Forum Question: Should I Uninstall Java?

With the continuous vulnerabilities in Java. I am wondering if I should just remove it from my Mac. Or am I just as safe from infections/vulnerabilities by simply disabling it in the browser?

Comments: 10 Responses to “Should I Uninstall Java?”

    2/21/13 @ 8:31 pm

    I recommend disabling it in the browser. Removing it completely might be a problem if you use software that requires Java. Lots of major apps do: Adobe Creative Suite, Open Office, Minecraft, CrashPlan, etc.
    When you wander on to a malicious or compromised web site with some Java malware on it, you are running an app that you don’t trust. You may not even realize you are running that app since it is hidden in the web site.
    But when you use Java by running an app you installed and use, you are running an app that you DO trust — or otherwise you would not have installed it, right?
    So uninstalling Java completely may be a problem, and it should not make any difference to your security.
    But disabling it in your browser is probably what you should do, especially if you don’t visit any web sites that use it. And if you do, you can always enable it temporarily.
    Here’s my video about how to disable Java in your browser:

    Arthur Carter
    2/22/13 @ 8:29 pm

    I’m going to disagree with Gary. Rich Mogull, a guru on computer security published an article in Macworld yesterday, 2/21/13, saying he now recommends uninstalling Java . Microsoft announced today that it too had computers hacked via Java like Apple and Facebook. Further, Sophos, the respected security/anti-virus company, is now recommending uninstalling Java . That’s enough for me.

      2/22/13 @ 9:12 pm

      It is easy for security companies to recommend that. I could tell you to be completely secure by simply disconnecting your Mac from the Internet. Maybe turning it off. But you have to draw the line somewhere. If you need to use software that requires Java, then what’s the purpose of uninstalling it? You’d be more secure, but unable to do what you need to do.

    2/22/13 @ 10:01 pm

    I have no choice but to keep it as my insulin pump software uses it. I will however take Gary’s advice and disable it and then re-enable it when I need to upload my pump information.

    Erik Lorenz Petersen
    3/6/13 @ 2:31 am

    I need Java to access my bank. So I disable and enable it in my browser as I need it. However, it seems that my Mac is unable to update to Java version 17. Installation completes without messages, yet in the end the plug in does not work from Safari, Testing with “check your version of Java” ends up detecting no Java on the machine.
    Is this a new way of fencing off Java from the side of Apple?

      3/6/13 @ 6:12 am

      Not sure what you mean by “check your version of Java” — perhaps that method doesn’t work. Look in Safari Help menu at the Installed Plug-Ins to see what version of Java it is using.

        Erik Lorenz Petersen
        3/7/13 @ 10:11 am

        Sorry to be vague in my text. What I meant was running in Safari the Java applet that you find on “Verify Java Version”. In my case after installing Java 7 update 17 ending with the message “Install Succeeded” I am still not able to detect Java on the machine. I think there must be an error in the Java update version for Mac from Oracle. Any one else having issues with Java 7 update 17?

          3/7/13 @ 10:29 am

          I would expect that would be a problem with that web site, not with your Java install. Perhaps it only detects the Oracle version of Java, not the Apple one. I wouldn’t worry about it.

            Erik Lorenz Petersen
            3/7/13 @ 1:14 pm

            Oh but I have to. I can’t log on to my bank, cause Java certainly stopped working for me after this update.

              3/7/13 @ 2:35 pm

              Oh, I see. Well, I would just try re-installing it. And of course make sure you haven’t disabled it in your Safari settings.

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