How to Update Java

Learn what you can or can't do on Windows, Mac, and Android devices

how to update Java
How to update Java.

Oracle

Because of its widespread use across operating systems, web-based applications, and other user-facing programs, Java is updated often to enhance functionality and patch security vulnerabilities; the latter being the key reason the version running on your device should be kept up-to-date.

Although many Java installations update automatically or prompt users when an update is available, it's helpful to understand how to update manually if needed. The steps to update Java vary slightly across platforms; steps for Windows, macOS, and Android are listed separately below.

How to Update Java on Windows 8 and Windows 10

Manually updating Java on Windows is typically done through the Java Control Panel.

  1. Windows 10: Type "java" into the Windows/Cortana search box, located in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. When the pop-out menu appears select Configure Java, located in the Apps section.

    Windows 8: Select the Search icon, located towards the bottom or right-hand side of your screen. When the search interface appears, type "java control panel" in the edit field provided, then press the Enter key. Select the Java Control Panel icon, now displayed in the Apps section.

  2. The Java Control Panel should now appear, overlaying your desktop or open application windows. Select the Update tab.

  3. Java's update settings should now be displayed, containing configurable options about the updating mechanism, as well as the ability to forcefully check for a new version.

    update java on windows
    The Java Control Panel on Windows 10.

    It's recommended to leave the Check for Updates Automatically setting active, as well as a value of Before downloading in the Notify Me drop-down menu. By default, Java will check for updates once per week. To modify this duration or the day and time the check occurs, select the Advanced button. If your device is not always on, you should set a date and time when it's likely to be powered on and connected to the internet. 

  4. Towards the bottom of the screen are details about when the latest update took place. Select the accompanying Update Now button to manually check if a newer version of Java is available. If so, the download and installation process will begin.

  5. You'll be asked to grant the Java Updater permission to make changes to your system. Do so.

  6. Follow the prompts provided to complete the update process.

How to Update Java on macOS

Manually updating Java on macOS, along with its updated-related settings, can be achieved via the Java Control Panel.

  1. Click the Apple icon, located in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

  2. When the drop-down menu appears, select System Preferences

  3. The System Preferences interface should now be displayed. Click the Java icon, typically found in the bottom row of preferences.

  4. The Java Control Panel should now appear, overlaying your desktop or open application windows. Select the Update tab.

  5. Information will now be displayed regarding the last time Java was updated on your Mac, as well as whether or not a new update is available.

    Tip: It's recommended to leave the Check for Updates Automatically setting active, or enable it by clicking its accompanying checkbox if it's disabled.

  6. Click the Check for Updates or Update Now button, depending on which one is displayed based on your particular situation.

    update Java in macOS
    The Java Control Panel in macOS.
  7. If a new update is downloaded, follow the prompts provided to complete the process.

    Note: You may be asked to enter your macOS password to allow Java Update to install a new helper tool. If prompted for this password, enter it, then click the Install Helper button.

  8. Java should now be updated.

How to Update Java on Android

Unlike macOS and Windows, updating Java on Android smartphones and tablets isn't something that can be done by the end user. In fact, without utilizing emulator workarounds or rooting your phone and installing third-party apps, Java is technically not even supported in the same way it is on other operating systems.

Therefore, there's no true way to check for, or force, a Java update on your Android device. Any related updates would usually be handled by the device manufacturer or the OS update mechanism itself.