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How to Uninstall Java From Mac: 4 Best Methods

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Last updated: August 26, 2023

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Uninstalling Java from your Mac can be as straightforward as a few terminal commands. But if it were always that simple, you wouldn’t be seeking expert guidance. While Java has its merits, numerous reasons — from security concerns to system performance — might urge you to bid it farewell.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ve laid out multiple solutions to uninstall Java from Mac, addressing the nuances of each method and ensuring your Mac remains optimized and secure.

Before We Begin

Removing Java from Mac is tricky with Terminal commands and manual uninstallation. But MacKeeper makes the entire process a breeze. You can use MacKeeper to uninstall Java from Mac in just a few clicks. So, install MacKeeper today and get rid of unnecessary software in minutes.

Why Do You Need to Uninstall Java From Your Mac?

Uninstalling Java from a Mac is a decision many users contemplate for a range of reasons. Here’s why one might consider this move:

  • 🔒 Security Concerns: Java, especially when not regularly updated, can be vulnerable to security breaches. Cybercriminals often target outdated Java installations for malware and other malicious activities.
  • 🚀 System Performance: Java processes can, at times, consume significant system resources. If you notice your Mac running slow and have traced it back to Java processes, removing it might improve system performance.
  • 🔴 Redundancy: Not everyone require Java on their Mac. Many modern Mac applications have transitioned away from Java dependencies. If you don’t have any applications that need Java, it just becomes redundant software taking up space.
  • Software Conflicts: In some cases, Java installations might interfere with other software or system processes. If you experience software conflicts or crashes related to Java, uninstalling it might resolve these issues.
  • 🔄 Frequent Update Prompts: Java, being a product that frequently releases updates to patch vulnerabilities and improve performance, often prompts for updates. These frequent prompts can be annoying if you don’t actively use Java.
  • 💽 Disk Space: While Java doesn’t consume a massive amount of disk space, every bit counts, especially if you’re operating with limited storage. Uninstalling Java can free up some space on your Mac.
  • 🧹 Keeping a Clean System: Some users prefer to keep their systems clean, with only essential software installed. If you’re one of those who like a clutter-free system, removing unnecessary components, including Java, will help clean up your Mac.

How to Check Your Mac for Java

Before you embark on the journey of uninstalling Java, it’s crucial to check whether it’s present on your Mac. There are three ways to check for Java’s presence on your Mac:

Spotlight is the quickest way to search for applications and files on your Mac. Follow these steps to find Java on your Mac using Spotlight search:

  1. Press Command ⌘ + Space to activate the Spotlight search bar.
macbook pro command space
  1. Type in Java and check the results.
type java in spotlight search
  1. If you see applications or files related to Java, it indicates that Java is, or was at some point, installed on your device.

2. Checking System Settings

Java has a dedicated tab in System Settings which can sometimes be present even if you’re not actively using Java for any apps. Here’s how to check for Java on Mac via System Settings:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Select System Settings.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. Browse through the icons in the left sidebar and look for one labeled Java.
java tab in system settings
  1. If it’s present, it indicates that Java is installed.

3. Using Terminal for a Deep Dive (For the More Tech-Savvy Users)

The Terminal provides a direct window into your system and can give precise information about installed versions. Follow these steps to check if you have Java on your Mac using Terminal:

  1. Navigate to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
launch terminal from utilities
  1. In the Terminal window, type the following command and press Enter:
java -version
type java version command in terminal
  1. If Java is installed, Terminal will display the version information.
java version information in terminal
  1. If it’s not, it will prompt you with a message suggesting you install it.

How to Uninstall Java From Mac

Now that you have established the presence of Java on your Mac, it’s time to uninstall it. There are four ways to uninstall it, and I have explained them below, ranking in terms of difficulty. So, let’s dive in.

1. Uninstall Java From Mac in a Few Clicks With MacKeeper

Manual tinkering with system settings or diving into Terminal commands can be daunting for many Mac users. Wouldn’t it be convenient if there were a simpler, more intuitive way to uninstall Java from your Mac?

Enter MacKeeper—a robust utility tool designed for Mac optimization. Below, you can find how to swiftly and safely uninstall Java from Mac using MacKeeper, ensuring a hassle-free experience even for the least tech-savvy.

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. Open MacKeeper and click Smart Uninstaller in the left sidebar under Cleaning.
click smart uninstaller in the left sidebar
  1. Click Start Scan.
click start scan in smart uninstaller
  1. When the scan completes, click Preferences Panes in the left sidebar.
click preferences panes in the left sidebar
  1. Select Java in the right pane and click Remove Selected.
select java in the preference panes and click remove selected
  1. Tap Remove on the pop-up window.
click remove on the pop up window
  1. This will delete Java from your Mac, and you’ll get a Removal Completed notification. Click Rescan to start the scan again.
click continue after removal completed

2. Using the Java Installer

Sometimes, the solution lies within the problem. If you’ve installed Java on your Mac, the Java Installer itself provides a built-in mechanism to manage its components. This often-overlooked method ensures you follow a path set by the software creators themselves.

Follow these steps to use the Java Installer for a clean and thorough uninstallation process:

  1. If you have the Java installer on your Mac, double-click it. It is usually in the Downloads folder.
double click the java installer in downloads

If you don’t have it, you can download the installer from Java’s official website.

  1. Double-click the Java package file that appears in the new window.
double click the java update package
  1. Next, click the Remove button on the installer window. This will uninstall Java from your Mac, and you’ll get a notification about the successful uninstallation.
click remove on java installer to uninstall java from mac

3. Through System Settings

Your Mac’s System Preferences isn’t just a hub for adjusting display settings or adding user accounts. It often houses crucial settings for third-party applications, including Java.

The Java Settings pane might be your go-to choice if you prefer a straightforward approach without external software or intricate commands. Here’s how to uninstall Java from Mac via System Settings:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen and select System Settings.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. In System Settings, browse through the icons in the left sidebar and look for one labeled Java.
java tab in system settings
  1. Right-click Java to get an option labeled Remove “Java” Settings Pane. Click it.
click remove java settings pane
  1. Enter your username and password, and it will remove Java from your Mac.
  2. Next, open Finder and go to Applications.
click applications in the left sidebar
  1. Type Java in the search bar at the top-right and press Enter.
  2. Find the JavaAppletPlugin.plugin file and drag it to the Bin.
delete the javaappletplugin plugin file

Don’t forget to empty the Trash on Mac to remove Java completely from the system.

4. Using the Terminal

Always proceed with caution when using Terminal commands, and only use this method if you haven’t had success with others and feel confident in using command line tools.

For those who want a hands-on approach and feel at home amidst lines of code, the Terminal on Mac offers unparalleled control over system operations. It’s the bridge to your Mac’s core, and with the right commands, uninstalling Java becomes a task of mere seconds.

Here’s how to use Terminal to uninstall Java from Mac:

You must have administrative privileges to use this method.

  1. Open the Terminal app by going to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
launch terminal from utilities
  1. Type the following command and press Enter:
sudo rm -fr /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin
type the sudo rm fr library internet plug ins javaappletplugin plugin command in terminal
  1. Enter your password.
type your password in terminal
  1. This will remove the Java plugin from your Mac.
  2. Also, use the following commands to completely remove Java from your Mac:
sudo rm -fr /Library/PreferencePanes/JavaControlPanel.prefPane
sudo rm -fr ~/Library/Application\ Support/Oracle/Java

Avoid trying to uninstall Java by deleting the Java tools in the /usr/bin directory. This directory is integral to the system software, and Apple will undo any modifications during the next OS update.

When NOT to Uninstall Java

Java, while sometimes seen as redundant for everyday users, is a foundational component in various computing realms. Here are situations where uninstalling Java might not be the best idea:

1. Developer Needs

If you’re a developer or software engineer, you might rely on Java for various tasks, from web applications to mobile app development and even enterprise-grade solutions. Removing Java could disrupt your development environment and slow down your workflow.

So, keeping Java updated to the latest version is best to ensure you have the necessary development kits and environments set up correctly.

2. Java-dependent Apps

A myriad of mainstream and specialized applications require Java to function properly. Uninstalling Java might lead to these apps malfunctioning, crashing, or refusing to launch altogether.

Before removing Java, make a list of all your crucial applications and ensure none of them are Java-dependent. If unsure, consult the app’s documentation or support forums.

3. Specific Use Cases

Beyond standard applications, your workflow might have unique scenarios or niche software packages that leverage Java. For instance, certain financial platforms, academic tools, or enterprise software might hinge on Java’s presence to operate seamlessly.

Regularly review and understand the requirements of the tools you use, especially if they’re critical to your professional or personal tasks. If Java emerges as a recurring requirement, it’s wise to keep it.

Remove Java From Your Mac to Keep a Clean System

While robust and multifunctional, Java isn’t always necessary for the modern Mac user. Assess your needs, weigh the pros and cons, and make an informed decision. And always remember: a well-maintained Mac is a happy Mac.

Here are a few more tips to optimize your Mac:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Is Java?

    Java is a high-level, object-oriented programming language widely used for application, web, and mobile app development. It is known for its portability, ease of use, and robustness and runs on a virtual machine, making it compatible with different platforms without recompilation.

  2. Is Java harmful to my Mac?

    Java itself isn’t inherently harmful to your Mac. However, outdated Java versions can pose security risks due to vulnerabilities. Regular updates ensure Java remains secure. Always download from official sources and update your software to minimize potential threats.

  3. How often does Java get security updates?

    Java typically gets security updates four times a year. These updates are part of the Critical Patch Update (CPU) schedule and usually come in January, April, July, and October. However, monitoring Oracle’s official communications for any changes or unscheduled updates addressing emergent vulnerabilities is essential.

  4. Can I reinstall Java after uninstalling it?

    Yes, you can absolutely reinstall Java after uninstalling it from your Mac. Simply visit the official Java website, download the latest version appropriate for your Mac, and follow the installation prompts. It’s advisable to always download from official sources to ensure the software’s integrity and security.

  5. What if an application stops working after I uninstall Java?

    If an application stops working after you uninstall Java, it likely depends on Java. You can reinstall Java, check the app’s requirements, update the app, or explore Java-independent alternatives. Always ensure software changes are backed by recent data backups to mitigate potential data loss.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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