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  • More questions about disabling Java

    Posted on January 25th, 2013 at 10:32 woody 21 comments

    Following my Windows Secrets Newsletter Top Story on disabling Java in Internet Explorer (which is a bear), my inbox overflows…

    Q: I use Norton as my AV provider and have recently received an email from them saying that they are on top of this and as long as I’m running Java 7-11 I’m ok. How “ok” am I?

    A: With all due respect to Mr. Norton <ahem>, you’re most assuredly not OK. Remove Java if you can (see Susan’s article in Windows Secrets Newsletter). If that won’t work for you, disable Java in all browsers (see my article). And if that won’t work for you, disable it in Firefox and IE, but keep it going in Chrome.

    Q: Subject: Java Security Alert / Java is now uninstalled from both my Vista and Win 7 machines. Just wonder if this is the better way to take care of the problem. Would like to have your opinion. Thanks.

    A: Absolutely. Uninstall if you can.

    Q: Subject: JAVA disable is where? Woody, My Java (32-bit) in the Control Panel, security tab, only shows a button for Certificates. I couldn’t find a tab/window that looked like your example.

    A: Susan nailed this one: Check to see if you have ANOTHER java installed too. I found I had both 6 and 7 and once I removed 6 the tab showed up.

     Q: Firefox has already blocked Java. It was disabled for me. FYI

    A: Mozilla started doing that as a service to Firefox users with older, vulnerable versions of Java – back in August

    Q; Subject: Security alert: Remove Java from your browsers If it is true that “many — if not most PC users — are running Firefox or Chrome” why not just use IE as the browser that you keep Java on. I only use IE when Firefox won’t work. So for me that is the solution. If someone still uses IE as their main browser and wants to remove Java from it, the easy way to do it would be to first remove Java from all browsers, then add it back to your secondary browser that explicitly asks you for permission to run a Java program.

     A: Alas, it doesn’t work that way. IE is the most vulnerable browser for Java security breaches. If you remove Java from your machine, then click to install Java inside a browser, it gets installed for all browsers.

    Q: Hi Windows Secret. In Denmark the following advise from the locak CERT: Choose Tools, click manage add-ons, right-clik Java(tm) Plug-in SSV Helper & Java ™ Plug-in 2 SSV Helper and disable both.. Nice and Simple..

     A: Unfortunately, that doesn’t work! I’m surprised CERT Denmark hasn’t updated their advice….

     Q: I had removed Java from my pc and disabled it in Firefox. Do I need to re install and go though the procedure in the last newsletter?

    A: If Java is completely removed from your PC – it doesn’t appear in the Remove Programs list – you’re home free.

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    21 Responses to “More questions about disabling Java”

    1. alan tiger says:

      woody, some time ago, you recommended a wonderful free utility, revo uninstaller. is there some reason why you haven’t mentioned this as a way to dump java?
      i used revo to remove java from my system several months ago (the only thing i am unable to do without it is to use certain crossword puzzles). yesterday, just to be sure, i went to the java web site, which told me “We are unable to verify if Java is currently installed and enabled in your browser.” in other words, it’s gone!
      revo uninstaller is terrific!

      • woody says:

        @Alan –

        As far as I know, a simple Add/Remove Programs uninstall is good enough to get rid of Java. Revo’s very handy for recalcitrant programs, but I think the java uninstaller is pretty well behaved – at least, I haven’t heard differently.

    2. Cecilia says:

      Hi Woody, Just received a refubished hard drive and I do not have java according to the “do I have Java” at java.com. Do I need to install it and then disable it as stated in window Secrets issue 371 or can I just not install it.

    3. Hi Woody,

      I updated Java on my wife’s machine, then disabled it. Then checked add/remove and found 2 old Version 6’s there as well. I uninstalled them, leaving only the current version, which is disabled in all browsers.

      We will see if she still needs it for the Government of Canada’s record of employment forms.

      Anyway,I noticed in the add/remove list that there is also a program Java FX 2.1.1

      What is that? Should I do something with ior to it?


    4. sanda says:

      So do the above comment and reply suggest that I,too and others can use Revo uninstaller on my IE instead of the CERT download from Homeland Security?

      • woody says:

        Sanda –

        If you want to get rid of Java entirely – a good idea, unless you absolutely must have it – use Revo.

        If you want to get rid of Java INSIDE IE – use the CERT download.

    5. Woody,

      Further to the above question.

      It turns out that after I uninstalled the old versions left on the computer. Java is now enabled. When I go to the Java Control Panel, under Security all I get now is the Certificate Window, and when I check the Java site it says I have the latest version?

      • woody says:

        Dave –

        Chances are very good that you still have an old version of Java lurking – perhaps Java FX (see below). You have to get rid of them all before the Disable button appears….

    6. rc primak says:

      If only two or three (at most) versions of JRE are present, and if no programs have copied parts of the old Java Runtimes into their own libraries, yes, the Java (JRE) uninstaller is perfectly fine on its own.

      But if folks have (or used to have) programs which use older versions of JRE, these may leave remnants which are scattered in unlikely places on some systems.

      That’s why JavaRA exists. JavaRA is specific to Java installations. It completely removes every trace of all Java Runtimes from a personal computer. Including most Registry traces. No question about it in almost every case.

      There will sometimes still be listings in Firefox for the Java Plugins, but these will no longer function and will not pose security risks after using JavaRA.

      So if you’ve been updating JRE and removing old versions all along, the JRE uninstaller works great. If not, JavaRA is fast and free, and it will do the job completely.

    7. sanda says:

      I keep getting a prompt from Oracle that Java has a new version. I deleted it from my browsers. Do I ignore the prompt? Or do we have to keep updating and removing it, which seems weird.

      • woody says:

        Sanda –

        Java has been updated three times in the past six weeks.

        Removing it from your browsers is not the same as removing it entirely. (Weird, but true.) If you don’t need Java at all, uninstall it – go into the Control Panel’s Add or Remove Programs, and just uninstall. If you do need Java, it’s best to keep up-to-date on all of the latest changes…

    8. sanda says:

      Thanks. I have discovered that it is as you and others have said, Not easy to uninstall Java completely, having gone to the Control Panel. I’ll have to restudy everything you said about how and study how to use Revo…yeesh. But many thanks to you and comments from others. I read them all.

    9. sanda says:

      It feels like I’m in some kind of alternate world’s bad dream. I DID delete Java from my control panel. VB “captured” my Firefox home page, with a tool bar that I followed instructions and couldn’t get rid of. Somehow IE is involved and that’s all I get from Microsoft help box. So, I deleted Firefox and reinstalled it. I have that darned tool bar and I can’t get it off. But, I did get rid of Java, chuckle with a screech….

      I’ll go back to your Windows 7 for Dummies in the morning….Did I say it’s Bing? (guess I didn’t need to). How do I bypass Internet Explorer to get a Firefox search engine? Yes, I’m using Chrome,too.

    10. sanda says:

      Thanks. I don’t want to use Internet Explorer on this machine. If I get the new Surface Pro, I suppose have to use it there. And get your Windows 8 for Dummies.I’m using Chrome mainly, now. So glad I installed it when you suggested the apps…

      Along the way, I managed to delete Windows Media Player while working on removing the toolbar/search add-on that I never asked for on Firefox. I was not able to have success with online “how to” get rid of toolbar. (Was much easier with old XP pro) But I was able to use some other player for DVDs, which looks like a duck icon. When I went to download Media Player again, by the way, I was told that I already have a newer version (that came with my laptop), but, the list of programs says I don’t have it. It’s not getting easier ….

    11. Woody,
      I just removed Java with Add and Remove Programs in the Control Panel. Then I remembered my wife needs to use a site for school that doesn’t even like Firefox–I have to use IE Tab for her. I realized I better check with them and, sure enough, they said the site:
      “…does require that the program Java is downloaded on the computer you are using. I hope this information is helpful!”

      Yikes! What do I do now?

      • woody says:

        @Morty –

        You can either tell the people who run the site that they’re living in the dark ages, putting all of their customers at risk by insisting on using a Java browser add-in, and hope that they change their ways.

        Or you can install Java and run it in IE only. Manually turn it off in Firefox and Chrome (if you use Chrome). Don’t use IE for any other site – and pray that the bad guys don’t infect that one site run by Luddites.

        I can’t believe there are still publicly available sites that require IE. That’s worse than unconscionable. It’s simply inept.

        And you can quote me.

    12. Woody,
      Thanks once again.
      If I thought it would help, I would tell them. But considering the bureaucracy that foisted this service on us, this is the least of out problems!
      So I have to go back to the Java shop now…. There should really be some way to toggle it on and off!

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