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I just installed the latest Java update from apple (Java for OS X 2012-006) and I was looking to have a look at what's going on with my java(s) with Java Preferences app (which used to live in /Applications/Utilities though it seems it has now disappeared. Any idea on whether there is a problem with my system or did the update clobber Java Preferences?

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Not only have the preferences disappeared, so has java altogether! – Fake Name Jan 3 '13 at 16:54
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Apple removed the Java preferences from Lion and Mountain Lion as part of an update. It should prompt you to reinstall from Oracle the next time you need it.

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Apple did not remove Java for ML -- but the link you provide shows that it just clobbered Java Preferences – user1256923 Oct 17 '12 at 18:07
This could definitely be fleshed out a bit more with detail. – Mort Nov 2 '12 at 18:59
Nothing from Oracle will reinstall Apple's outdated Java Preferences; there's no such prompt. – Graham Perrin May 26 '13 at 5:14

The update in question (Java for OS X 2012-006) disables the Safari Java plugin for security purposes. Per Apple technical bulletin:

This release updates the Apple-provided system Java SE 6 to version 1.6.0_37 and is for OS X versions 10.7 or later.

This update uninstalls the Apple-provided Java applet plug-in from all web browsers. To use applets on a web page, click on the region labeled "Missing plug-in" to go download the latest version of the Java applet plug-in from Oracle.

This update also removes the Java Preferences application, which is no longer required to configure applet settings.

Here is an Apple technical bulletin link on how to re-enable the plugin

If you need the full Java runtime you may download it directly from Oracle by going this webpage.

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The closing line of this answer has the potential to mislead but I refrain from voting, because Oracle is misleading. See the hint in an answer to Why does the version of Java verified by Oracle differ from the version shown at the command line? – "at Java SE Downloads, ignore the JRE; download and install the JDK.". – Graham Perrin Nov 26 '12 at 7:16
I suppose in a broad sense you are correct. However, I am just providing the page itself (via a link) which has links to multiple iterations of Java in it's various forms (i.e. JRE, JDK, etc..). I leave it to the user to choose which one they require. – Mort Nov 26 '12 at 16:48

It was removed because Apple believes you can use the (new) JAVA preference pane in your System Preferences to do this job now, but this is not the case.

If you want to reinstall it:

The 10.8 dmg has it under /Packages/JavaEssentials.pkg

I Googled around and found a link.

After the install you find your Java in its old place, allowing you to switch between all installed JAVA versions and allowing your Browsers to use applets again.

Yet another barrier for JAVA broken down.

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Thanks, it restored the Java Preferences panel. However if I try to change the order, close and reopen the panel the order is taken back to the original one. – Maverik Dec 25 '12 at 19:32
The redistribution breaks Apple's Software Licence Agreement for the operating system. The outdated app was never designed to work with the current approaches to Java, some of which are beyond Apple's control. Using Java Preferences to set a preference may be risky. – Graham Perrin May 26 '13 at 5:19

I needed JDK 1.7 in OSX 10.8.4 and this is what I did:

  • Installed JDK 1.7 from Oracle's site.
  • I did not have Java to verify that the new version was in fact available. So I installed it with the link provided by frafra. I could have skipped this step and instead run the command: /usr/libexec/java_home -V
  • Changed my JAVA_HOME environment variable (~/.profile) with: export JAVA_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home)
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Where does frafra say what the link provides – Mark Aug 12 '13 at 10:49
Link of frafra seems down! – Mutant Feb 19 '14 at 3:32

Java is still in your system just like Dorothy could always go home. I have Yosemite.

You just have find it in the deploy folder....leave it where it is... make an ALIAS of it and put the ALIAS into in your.....

HD/Library/Preference Panes....enter image description here

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After installing JDK7...

  • Open the App Store, go to your "Purchases"
  • Find OS X Mountain Lion -> click Download (in case you no longer have the installer on your machine, otherwise if it's still there from your upgrade, you can probably skip this)
  • Once done downloading, cancel the installer that auto pops up
  • Open a terminal, paste in: hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mountain\
  • Once mounted, a Finder window should pop up. If not, just open Finder and you should see a new mounted device "Mac OS X Install ESD". Click on it.
  • Open "Packages", run "JavaEssentials.pkg". This reinstalls the Java Preferences pane.

This is essentially the same thing as Frafa's answer, I'm just describing how to go about finding the JavaEssentials.pkg manually in case the link in his answer ever dies or a change in OSX versions renders the package from his link obsolete.

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Also, if you are a Java developer, you'll probably want to change how you set your JAVA_HOME to... export JAVA_HOME=/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.7 ...or something along those lines. – James Jan 3 '13 at 17:09
The outdated app was never designed to work with the current approaches to Java, some of which are beyond Apple's control. Using Java Preferences to set a preference may be risky. – Graham Perrin May 26 '13 at 5:21

Launch the preference panel with this terminal command:

javaws -viewer
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I can confirm that after installing 'Java for OS X 2012-006' on Mountain Lion, my Java Preferences disappeared as well.

The solution for me was to restore it from your Time Machine Backup.

It then works again fine.

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