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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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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, 2009 at 18:26
  • Most unfortunate. I just ran into a case where the Java update breaks a common Java library (Microsoft's JDBC driver). Dec 15, 2011 at 17:41
  • More recent, in Ask Different: Uninstalling Java on Lion. Please note in particular this comment to an answer. Feb 2, 2013 at 19:32
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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, 2009 at 13:17

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