How to Remove Java From Your Mac

You have probably heard of the constant issues surrounding the use of Java on your computer. Although Apple quit installing Java on Mac desktops some time ago, you may have added it yourself to support some app or web site you wanted to use. If it’s on your system, you want it off NOW! There are serious exploits circulating that put your computer at risk if you are still running Java.

Here’s an easy way to check your computer and remove Java if it’s there.

  1. Open the Terminal app. You’ll find it in the Utilities folder under Applications.
  2. At the prompt, type this command:
    java -version
    then press the Return key.

Java version command in Terminal

If your response looks like this example – stating there’s no Java runtime present – you’re in good shape and don’t have anything to worry about. NOTE: When I executed this command, a window popped up asking if I wanted to install Java. NO! Don’t do it!

If your response identifies a version number – probably either 1.6 or 1.7 – then you need to open Finder, go to the /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/ directory and delete it. Then, empty the Trash.

Don’t get Java and Javascript confused. They are two entirely different things. Javascript is one component of web development and is quite stable and safe to use.


  • Nancy

    Thanks for this. I didn’t realize it but I still had Java. Not anymore!

  • Linda Wilky

    Yikes! You know, about 10 days ago I received a digital file I requested by email through the FHL. To download the file, it said I had to install Java because that was the method the FHL used to transfer files. I had to download Java to be able to get my file. Does that makes sense to you? I didn’t know there was any problem with Java, but have now deleted it, thanks to this blog-posting. Unfortunately, I have requested a few other files from the FHL, and I won’t be able to get them without Java either. What do you suggest? Thank you!