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Why is Java telling me it’s not installed when it is?

Question: I listened to the hoopla that if you had Java, you were inviting trouble and to uninstall it until they fixed the cracks. So I did. I had Revo Uninstaller and I used it and then I uninstalled Java setup and afterwards, I did a search and nothing was found. I waited a week or so and then I heard that they fixed it so I installed it right from Opera. Everything went as expected. I had to uninstall it about six months ago and installed it the same way. Afterwards, a window came up and said that it was installed and I should see a test object. I saw it and was told that Java was installed. I went to one of my games and it failed to boot. I was told that Java wasn’t installed. I checked programs and saw the icon. I rechecked my game and it told me that Java wasn’t installed. I checked many of my games and was told the same thing by all of them. So I reinstalled it. Everything installed the same and at the end, I was told that Java was installed. I tried a game and was told again that Java was not installed. So here I am stuck. How can I install Java so that it works on my computer?

For a while, Java had some security issues. As you noted, they were fixed… but not really. In fact, I still recommend avoiding Java, if possible. Uninstalling Java is the safest situation to be in; I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

But, I agree. Java can be a tad confusing because there are several parts to it.

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The problem with Java

Java is fixing their issues, but as they do, others are finding new problems, vulnerabilities, and bugs at roughly the same rate. And there are malware developers out there taking advantage of that. So while you might hear that bugs are being fixed, and that might even be true, that doesn’t mean everything is better.

But if a program requires Java, you need to use it. If this is your situation, I hope you are taking appropriate precautions.

Different versions of Java

One thing to remember is that the Java in your browser and the Java on your computer are actually two slightly different, yet related things.

JavaWhen you install Java from within the web browser, it’s installing those components for the web browser. In fact, it’s probably installing the components for only that particular web browser.

In your case, if you’re running Opera and you install Java, it’s possible that Java was not installed in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or any other browser installed on your machine.

On top of that, many games and Java-based applications aren’t browser based; they’re actually Windows programs. Installing Java into your browser doesn’t necessarily install Java in Windows itself.

How to install Java

Rather than allowing the browser to install Java for you because it says there’s a plug in missing, go to and download the program there. It should install Java on your system as well as on every browser on your system.

Again, that is only if you have to do this.

I’m still uncomfortable with saying Java is safe because ongoing reports are simply that it is not. Even if they’re fixing bugs, there are enough new vulnerabilities being found in Java on a regular basis that it’s still vulnerable.

If you can avoid Java, you should.

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10 comments on “Why is Java telling me it’s not installed when it is?”

  1. When trying to disable “java” in my FF, it shows “Java Deployment Toolkit” and “Java (TM) Platform”. There is no single “java”, so which one is the risk? Or both?

    • In reply to Bob Price, there are myriad versions of Java – none of them are actually any good. It is after all, an Oracle product – says it all.
      Refuse to buy or use any software or websites which require Java.

  2. Recently, I bought Galaxy Note II and to synchronize it with the laptop I had to install Kies Air from Samsung. And guess what? I can’t synchronize both without installing Java – 7 Update 25-. I tried to work around a solution without avail. Well, a half solution is plugging the Note as a USB device and synchronize manually; but this isn’t the idea. Crossing my fingers since I can’t get rid of Java. By the way, I really enjoy your good work teaching us new things in every column. I bought my first computer, Apple IIE and an Imagewriter II printer, in 1983-85. Still in working conditions. Thanks.

  3. I just bought a Galaxy S4. My last phone automatically connected to my computer by bluetooth, but this is requiring Kies Air. But, Kies won’t run without Java and Java won’t download to my Windows 8 computer. Any suggestions?

    • Unfortunately I don’t have a good answer for you. I’d probably have you check with the company you purchased it from (presumably your mobile phone provider) to see if they have any suggestions.

  4. I recently cleaned my computer out of everything then downloaded java and at the the end of my download it says it failed even though I open my programs and it’s there. (I have windows) I use the thing to see if I have java and says I do but when I run java based games they do not work. I also cannot find it in my uninstall programs.


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