How to Update Java in Firefox & IE

By Chris Hoffman

The Java run-time software is a program that runs applications written in the Java programming language. In addition to running Java desktop applications, it also includes a Java web browser plug-in that runs embedded Java applications, or applets, on Web pages. The same Java browser plug-in is used by all the web browsers on your computer, including Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as other browsers like Google Chrome and Apple's Safari. You can update the Java plug-in used by all web browsers on your computer using the Java control panel on Windows 7. Java updates often fix important security vulnerabilities.

Step 1

Click on "Start," and then click on "Control Panel."

Step 2

Click on "Programs" in the Control Panel window.

Step 3

Click on the "Java" icon shaped like a steaming coffee cup in the Control Panel window. The Java control panel opens in a new window.

Step 4

Click on the "Update" tab at the top of the Java Control Panel window. The update panel contains options for scheduling the frequency of automatic updates, whether updates are automatically downloaded or installed, and has a button that updates Java immediately.

Step 5

Click "Update Now." If you don't need to update, the Java program informs you that you have the latest version with a dialog box reading "You already have the latest Java(TM) Platform on this system." As of September 2010, the latest version of Java was Version 6, Update 21.

Step 6

Download the update, if applicable, by clicking "Download." Java downloads the update normally over your Internet connection. If there is a problem downloading the update, your Internet connection is not working or configured properly.

Step 7

Install the update by clicking "Install" in the "Java Update Available" window, clicking "Next" and clicking "OK." The installer automatically installs the latest version.

Step 8

Click "Finish." Web browsers now use the latest version of the Java plug-in, with its security patches or performance improvements.

Step 9

Close any open Web browser windows and re-open them if a new version of Java was installed. The computer doesn't need to be restarted, only the Web browsers do.

Tips & Warnings

  • Enable automatic updates by clicking the "Check For Updates Automatically" check-box on the "Update" tab.
  • View the installed version of Java by clicking the "General" tab and clicking the "About" button.

References & Resources