Security risks arising from the use of older versions of Java are not as scary as they once were, since most current web browsers no longer support Java. The notable exception is Internet Explorer 11, which still supports the Java NPAPI plugin. Still, it’s best to keep Java up to date if it’s installed.
The easiest way to both check whether you have Java installed and see which version you’re running is to go to the Windows Control Panel. On Windows 7 and earlier, the Control Panel is accessible via the Start menu. On Windows 8.1 and 10, Microsoft annoyingly hid the Control Panel, but you can find it by clicking the start button and entering the text “control”. In the list of search results, you should see “Control Panel”. Click that to get to the Control Panel.
If Java is installed, you’ll see its Control Panel entry:
Java (32-bit). Once you’ve clicked that, you’ll see the multi-tab Java applet. To see which version is installed, go to the
Java tab and click
Product column shows the version. If it shows as “1.8.0_271“, that means you’re running Java 8 Update 271. Click
Cancel to close that dialog.
To update Java, go to the
Update tab and click the
Update Now button. Follow the prompts to download and install the latest applicable version.
Alternatively, you can visit the main Java download page and install Java from there.