I would like to completely remove Apple's Java 6 and make Oracle's Java 7 default for every program. For example, with Eclipse I had to fiddle with eclipse.ini to specify JAVA_HOME for Java 7, and the same for TunnelBear. No luck for Aptana, though (it still wants Apple's Java) Is there a way to make Oracle's Java default in terms of PATH?

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    I think Java 7 is the default for PATH as /usr/bin/java should be Java 7 . However the issue is with .apps having something else in their .plist files
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 19:27

4 Answers 4


Download and install the latest Java Development Kit (JDK) from Oracle, which will place it in /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_11.jdk (or whatever the latest version is). Now, start Terminal.app, and enter the following commands:

  1. cd /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines (change to the proper directory)

  2. sudo mv 1.6.0.jdk backup.1.6.0.jdk (keep the old JDK around, just in case - you will need to have an administrator password to do this)

  3. sudo ln -s /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_11.jdk 1.6.0.jdk (link your new JDK installation to where applications expect the old one to be)

Keep in mind that with any further jdk updates, you'll need to update the symlink to the new directory:

sudo rm /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk && sudo ln -s /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/new_jdk_version /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk
  • You shouldn't create the 1.6.x symlink, application won't be expecting the jdk to be in /System. If anything you should set JAVA_HOME in your profile.
    – anddam
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 6:47

These instructions worked well for me on OS X Mavericks.

  • Remove Apple's JVMs

    $ sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/
  • Remove installer records

    $ sudo rm /private/var/db/receipts/com.apple.pkg.JavaForMacOSX*
  • Remove installer receipts (delete the <dict>...</dict> entries that reference com.apple and java)

    $ sudo emacs /Library/Receipts/InstallHistory.plist
  • Set the symlinks for Java 7

    $ sudo rm /usr/bin/java
    $ sudo ln -s /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_17.jdk/Contents/Home/bin/java /usr/bin/java
  • Optionally symlink JAVA_HOME

    sudo rm /Library/Java/Home
    sudo ln -s /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_17.jdk/Contents/Home /Library/Java/Home

Well, if you install the latest Java update from Apple, that should actually uninstall Java 6. You can go to Oracle's website directly to download Java 7. That's what I did. With only Java 7 on your system, that should make it default.

  • On Lion the Java update did not uninstall Apple's java - /usr/bin/java is now Java 7 but Java 6 is still useable as /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home/bin/java
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 19:25
  • I'm using Java 7 only and getting Apple updates on Java is somewhat tedious. I want it out - anyone managed to have it that way, yet? (i.e. so much out that Apple wouldn't push Java-specific updates; I'm fine taking all through Oracle directly).
    – akauppi
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 11:40

I know this is an old thread, but if one has Adobe CS5 on their machine, it MUST HAVE the Apple 1.6 version of java for the suite to run. I was running Eclipse which needed 1.7 or higher. I thought it would replace the Apple version, but it didn't. The Apple version is in the System/Library folder and the Oracle version is in the Library folder.

Thought I would add a bit more info for those who may need this information.

OS X Lion

  • That info is in the other answers
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 0:48
  • Didn't check. Sorry.
    – kdd
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 17:22

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