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I'm working on a trouble shooting document for some desktop software that runs in Java. One of the last resort steps is to completely uninstall and reinstall the Java runtime. In Windows XP this can be done via Add/Remove Programs. Is there something equivalent on OSX? Or does reinstalling the runtime overwrite the current version?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can't easily remove Java from OS X, since it is built in to the OS; in this way, you can't (again, easily) revert to previous installations of the JRE - from Apple:

Can I remove a Java update after I've installed it?

Java on Mac OS X is updated incrementally through numerous releases. Therefore, the only way to revert to an earlier Java installation is to reinstall the operating system.

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Looks like you're right. The Java website says something similar (updates only happen through Software Update) –  Jesse Jul 16 '09 at 18:26
    
Most unfortunate. I just ran into a case where the Java update breaks a common Java library (Microsoft's JDBC driver). –  Brian Knoblauch Dec 15 '11 at 17:41
    
More recent, in Ask Different: Uninstalling Java on Lion. Please note in particular this comment to an answer. –  Graham Perrin Feb 2 '13 at 19:32

I believe Java is a core component of OS X in Leopard, so re-installing it is quite tricky.

Hopefully this site can provide you with some answers

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The linked page has the instructions for removing and reinstalling Java. I think this is the correct answer! –  Avi Flax Aug 18 '09 at 13:17

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