Oracle started auto-updating Windows 32-bit and OS X, Java Runtime Environment (JRE) users from JRE 7 to JRE 8 in January 20, 2015.
The Java auto-update mechanism is designed to keep Java users up-to-date with the latest security fixes. To achieve this goal Windows and OS X users that rely on Java’s auto-update mechanism will have their JRE 7 replaced with JRE 8.
The Java auto-update process updates the latest version of Java on a user’s Windows and OS X machine. During the automatic update from JRE 7 to JRE 8, if a user only has one version of Java 7 the auto-update process will replace that JRE 7 with the latest version of JRE 8 leaving only JRE 8 in the system. OS X users can only have one JRE available through web browsers so OS X users will only have JRE 8 available through the web browser after the upgrade
On Windows, the auto-update process updates only the latest JRE on your system. Versions other than the latest will not be removed as there are cases in which a user, particularly enterprise users, would need more than one version of Java on their systems. If you would like to remove older JRE versions from your system please use our Java Uninstall Tool to identify and remove older versions.
OS X users can only have one JRE available through web browsers so OS X users can not have more than one JRE available through the web browser and will only only have JRE 8 available through the web browser after the upgrade.
No, where an enterprise IT department manages the Java versions of the users in their enterprise, auto-update does not effect users.
Unless you have a support contract with Oracle or a license for Java SE Advanced products you will not be able to get security updates for JRE 7 from Oracle after April 2015 and it is not advisable to keep older versions of Java on your system. Nevertheless on Windows systems, if you would like to continue to have both versions, JRE 7 and JRE 8 can be installed on the same computer. OS X users can also have multiple JRE versions available for desktop applications but only one of those versions can be used through the web browser.
No. All Java auto-updates request the user’s permission before installing a new version on their system.
Oracle strives to make new versions of Java backward compatible with earlier versions and the vast majority of Java applications written for older versions of Java will work –without any change- on newer versions of the JRE. There are however some exceptions. Any change in the code –even if only to fix a security vulnerability- has the potential to cause an application to stop working properly.
To revert back from JRE 8 to JRE 7, first uninstall JRE 8. Then reinstall the latest JRE 7 version. Until Jul 2015, the latest version of JRE 7 can be found on the Download tab of the Java SE section on OTN. After Jul 2015 further security updates to JRE 7 will only be available through My Oracle Support and will require a support contract with Oracle.
For Windows users, by default, Java applications that are accessed through a web-browser or webstart will use the latest version of Java on the system. It is possible for an application to specifiy the Java version required. If an application has left it up to the system on which it is running to determine which version to use, and you have JRE 7 and JRE 8, only JRE 8 will be used. If an application has specified JRE 7, and you have both on your system, JRE 7 will be used.
OS X users can only access one JRE version through a browser; other versions might be available in the system but will not be available through the browser.
Yes, however note that users will be unable to receive public security updates for Java 7 after April 2015. See the Applet Deployment documentation on setting the JRE version for applets. See the JNLP File Syntax documentation for how to set the JRE version for a webstart application. See the Java SE documentation for APIs, Developer guides, Release Notes and more.
Note that in some cases users might not have older JRE version available or -in the case of OS X users- might be unable to launch more than one JRE version through the browser.
The auto-update from JRE 7 to 8 was turned on in January 20, 2015.
Your application provider should be able to guide you. Contact them directly.
Until April 2015, Oracle will continue to provide updates to JRE 7 via our public download sites. After the End of Public Updates for Java 7 in April 2015, if you have a valid support contract for an Oracle Product that requires Java, or an Oracle Java SE Support contract, you can download the support versions of Java from My Oracle Support. Oracle will continue to provide updates for JRE 7 for our customers with support contracts after the End of Public Updates to JRE 7. See the Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap for additional details.
No. For other operating systems see the Java Downloads for All Operating Systems page on Java.com to install the latest version of the JRE. Developers can download the JDK for all supported operating systems from the Oracle Technology Network.