I know that you can improve performance and battery life by not having Flash on your Mac. Is there any similar advantage to not installing Java?

3 Answers 3


Installing java won't have much effect on battery life.

I don't think installing Flash will have much effect either.

Where the issue is is when you hit a website with badly written flash (and to a very much less extent Java) where the animation takes up CPU but you can just leave these sites - you will be no worse off than not installing.

Java is now rare on websites and not really used for parts of the web site the user does not need.

I think a better way is to install a plugin for your browser like ClickToFlash which stops Flash loading until you tell it.

  • 2
    Indirectly, java can cause a huge drain on battery life if it enables programs to run that need care and tending to prevent it from being run in loops. chainsawonatireswing.com/2012/04/08/… In one sense, the programs that use java are to blame, but in another, if you don't need them - not installing java is an elegant way to ensure they never get CPU time and drain your battery.
    – bmike
    Feb 14, 2013 at 15:23
  • Any program can do this so that does not give a reason you might as well remove the objective C runtime for the same reason The issue with crash plan is it is taking up memory - but not CPU and that is true of Crashplan was written in other languages. The problem there is stop Crashplan running not java
    – mmmmmm
    Feb 14, 2013 at 17:19
  • True - but the OP is looking for reasons to not install another framework and not reasons to remove an existing framework. OBJ C is supported, patched, sandboxed, put under gatekeeper's thumb whereas java is becoming an outcast on OS X. It's certainly a complicated tale, but I wanted to offer a counter point to your argument. I see "java wont affect battery life" as only conditionally true, but lacking in some real world downsides to installing java. It's a security risk that can be managed, but you didn't call that out explicitly in your answer.
    – bmike
    Feb 14, 2013 at 17:24

Yes - you won't have to worry about updating software that Apple seems to be less and less inclined to let run. It also has earned a reputation as software that you want to devote time and attention to patching or making sure you never run code you don't trust.

If you're not going to block java in the web and take measures to secure it, you'd be better off not installing java on OS X from a security and maintenance standpoint.

Personally, I decline to instal flash and disable java entirely on my portable Mac so that I have less running, better battery life and less security exposure and reduced maintenance.

By not installing java or flash, you have two less things to update and two less things to run content while browsing the web.


Yes- mid 2010 Macbook pro, OWC SSD 120gb I installed Java and battery life fell to under 2 hours. Uninstalled it and battery life returned to the normal 6 hours. Tested by using laptop until the battery drained. Beware it's a HUGE battery drainer.

  • This is anecdotal at best, and Java doesn't do anything unless something runs that uses it. Apr 3, 2014 at 7:27

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