Java is Insecure and Awful, It’s Time to Disable It, and Here’s How

By Lowell Heddings on August 28th, 2012

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As usual, there’s yet another security hole in the Java Runtime Environment, and if you don’t disable your Java plugin, you’re at risk for being infected with malware. Here’s how to do it.

Security holes are nothing new, but in this case, the security hole is really bad, and there’s no telling when Oracle will get around to fixing the problem. Plus, how often do you really need Java while browsing the web? Why keep it around?

Should You Disable Java or Uninstall it?

Ideally, both. Otherwise:

  • If you don’t rely on any applications that use Java, and you don’t visit any sites that require Java in the browser, you should just completely remove the entire framework from your computer.
  • If you use applications that require Java, you should disable the plugin in the browser.
  • If you are forced to use Java in the browser for a specific site, you should disable Java in your main browser, and then use an alternate browser just for that one single site.

For regular users, there’s very little reason to keep Java around.

Note: many readers pointed out that the fun and extremely geeky game Minecraft requires Java. Obviously if you’re a geek, you deserve some Minecraft–but you should still disable the Java plugin in the browser.

How to Uninstall Java Entirely

Just like anything else, you need to head to Control Panel –> Uninstall Programs and uninstall it from there. Find anything else that has Java, JRE, JDK, or anything similar, and click the Uninstall button—it is completely free, so you can easily reinstall it if you really have to.

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How to Disable the Java Plugin in Google Chrome

For Google Chrome, head to about:plugins in your browser bar, and then hit the Enter key.

Find Java in the list, and click the Disable button.

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How to Disable the Java Plugin in Internet Explorer

Head to the Tools icon, and then use the Manage add-ons item in the menu.

Find the Java plugin in the list, click on it, and then click the Disable button. You’ll notice that this screenshot illustrates how to remove LastPass, but the same idea works for both.

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How to Disable Java in Mozilla Firefox

Open up the Firefox menu and then click the Add-ons button.

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Find everything that says Java in the name, and then disable it.

Finally, Java is gone! Now to find a good reason to get rid of iTunes.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/28/12
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