows system.

Uninstall Java on Mac

On a Mac, everything is pretty much the same, except for the uninstall process. You can see if Java is installed on your Mac in much the same way as Windows. Just open it System settings and check if there is Java below.

control panel java mac

If there is a Java icon, it means you have Java installed in OS X. Also, like Windows, you can leave Java installed but disable it in Safari if you want. The first way is to click on the Java icon in System Preferences, which will open a window Java Control Panel, which looks exactly the same as in Windows. Click on Security and then clear the check box Enable Java content in your browser box.

java security mac

Another way is to disable Java directly in Safari. To do this, open Safari and then go to Preferences.

Safari allows plug-ins

Click on Security and then click on Plugin settings down next to Internet plugins.

safari plugins are enabled

You should see Java listed and unchecking it will disable Java in Safari. If you want to uninstall Java in OS X, it’s a bit technical. Open first Terminal by clicking on Searchlight and type terminal or go to AppendicesUtilities and then Terminal.

Now copy and paste the following commands one by one and press Enter after each command is pasted.

sudo rm -fr /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin 
sudo rm -fr /Library/PreferencePanes/JavaControlPanel.prefpane

When you press Enter, you will be prompted for an administrator password. If everything went well, you will not see the result.

uninstall java mac

If you check the system settings, the Java icon should disappear. Also, if you go to the plug-ins section in Safari, it will also disappear from the list of installed plug-ins. That’s about it for uninstalling Java on Mac. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy!

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