Java is a programming language that was originally developed by Sun Microsystems that is used by many websites and online games. These sites need the Java applets installed on your computer through the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). The Java download is free and easy to get on the Java website.
Java Registry Keys
Sometimes you want to uninstall Java completely or uninstall it in order to do a clean reinstall or upgrade. Sometimes when you have uninstalled Java either manually or using the Java uninstaller program you may still see the Java icon in your Add/Remove programs folder. This is because there are Java entries in the registry that are not fully removed, including Value Names and Value Data.
Manually Editing the Registry
You can manually remove the registry entries, but you need to be careful. Incorrectly altering the registry can lead to real problems with your computer, so make sure that you have it backed up (here are instructions on how to backup the registry) so that you can restore the system to the current version should the unexpected happen. To manually clean up the registry:
- Go to Start and then Run.
- Type in regedit in the edit field.
- Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/
4. Under this uninstall, you will find many registry entries within curly brackets.
The registry keys for Java will have a value name that includes Java2 for example: Java2 SDK,SEv1.4.1_02.
- Highlight the Java registry key you want. Right click on the registry key and choose delete. Confirm the delete and click Yes.
- Restart your Add/Remove Programs to see if the Java icon is gone.
Windows Installer Cleanup Utility
If you want to uninstall the Java installer but don't want to do this manually, you can use the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility. This is found on the Microsoft website and will automatically cleanup all of the Java installer files from the registry.
You can also use a program such as RegCure to clean up your registry. It will identify and fix any problems that you are having with the registry, including leftover Java registry keys.
Any of these methods should get rid of all of the Java registry keys that have been left behind when you uninstalled the program. Just make sure that you have your data backed up before you do anything to the registry because any mistakes can be catastrophic.