Java uses what is called “Java Virtual Machine” or JVM, that is supposed to be a safe environment for running Java programs on a computer. When you download and install Java software, the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is installed on your computer that consists of the JVM, Java platform core classes, and supporting Java platform libraries. The JRE is run in your Web browser for using Java programs in a safe environment. However, as it is with other programs, there are always some vulnerabilities in Java that can be exploited by certain rogue websites with malicious Java programs to harm your computer. Though Java is regularly updated by Sun, the company that originally created Java in 1995, certain crooks on the Internet can always find ways to exploit its weaknesses to harm computers through malicious Java programs.
Should I uninstall Java?
Therefore, many people think of uninstalling Java. Whether or not you need Java on your computer depends on what programs or websites you use. In case you don’t use a website or utility that uses Java, there is no harm in uninstalling Java. Uninstalling Java will not render your computer useless, though as already mentioned, certain websites (using Java) may not work properly. In any case, after uninstalling Java, if you feel that your computer is not running smoothly, it is always possible to download (free) Java again from its official website http://www.java.com and install it. Likewise, on a subsequent occasion, if you find that you need to use a website that uses Java, it will prompt you to download and install Java, and you can install it again.
Moreover, even if you don’t want to uninstall Java, you may notice that many a time, older versions of Java are also installed on your computer along with the latest one. There is no harm in at least uninstalling these older versions. In fact, this is what is mentioned on the official Java site:
“The latest version of Java is always the recommended version as it contains feature updates, vulnerability fixes and performance improvements to previous versions. … We highly recommend users uninstall all older versions of Java from your system. Keeping old and unsupported versions of Java on your system presents a serious security risk. Uninstalling 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.”
How to uninstall Java?
Uninstalling Java is much like any other Windows program.
For example, on Windows 7 and Vista, to uninstall Java, click Start; select Control Panel; select Programs; click Programs and Features; select the (Java) program that you want to uninstall by clicking on it, and then click the Uninstall button.
On Windows XP, to uninstall Java, click Start; select Control Panel; click the Add/Remove Programs control panel icon; select the program that you want to uninstall by clicking on it, and then click the Remove button.