J.D. Fox Micro Resource Center
Standard websites can show you lots of nicely formatted information, but are limited in interactive functionality. Java is a system that allows you to easily download and run application programs (called Java applets) through your web browser, which can greatly enhance what you can do on a website. Java applets are mostly used for connectivity related to the website you're on—such as to get technical support on an accounting program you have through the software publisher's website, use instant messaging with a sales representative through the manufacturer's website, take a 3D virtual tour of your new house on your architect's website, or use an online training system. Java-based games are also popular.
To use Java on a desktop or laptop computer, you have to download and install the Java platform software. If you visit a website that requires Java, the website will usually tell you so. The Apple iMac and MacBook, and most mobile phones and tablets, come with Java support already.
The Java platform was originally developed by Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle). It is also referred to as JRE (Java Runtime Environment) or JVM (Java Virtual Machine). These are all the same thing. In Microsoft Windows, you will see the white Java icon or in the system tray when a Java applet is running. If you see the orange Java icon , this means there is an update available for the Java platform software itself.
Below are links to several versions of Java, which will allow you to download the latest update for that version. Version 7 was released in 2011 to enable new features, but programs written before Java 7 may fail to run once you install Java 7 or Java 8 on your computer. So, Java 6 is still available for download, linked below. The last version of Java 6 is Update 45, and it is no longer updated by Oracle.
This is the recommended link. It will automatically detect your operating system version and computer architecture, and download the correct files. If you still run Windows XP, please use the link below, as Java 8 is not supported on Windows XP.
Java 7 direct download
This is for network administrators to download a redistributable copy of the entire installer package. You should also use this link if you still have Windows XP, which doesn't support Java 8
Download Java 6 (Windows/Linux/Solaris)
If you need Java 6 for compatibility with old Java applets that don't work with Java 7 or 8. Look for "Java SE Runtime Environment 6u45".
If you need Java 6 for compatibility with old Java applets on a Mac with Lion or later, use this link.".
Confirm that Java is working, and that the current version was properly installed. You must have administrator privileges on your computer for this to work.
This is a third-party site with a simpler method for testing, in case the above doesn't work (for example, if you have an older Mac). This doesn't require administrator privileges. But, for newer versions of Java, it may require reconfiguration of your Java Security settings to work.
To download the newer but less widely used application platforms (Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe AIR), click here