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What is Java and why do I need it?

Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It is the underlying technology many programs use, including utilities, games, and business applications. There are many applications and websites that won't work unless you have Java installed.

What version of Java do I need?

Some services at Notre Dame require specific versions of Java in order to run properly. For a list of programs that require specific versions of Java and instructions on installing that version on your system, please visit the Java Version page.

Is Java free to download?

Yes, Java is free to download. Get the latest version at http://java.com.

How do I clear my Java cache?

If application problems develop, you may sometimes need to clear your Java cache to force the browser to load the latest versions of Web pages and programs. Follow the instructions for your computer type below.

On a Windows Computer

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel
  2. Click Java (if you can't find Java, type Java in the search field at the top right of the window)
  3. On the General tab, in the Temporary Internet Files section click Settings...
  4. Click Delete Files
  5. Click OK

On a Macintosh Computer

  1. On the Finder menu bar, click Go > Applications
  2. Double-click Utilities
  3. Double-click Java Preferences
  4. Click the Network tab
  5. Click Delete Files...
  6. You are prompted to delete your temporary files for Java. Make sure all boxes are selected with check marks. Then click OK
  7. Close the Java Preferences window

You have cleared your Java cache.

If you need to clear your Java cache, you may also need to clear your browser cache.

Enabling Java in your browser:

Internet Explorer:

  1. Gear Icon Gear  >  Manage Addons.
  2. Make sure the menu on the left side says “Show: All add-ons
  3. Scroll to the “Oracle America, Inc” listing, select any Java Plug-in entries,  and click the enable button near the bottom of the window if they are disabled.


  1. Hit Ctrl-Shift-A on Windows or Control-Shift-A on a Mac.
  2. Select the Plugins entry on the left menu.
  3. Find any entries that start with the word Java and click the Enable button if available.


  1. Click Safari, then Preferences.
  2. Select the Security Icon, then ensure “Enable Java” is checked.


  1. Type “chrome://plugins/”  minus the quotes into the address bar.
  2. Find any entries at begin with “Java” and click Enable if the option is there.

Mac Users:

As a security precaution, Java is disabled by default on some versions of Mac OS X. Java must be is installed and enabled to use the integrated Sakai tools.

  1. Install Java from http://java.com/en/
  2. In Safari, click Safari Preferences
  3. Click Security
  4. Check Enable Java

You can find additional information concerning Java on the Information Security Advisories page.

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InsideND is a valuable resource for faculty, staff and students, providing campus resources, news and links in one convenient site. It offers many valuable features, such as:

  • Access to a variety of services in one convenient place
  • Ability to adapt to mobile devices
  • Easy to use
  • Flexible Google-like search feature
  • Capability for departments to control and publish their own content

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