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Computers have their own languages that they can use to perform tasks. Specialists write different programming languages that are useful for different purposes. While some languages are made for communicative purposes, just like human languages, most programming languages are sets of instructions that tell computers how to do different jobs.
To date, thousands of programming languages exist. Some of them tell computers what process to go through, and there are others that spell out the desired result that a programmer might want. In the latter case, they may not tell the computer a precise path to follow in order to achieve those goals. Java is one of these languages.
Java is very popular today, but many users might wonder just what exactly it is for. We will go through why you can find Java runtimes or applications on your computer, whether or not you should update it, what things might look like if you uninstall Java entirely, and how Java impacts your computer’s performance overall. We’ll also go through a couple of points that relate to Java as it is on Windows 10.
What Does Java Do on My PC?
Java is a sort of platform. You can think of it as a foundation that provides building blocks that are necessary for many popular services to run efficiently on your computer. For many modern machines, Java might use both applications and runtime in tandem.
An application is the basic workhorse of any endeavor that relies on computer programs. However, without the runtime environment, it would just be lots of code that doesn’t know what to do with itself.
The runtime uses a specific configuration of software or tech in order to allow an application or program to execute the commands that it needs to complete in order to do its job.
With the applications and runtime environment of a programming language combined, you’ll already be able to access many of the features that a program wants you to use for your benefit. However, this isn’t always the case.
There are some apps or sites on the web that will need you to have Java installed on your PC in order to give you the access you need and keep things running smoothly. Java software that you put on your computer will include the runtime environment, a virtual machine, and Java platform libraries that your device will need.
For example, many websites might run what they call ‘Java applets’ as part of the processes that they load. If you don’t have Java on your PC, these smaller applications simply can’t work with the existing software that you do have. Therefore, you can think of Java as something that allows you to get access to lots of parts of the web that you might not be able to use otherwise.
Do I Need To Update Java on My Computer?
Yes, it is always a good idea to update Java once you have it downloaded to your computer. There are a couple of caveats to this, and we will go over them as well. However, for various reasons, it is usually better to keep something like this updated.
As with any programming language, there could be vulnerabilities in the code that malicious actors could exploit. Java’s popularity soared in part because of its universal appeal. Programmers could write code for applications that could then run on any of the major operating systems you might think of today. This made it a solid choice for a lot of programs or websites out there.
That same popularity, however, would often mean that bad actors would try to target Java’s vulnerabilities for attack. With such widespread use across many systems, there was a pretty good chance of some kind of attack getting through to some organization.
Updating Java is a crucial part of guarding against these attacks. Different patches that come out will have updates that remove security threats or increase the stability of the system.
One possible issue here has to do with software written using much older versions of Java. If a particular business is relying on this software, an update might cause it to start working incorrectly until things can be stabilized. Depending on how crucial these programs or systems are, this could be a major issue for some. However, it is still better to update Java in order to avoid security risks that could be even more damaging to a company.
Because many browsers and websites make use of Java applications, the security issue comes into play yet again in the form of malware attacks. If you are running older Java, it can be easier for those with malicious intent to target vulnerabilities in the plug-ins that you use to access or interact with websites.
Once this happens, it can be easier to get malware onto your system. If this happens so subtly that you do not notice it, some damage could occur before you’re able to correct the problem. Again, keeping Java as current as possible is a good approach.
What Happens if I Uninstall Java?
The answer to this question depends on what you’re doing with your system, and the kinds of things you want access to while using it. To fully get at the answer, we should talk about the past of Java. Some years ago, it was standard practice to install Java.
A working version of the programming language was necessary for a lot of applications one might want to run, and the same was true for sites they might want to visit.
Java is still in use today, but it may be less of a problem to uninstall the Java software from your computer itself. This is because some browsers have built-in Java engines.
These browsers can use their own Java engines to help your system access sites that make use of the programming language, and you won’t necessarily need its libraries installed on your own machine.
It is still possible that you’ll run into some programs that require Java to run, however. If this is the case, you’ll have to reinstall Java in order to use the applications.
In short, nothing much should happen in terms of websites that use Java, but it depends on what browser you are using. For programs, you’d also be fine, but you still may encounter one that needs you to be able to run Java in order to make full use of it.
Should I Remove Java From My Computer?
Again, this answer depends on what you want to do. Java helps to run thousands of websites today, including some very popular ones. If you are using a browser with its own Java engine, it might be okay to have none of the software that you might use for Java on your computer itself.
Still, to get the full functionality of the net at your disposal, something that runs and understands Java is necessary.
Aside from just websites, many applications and games rely on Java in some form. If you want to run certain programs or play particular games on your system, you may need Java in order to do these things.
If you do, you should receive a prompt when trying to run one of these things that Java is necessary. You should be able to download the latest version of it in order to do so.
Conversely, even the developers of Java recommend removing older versions of it from your system. If you aren’t running the latest and greatest version of Java, your computer could be at risk for all of the kinds of security exploits we touched on earlier, and it could be much easier to use Java to breach your system.
You are able to uninstall Java manually just as you would any other kind of software. However, Java puts out its own uninstaller tool that can help you make sure that old versions are removed from your system completely.
Does Java Slow Down Your Computer?
Java should not slow down your PC. The programming language and framework for Java is there to help programs run across platforms. It doesn’t really do anything by itself, so it is very unlikely to be the thing that is causing your computer to run slowly.
If you do notice any performance issues, it is possible that they could be the result of programs that use Java, but there are probably other factors at play that contribute to this system instability.
The only thing to watch out for is if multiple instances of Java itself are somehow running in the background. If so, it is possible that this could contribute to the slowing down of your system. This is still technically unrelated to Java’s efficiency, but you can check in something like Windows Task Manager to see if copies of Java might be running simultaneously.
Can Windows 10 Run Java?
Yes, Windows 10 can run Java. Beginning with Java 8, Windows 10 was able to start running Java.
Does Windows 10 Need Java?
This answer is still dependent on the user. Browsers like Internet Explorer version 11 and Firefox should be able to run Java as built-in engines. These browsers would be able to help you access websites that use Java. Conversely, Microsoft’s Edge browser does not do this, and it does not support the specific Java plug-ins that would be necessary.
If you like using this browser, your system would need to be able to run Java on Windows 10. Similarly, any app or game you wanted to run that might need it would ask you to install it, unless it is a browser game that can run on one of those that support Java on their own.
Java is now decades old, but it has changed over time to maintain at least some of its relevance today. Many websites still use it, and some applications need it. It is comparatively easy to learn from among the long list of programming languages.
Although there are some security concerns, the open-source nature of it, and the large community that surrounds it, both go a long way toward discovering bugs or problems early. Java also gets fairly frequent updates to patch holes in its stability or increase security. All that said, there are some users who might get by fine without Java, but it will depend on what their systems do for them.