How to Check Java Version on Mac or Windows

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

We use many applications daily that run on Java; some of the applications require you to run the older versions of Java. At the same time, some need the latest version of Java to work perfectly. Thus, it becomes essential for a user to know which version of Java is running on their system. In addition to this, you can install multiple Java versions in the same operating system. Today we will show you some of the easiest methods that can be used to find out the version of Java installed in your Windows and Mac operating system.

What is Java?

Before we move ahead and describe how to find the Java version, we would first like to give our readers a little background about what Java is and why it is such an important programming language.

Java is a general-purpose, class-based, object-oriented programming language that is developed in such a way that it can work flawlessly without the implementation of dependencies. Java, since its release in 1995, has become more stable, secure, and reliable.

As a result, it has become a favorite choice for developers all around the world. It could be used to develop applications for desktops and laptops, data centers, video games, smartphone applications and widgets, and much more. With Java, you can almost create any application that you want with ease and integrate it with other forms of programming languages, like Structured Query Language (SQL) and markup languages like CSS, HTML, etc.

History of Java

James Gosling is the designer of Java, and he worked on a project named Oak in 1991 in which his goal was to develop a virtual machine and a programming language which could be used just like the C programming language. But his language will have more precision and will be simpler than C/C++.

The first public execution, which Gosling released under Java, was Java 1.0 in the year 1995. The tag line of Java 1.0 was “Write once, run anywhere”. The first version of Java was relatively safe, could be configured to meet the security demands, and was used to restrict the network and access to data.

In the year 1997, a lot of work was being put into formalizing Java, but in the end, all the contenders withdrew, and Java was continuing to be the de-facto proprietary which the Java Community Process regulated. After that, Sun Microsystems created a new vision that will lead to Java Enterprise Framework, and it was used as a means of revenue generation through the selling of licenses. On the other hand, Sun was also creating several free-to-use Java implementations. The main difference between the Software Development Kit (SDK) and Java Runtime Environment (JRE) was that in JRE, the compiler was not present by default.

After that, in November 2006, Sun once again launched Java in GNU via General Public License as completely free and open-source software. Likewise, on May 8, 2007, Sun provided the core code of Java to the public repository where it was accessible for everyone, and that too completely free. But a small portion of the code was left to be given out to the public as Sun did not own the copyright of that part of the code.

Why is Java Popular?

There are several reasons why Java holds the second spot in the list of most popular languages in the world right now, with a share of 17.72% (source). The first reason is the consistency of Java delivery, which comes with regular testing and package upgrades. Java has been tested, refined, extended, and proven to be an excellent programming language by program developers.

Besides, Java backs the development of portable, high-performance applications which can run on the widest range of computing machines. Thus, enabling it to perform overarching accessibility along with cross-platform interaction. With its usage in business, companies can provide a number of its services across heterogeneous environments, and boost their end-user productivity, communication, and collaboration. This will help in reducing the cost of designing and developing multiple applications for specific devices. We have compiled here some of the main reasons why Java is still the king when it comes to programming language:

  • A developer can write code in a single platform and run it virtually on any other platform without facing any issues.
  • Likewise, a developer can create a program or application which runs within a browser. As a result, that web application can take the full benefit of web services that are present on that system.
  • It can be used for developing a server-side application that can help in managing websites and servers.
  • Lastly, Java can control remote processors, microcontrollers, wireless modules, sensors, gateways, consumer products, and practically any electronic device with its operating system.

How can Java be Helpful in Development?

Java has changed the programming and web development industry by introducing some of the significant advantages with its implementation that are listed below:


One of the main advantages of using Java over any other programming language is its actual adoption of object-oriented programming where a developer has to write a code only once and can run it on various machines and platforms with just a few minor changes. Moreover, Java was responsible for the end of C’s procedural, manually-allocated, and platform-dependent code supremacy.


Before introducing JavaScript, Java used to have Applets, which are nothing but small web-based programs that can be used to have interactive elements that are pretty handy, especially in the case of visualization and simple animations. This led to Java grabbing the attention of many programmers and caused the development of HTML5, Flash, and in the end, JavaScript, which is now being used to program the behavior of web pages.

Test-Driven Development (TDD)

The TDD used to be an experimental practice, but after the creation of Java, it became an industry standard to follow during the development of any software. With the introduction of JUnit in 2000, Java became one of the most important contributors to the wide-scale acceptance of TDD.

Where Java Can Be Used?

Now that you know what Java is and why it is better than most programming languages, it’s time to find out where you can use Java, and how it can be of help in your projects.

Developing Mobile Applications

You might be surprised to read this, but Android is closely modeled on Java, and apart from Apple iPhones, most of the current generation smartphones work on Android. Thus, around 85% of the total global market share is covered by Android. If you are looking to develop a mobile app, you need to create an app that is compatible with the Android system. Some of the most installed Android apps like Pokemon Go are partly built with Java. On the other hand, Minecraft, which is quite popular among teens and kids, is entirely created using Java.

Works with Big Data

If you are looking to work with Big Data, then you need to learn Java. Because Java is more reliable and has a faster compilation time than other programming languages. In addition to this, applications like Apache Hadoop come with built-in Java; developers use this application for processing large data sets. Moreover, big companies like New York Times, PayPal, and others use Apache Kafka, which is written in Java and Scala. The Kafka is used to ingest large amounts of data sets, making it easier for a user to find out the errors and anomalies which are present in their data sets.

Compatible with Cloud

As we said earlier, Java code is referred to as WORA (Write Once, Run Anywhere). Thus, it’s a perfect programming language when it comes to using it for decentralized cloud-based applications. Most of the cloud services in today’s Internet world use Java as its partial or complete backend technology. Some of the well-known cloud-based applications that use Java as their backend stack are Netflix, Amazon, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Java is such a powerful tool that it is often used for data collection and sharing the data in cloud-based applications.

Artificial Intelligence

A lot of developers have already crowned Java as the best programming language to be used for developing AI-based applications. Java has its own set of AI libraries that are pretty helpful in creating applications as libraries can be used for Expert Systems, Neural Networks, natural language processing, etc. Java comes with the strengths of maintainability, portability, and security when developing an AI-based application.

Methods to Check Java Version on macOS

There are two methods to check the Java version in macOS, both of which we have discussed here.

Finding Java Version Using GUI

To find the version of Java on Mac without opening the terminal, you need to open System Preferences and look for the Java Control Panel.

  • First, click on the Apple icon on the top left corner of your screen; this will open the drop-down menu. In the drop-down menu, you need to find System Preferences.
  • Once you click on it, a new window will open, which will show you some settings and icons. You need to click on the Java icon to open the Java Control Panel.
  • When a new window, which shows the Java Control Panel opens, you need to click on the About button to check the version and other necessary information regarding the installed Java.

Finding Java Version Using Terminal

The second method to find the Java version doesn’t require a user to have in-depth knowledge of the Terminal. To find the Java version using the Terminal, all you need to do is type in a one-command process.

  • First, you have to open the Terminal by clicking on Spotlight Search on the top right corner of your screen.
  • Once the search bar opens, type in Terminal and click on the icon that appears in the search.
  • When the Terminal opens, write this command: Java -version. This will display the Java version installed in your macOS.

Ways to Find Out Java Version in Windows

Microsoft Windows is the most widely used operating system in both desktops and laptops. When you are looking for a Java version in your Windows-based OS, you are going to find it in the form of a list that will be written as Java 8, Java 9.1, etc. Here the number associated with Java is the version and the update number. For example, if you see your computer has Java 9 Update 11, that means that you have Java installed with version 9, and it is the 11th update. Some of the older versions of Java can also be listed as Java(TM), Java Runtime Environment, Java SE, J2SE, or Java 2.

For Windows 10

  • First, you need to click on the start button.
  • After that, scroll through the list of all the applications which are installed in your operating system until you see the folder named Java.
  • Click on the folder and then open About Java; once the file is opened, you will see the version of Java installed on your Windows 10 PC.

For Windows 8

  • For finding the Java version in Windows 8, go to the Control Panel from your pop-up menu.
  • When the Control Panel opens, look for the folder which says Programs.
  • Click on Program and Features and locate the installed Java version(s) listed in your Windows 8 system.

For Windows 7 & Vista

  • Click on the bottom left corner of your screen that says Start.
  • Once the menu of Start opens, open the Control Panel.
  • After that, select Programs to open the list of Programs and Features.
  • From the list of Programs and Features, you can locate the installed Java version(s).

For Windows XP

Windows XP can be termed as a legacy operating system, and you will be finding only the older versions of Java to be able to run on it without showing any errors. It is advisable to use the latest version of both Windows and Java to make the writing of the code much easier and faster.

  • Click on Start.
  • After that, you need to select the Control Panel.
  • Now go to the Add/Remove Programs from your Control Panel icon.
  • Once you click on the Add/Remove program, it will show you the list of all the programs and the applications which are installed in your operating system, including all the Java versions which are present on your computer.


So these were some of the methods which can help you find the Java version in your respective operating system. If your computer has more than one Java version installed, it will run just fine without causing any trouble at run time and in the compilation of the code. You can run multiple versions using the ignition method or changing the Java Runtime Environment variables according to your project’s needs.

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