What is the Java Runtime Environment and How Do I Install It?

April 15, 2009

in applications,computer performance,Internet

by Tina Gasperson

Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is the application that allows Java programs to run on your computer, whether online or offline. The JRE executes JAVA code and makes sure that whatever application you want to run looks and feels right on your system, whatever your operating system version and whatever hardware you have.

This ability to run code regardless of the platform is what makes Java so useful – and pretty much a necessity too if you’re going to spend any time online. Because of Java’s flexibility, many Web sites use it to enhance and simplify the user experience.

Java used to be kind of tricky – difficult to find, confusing to figure out which version to get, and not the most intuitive to install and get working with your browser. However, Java has really improved its user-friendliness and now even a young child could download and install Java properly.

If you don’t have JRE or you have a really old version installed, it won’t take long for you to find out – you will not have access to much of the rich content available on your favorite Web sites. Fortunately, it is easy to download and install the runtime environment on your computer. Visit and click the big blue button that says “Free Java Download.” will automatically detect your operating system and browser, and begin the download. Just click “Save File.” When the file is fully downloaded, double-click it and a self-extracting file will go to work downloading and installing all the files you need to get going with Java and have the ability to run all the interactive applications that use the Java Runtime Environment.

Once you’ve installed JRE, it places a watcher on your system that automatically lets you know when a new version or bug update is available. If you are away from your computer the first time this watcher pops up to let you know about the download, a small icon will sit in your taskbar. Double-click it at any time to pop up a dialogue and let Java know you’re ready to download and install your new update. The process is fully automated now, with no further interference from you, unless there are new license terms to agree to.

Tina Gasperson (, affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.

{ 1 comment }

Convocco UK 11.25.13 at 10:14 am

The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see
if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can
be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed
and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but
I had to share it with someone!

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