This article provides you with detailed steps to setup Java environment variables – mainly JAVA_HOME and PATH variables. These environment variables point to the folder location where Java is installed. These environment variables are mainly required by some external programs and tools to figure out where Java is installed on your machine.
In our previous article on Java Download and Installation, you would have seen that its very likely that there are multiple versions of Java installed on your machine. In such a scenario, setting up Java environment variables becomes important so that you can point to the folder location of the latest version of Java. Let us now check the detailed steps on how to setup these variables.
Java Environment Variables – Setup JAVA_HOME
1. The first step is to copy the folder location where the latest version of JDK is installed. In our previous article on downloading and installing Java, we had installed JDK and JRE on the default locations. If you have also done the same then open that location. The location where we installed JDK is – C:\Program Files\Java
Update [23 Aug, 2017]: The screenshots in this article refer to Java 8 version 121 (i.e. jdk1.8.0_121). But the steps work fine with the latest version of Java as well. So please use the exact steps as given below with the version of Java that you have installed on your machine.
2. Now open the JDK folder. If you have multiple JDK folders, then open the one which represents the latest version, and copy the folder location. As per the below screenshot, we have copied this folder location – C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_121
3. You have to now open environment variables window in your machine. To do this, click on Start menu. Then right click on Computer and select Properties option
4. Now click on Advanced System Settings option
5. This would open the System Properties window as shown below. Now from the Advanced Tab, click on Environment Variables button
6. From the Environment Variables window, click on New button from System variables section
7. Enter JAVA_HOME in Variable Name field and JDK folder location (C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_121) in Variable value field as shown in below image. Please enter the correct folder location that you have in your machine
8. Click on OK button. You will see that JAVA_HOME variable has now been added in System Variables.
If you already have JAVA_HOME previously set, then you can click on Edit button to modify its value. You have now successfully setup JAVA_HOME variable. Let us now check how to setup the Path variable.
Setup Path variable
Path variable refers to the location of the bin folder inside the JDK folder. Since you have already setup the JDK folder location using JAVA_HOME variable, you can use JAVA_HOME reference to setup the bin folder location. Let’s see how this can be done –
1. Open your latest JDK folder and check that it has bin folder in it
2. Now open this bin folder and copy the entire folder location. For us, this folder location is – C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_121\bin
3. Since the JDK folder location is already represented by JAVA_HOME variable, so we can replace the location of JDK folder with JAVA_HOME like this – %JAVA_HOME%\bin
4. In the Environment variables window, check that there is a variable called Path under System variables. Please note that Path is an existing variable and we would edit it to add the bin folder location
5. Select the Path variable and click on Edit button. Path variable window would be opened
6. Move over to the end of Variable value text field. There would be already some value there. Put a semi-colon (;) at the end and then add add the JDK folder location – %JAVA_HOME%\bin,as shown below (Semi-colon is a delimiter which is used to differentiate between different values in Path variable)
7. Click on Ok button. bin folder location would now have been added in the Path variable
8. Close the Environment variable window by clicking on Ok button. With this, we have now successfully setup Path variable as well
Verify that JAVA_HOME and Path variables have been set correctly
After you have set JAVA_HOME and Path variables, its time to check if the variables are set correctly. Follow the steps given below to check this –
1. Open command prompt
2. Run the command javac -version. This should show the javac version number. Verify that this version number is same as the latest JDK version (from JDK folder name). You can also run the command where javac. This command should show the JDK bin folder location. This should be the same folder location that you had set in the Path variable
Both these commands verify that JAVA_HOME and Path variables have been setup correctly. With this, we complete our section of Java download, install and setup. We are now ready to jump over to the next article, which is, installing Android SDK.