The Best Sites to Learn Java Online for Free

Learn to code with this popular language

Java is one of the world's most popular programming languages. Users run Java on more than 15 billion devices, and its developer community is unparalleled in terms of both size and influence. Although attempting to learn Java can seem a bit overwhelming, there are some excellent free online courses and tutorials to help you master the language.

We've listed our favorite free online Java courses based on training methods, ease of use, and instruction quality.

Each of the Java training courses here can be accessed in all major web browsers.

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Best for Java Beginners: Codecademy

Codecademy Java training lesson.
What We Like
  • Daily practice.

  • Interactive lessons.

  • Get a free trial of the Pro version, featuring real-world projects.

What We Don't Like
  • Advanced Java courses aren't offered.

  • Need to upgrade to Pro for enhanced features.

Codecademy's Java training is aimed at beginning and intermediate-level coders, starting with the fundamentals and working up to building a basic program. Easy-to-follow lessons make it a worthwhile starting point for those interested in learning Java.

Codecademy's basic version is free. Its $19-per-month Pro version offers real-world projects and enhanced features. Try the Pro version free for seven days and see if it's right for you, or stick with the free membership tier.

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Best Online Interface: Coursera

Coursera's Java Programming and Software Engineering course
What We Like
  • Courses taught by high-level schools.

  • Courses for beginning, intermediate, and advanced users.

What We Don't Like
  • Coursera's mobile app interface isn't as intuitive as the browser-based courses.

Coursera offers a huge library of interactive courses, making you feel as though you're learning from a multimedia-rich online book. Each course is presented by well-known universities such as Duke and Princeton, and all are available free of charge for the first seven days after you sign up for an account.

Coursera's Java offerings are extensive, ranging from beginner courses to lessons for seasoned programmers who want to sharpen their skills. You'll be charged a monthly fee if you don't cancel before the trial period expires, but if you're motivated enough, you can learn quite a bit during that free week. 

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Best Microsoft-Led Free Classes: edX

EedX's Java training course
What We Like
  • Excellent free courses taught by Microsoft.

What We Don't Like
  • Advanced courses cost more than $100.

The brainchild of Harvard and MIT, edX offers Java courses from several reputable global institutions, including U.C. Berkely, Boston University, and the Sorbonne. Many courses, including offerings from Microsoft, are self-paced and are entirely free.

Built upon an open-source platform, edX is somewhat unique in that new tools and features are often developed and deployed by individual coders and instructors to enhance the overall learning experience.

Some advanced courses allow you to browse the material for free for a limited time, with the option to upgrade to earn a certificate and get graded assignments.

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Best Way to Learn From the Source: Oracle's Java Tutorials

Oracle's Java tutorials
What We Like
  • Clear, concise learning paths.

  • Progress step-by-step to your individual goals.

What We Don't Like
  • Oracle's tutorials haven't been updated since mid-2016.

What better way to learn Java than directly from the source? Oracle offers dozens of free lessons, broken out into specific subject trails, including custom networking, JavaBeans, security, and more. Beginners can learn about Java technology and development, while more advanced lessons cover custom networking, how to write applications that utilize a user's hardware, and much more.

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Best for Video Instruction: Skillshare

Skillshare Java courses
What We Like
  • Teachers are available to answer questions in the site's Community section.

  • Classes are taught by people who work in the field.

What We Don't Like
  • You'll be charged $99 for a full year's membership if you don't cancel in time.

Skillshare's video-based Java classes range from introductory topics to Android game development, all presented in a somewhat linear fashion that allows for gradual but noticeable progress. Only the starter clips are free for unauthenticated users, but you can sign up for 14 days of Skillshare Premium at no charge. 

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Best Step-by-Step Walkthroughs: Tutorials Point

Tutorials Point Java courses
What We Like
  • Library of Java programming examples.

  • Helpful learning resources.

What We Don't Like
  • Ad-heavy display can be distracting at times.

The Tutorials Point interface may not be as visually appealing as some of the others on our list, but its step-by-step walkthroughs take you from setting up your development environment and learning basic Java syntax all the way through advanced topics like serialization and multithreading. 

The free tutorials have ads. Upgrade to a premium plan to remove ads, earn a certificate, get videos courses, and more.

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Best Selection of Free Courses: Udemy

Udemy Java training lessons
What We Like
  • Excellent free tutorials and classes.

  • Learn at your own pace.

  • Courses taught by industry experts.

What We Don't Like
  • Some free courses don't reflect the most recent Java technologies.

One of the web's most popular online learning portals when it comes to programming and other technical topics, Udemy has more than a thousand Java courses covering every topic imaginable. While many of these courses cost $12.99 and up, some of the best are available free of charge. For example, John Purcell's "Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners" is an excellent primer that offers more than a dozen hours of video and 70-plus lectures, all for free.

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Best Free Online Interactive Tool: LearnJava

LearnJava online tutorials
What We Like
  • Simple, easy-to-follow interface.

  • Each lesson offers a simple exercise.

What We Don't Like
  • Advanced topics are still "under construction."

LearnJava is an online interactive tool with a simple, easy-to-follow interface that takes you from the basics through advanced topics. Everything is completely free, and the site vows it will stay that way. The goal is to teach Java by running real code directly from the browser, making it easier and more efficient to learn.

If you'd like to help the project, contribute by writing or translating tutorials.