How To Remove Old Versions Of Java Runtime from Your PC

Karl L. Gechlik 07-02-2009

remove older versions of java runtimeMost of us have the Java Run time Environment on our Windows computers. Not because we like Java or Sun Micro systems but JRE allows us to play some on-line games and run specific small applications also referred to as applets. I won’t go into the nitty gritty because you probably don’t care but if you want to learn more about JRE and the Java Machine it launches check out this wikipedia article.


My company has JRE on all its machines because it is how our employees clock in and out of our Etime system. Because of this we are constantly updating the JRE on client machines. One thing that baffles me about JRE is that it does not remove older versions when upgrading. Right now Sun has a version out called JRE 6 update 12. On some of my machines we have 3 older versions of Java and other 5 or 6. This is just crazy!

I thought that was standard practice in the software world. Especially since they release upgrades when they are fixing vulnerabilities. So having older versions of JRE on your machine could be a back door in for some elicit hacker. Now I am not one to get you all worked up and paranoid without a solution (an easy one at that!).

So, How Do You Remove Older Verson of Java Runtime

You do not need to install it – it just runs. Double click on it, choose your language and you will see this:

JavaRa - remove java runtime


Take a look at it. There are four buttons, three with real functionality and as simple as can be. The first button labeled Search for Updates, will take you directly to the Sun website or another site to grab the newest version of JRE. If you click it you will see something similar to this:

remove jre

Choose the second option to go to Sun’s Website and then you will see this:

how to uninstall java


Hit Open Webpage and you will be taken to where you need to go:

How To Remove Old Versions Of Java Runtime from Your PC javara2

Go ahead and download/install the newest package located at the top of the list. No go ahead, we will wait…

Once you have that installed you can go back to your JavaRA console and hit that second button that says Remove Older Versions. Press it and you will get a warning:


How To Remove Old Versions Of Java Runtime from Your PC jawarning

When you click yes it will start the removal procedure. Another warning will pop up telling you to make sure your browser was closed. This is a good idea so it can clean out everything. When it is done it tells you what it has cleaned:

How To Remove Old Versions Of Java Runtime from Your PC jaremoved

Wow Version 6 update 1… Why was that on this machine? JavaRA then tells you that it is complete and opens its log file for you to peruse.


That last button that says Additional Tools will give you a few options for tweaking your JRE experience as you can see here:

How To Remove Old Versions Of Java Runtime from Your PC jaoptions

They are all pretty straight forward but nothing that really caught my eye.

How do you keep up with unistalling old versions of Java Runtime off of your Windows PC? Share it with the rest of the group in the comments!

Related topics: Java, Uninstaller.

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  1. Tony Austin
    February 10, 2009 at 5:09 am

    Or maybe this is a better link

    • Aibek
      February 10, 2009 at 5:19 am

      thanks Tony!

  2. Tony Austin
    February 9, 2009 at 12:19 am

    A little while later I posted a slightly reworded/expanded version of the above in the "Future JavaRa" section at Lunarsoft Forums (if that's of any use, not sure that it was the right place to do so):

    More on the above JavaRa enhancement request

    • Aibek
      February 10, 2009 at 2:55 am


      • Tony Austin
        February 10, 2009 at 4:48 am

        Sorry, thought that I had included the link (usually do, must have slipped up this time). Here it is:

  3. Tony Austin
    February 8, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    JavaRa is quite nice for what it does, in the main, but I reckon there's one or two issues with it for certain users (like myself).

    Firstly, there should be a "Display Currently Installed Versions" button that merely searches your system for JREs and shows you a list of the JREs that are there. The problem with the "Search For Updates" button taking you to the SUn download page is that you might be the sort of user who doesn't have a clue how to determine what's already installed, so how would you know when you go to the Sun site whether or not you need to bother installing the latest (since you might already have it)?

    The list of currently-installed versions should certainly also be displayed under the "Remove Older Versions" option, with a check box against each so that you can leave old version(s) that you may need when some other product depends on (say, is only certified against) a certain old version?

    All I'm pointing out is that for many users removing ALL old versions might be fine, but this won't be the case for everybody.

  4. Chris
    February 8, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks. Was helpful.

  5. JB
    February 8, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I have at work 3 party apps that don't work with newer versions on Java. I don't need users upgrading. I keep the proper install on the network in case someone accidentally upgrades

  6. BobCFC
    February 7, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Ubuntu handles all the software updates for me.

    I just click OK and enter password when new updates are available and it removes the old versions at the same time.

    I guess Linux is just too hard to use *wink*

    • Karl L. Gechlik
      February 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm

      There are correct tools for every job Bob.

    • Womble
      February 7, 2009 at 11:40 pm

      Whilst I agree Windows software installers do a terrible job generally of tidying up after themselves, Linux itself has it's fair share of ridicules also.

      I dual boot Linux but i'm not about to give up Windows just so I can consider myself one of the 31337.

  7. Wez Pyke
    February 7, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I hate Java the developers really need to make it less resource hungry.