JavaRa: update Java and remove old versions


JavaRa is a free, portable program that quickly updates the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed on your computer to the latest available version.

It can optionally remove all older versions that may exist on your machine, as well as a host of related temporary files that may be taking up space on your hard drive.

It was recently updating Java on my machine and realized that all previous versions of the Java Runtime Environment were left behind on my hard drive.

This, apparently, is by design; the creators of Java, Sun Microsystems, choose to leave earlier versions behind in the off chance that a Java applet will require an earlier version to run. And while this can make sense on some level, the cost vs.

benefit of having a couple of hundred megs taken up on my machine on the one hand, and, on the other, the very low probability that I will run into an applet that will not work with the newest version of Java makes it easy for me: given a choice I would rather have only the latest version on my hard drive.


What JavaRa can do for you is both update to the latest version of the Java JRE as well as remove all earlier versions (it can, moreover, remove a number of unnecessary temp and log files). Here are more notes on this program:

  • Updating Java: JavaRa does this primarily by running Java’s update program, which is part of the Java installation that already exists on your hard drive. Alternately it offers the option to update/install Java by opening the relevant page on the Java website, which can be a bit confusing (look for “JRE” and click download).
  • Javara screenshot - previous versions removed Removing older versions: this is done at the press of a button; all earlier versions, registry keys, temp and installer files are gone in a flash, which can amount to a couple hundred megs or more in saved disk space (depending on how many earlier versions were on your hard drive).
  • Javara Screenshot - additional tasks Additional tasks: can automatically remove unused files, JRE-related startup items, the Sun download manager (I recommend all three). There are other tasks including downloading the latest version of JavaRa, removing the program’s log file, and removing the program’s language preferences.
  • No install: to run the program unzip and run. No installation needed.

The verdict: not much to say here, except that the program works well and does what it purports to do. If you don’t mind having earlier versions of the Java JRE on your machine and/or don’t know why you should care, than I would just skip this program if I were you. Alternately if you would like to keep your Java JRE updated to the latest version and remove all others and all related files which you don’t think you will ever need then you will like JavaRa; personally I think its a pretty nifty little tool!

Version Tested: 1.11

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to the program page to download (approx 58K).