JavaRA is a small, free and portable tool which can help to manage your Java installation.
The program is able to update your Java setup with a click. But, perhaps more usefully, it can cleanly remove Java and all its associated files, folders and Registry keys. If you're tired of the security scares and want to get rid of the technology then this has obvious appeal. If may also be handy if you're a Java fan and just having technical problems, though, as cleanly removing Java could help you to reinstall it properly.
Whatever you're doing, the program is a tiny download (152KB), with nothing to install - just unzip it and run JavaRA.exe.
And the basic interface is very simple. Launch the program (as an administrator) and you'll see four buttons, and even then, only two of those will be of general interest: "Update Java Runtime", and "Remove Java Runtime".
There's still room for plenty of options, though. So if you click "Update Java Runtime", say, it offers to help you update your Java installation by downloading and running an extra tool, running an online version check, or downloading and installing the latest version. While clicking "Remove Java Runtime" will first prompt you to run the regular Java uninstaller, but can then forcibly remove all files, folders and Registry keys associated with Java installations.
Should you use the program? We would always try to remove Java via its standard uninstaller first; any third-party tool is always going to lag behind in terms of which files it should be removing. But if the uninstaller doesn't work, or you're having problems reinstalling for some reason then we'd give JavaRA a try. It's small, simple, and worked well for us.
The developer says: "JavaRa 2.5 implements a more reliable method of accessing the registry, which has restored the Remove Java Runtime and Check JRE version functionality. Due to the time sensitive nature of this release, we have only tested it on Windows 7 x64 and Windows 8 x64. Users of other operating systems are encouraged to report issues in the JavaRa support forum.
Furthermore, a change to the Oracle download servers prevented JavaRa from being able to download the latest version of the Java Runtime Environment directly from their website. In JavaRa 2.5 the JRE installer will be acquired from SingularLabs’ servers instead. We will be enabling this slowly to ensure we don’t overload our servers."