Can't start Eclipse - Java was started but returned exit code=13


I am trying to get my first taste of Android development using Eclipse. I ran into this problem when trying to run Eclipse, having installed version 4.2 only minutes ago.

After first trying to start Eclipse without any parameters to specify the Java VM, I got an error message saying it couldn't find a Java VM called javaw.exe inside the Eclipse folder, so I found where Java was installed and specified that location as the parameter in the shortcut's target. Now I get a different error, Java was started but returned exit code=13.

Similar questions seem to indicate that it's a 32-bit/64-bit conflict, but I'm 99% positive that I downloaded 64-bit versions of both Eclipse and Java (RE 7u5), which I chose because I have 64-bit Windows 7.

  • If anyone knows how to confirm that my Eclipse and Java are 64-bit, that'd be appreciated.
  • If you think my problem is a different one, please help!
  • Please speak as plainly as you can, as I am totally new to Eclipse and Java.

Shortcut Target: "C:\Program Files\Eclipse-SDK-4.2-win32-x86_64\eclipse\eclipse.exe" -vm "C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\javaw.exe"

Full error code...:

Java was started but returned exit code=13
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\javaw.exe
-jar C:\Program Files\Eclipse-SDK-4.2-win32-x86_64\eclipse\\plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher_1.30v20120522-1813.jar
-os win32
-ws win32
-arch x86_64
-showsplash C:\Program Files\Eclipse-SDK-4.2-win32-x86_64\eclipse\\plugins\org.eclipse.platform_4.2.0.v201206081400\splash.bmp
-launcher C:\Program Files\Eclipse-SDK-4.2-win32-x86_64\eclipse\eclipse.exe
-name Eclipse
--launcher.library C:\Program Files\Eclipse-SDK-4.2-win32-x86_64\eclipse\\plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.win32.win32.x86_64_1.1.200.v201205221813\eclipse_1503.dll
-startup C:\Program Files\Eclipse-SDK-4.2-win32-x86_64\eclipse\\plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher_1.30v20120522-1813.jar
-exitdata 1e30_5c
-vm C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\javaw.exe
-jar C:\Program Files\Eclipse-SDK-4.2-win32-x86_64\eclipse\\plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher_1.30v20120522-1813.jar
1/2/2019 7:46:52 PM

Accepted Answer

There are working combinations of OS, JDK and Eclipse bitness. In my case, I was using a 64-bit JDK with a 32-bit Eclipse on a 64-bit OS. After downgrading the JDK to 32-bit, Eclipse started working.

Use one of the following combinations.

  • 32-bit OS, 32-bit JDK, 32-bit Eclipse (32-bit only)
  • 64-bit OS, 32-bit JDK, 32-bit Eclipse
  • 64-bit OS, 64-bit JDK, 64-bit Eclipse (64-bit only)
3/16/2020 1:53:47 PM

I got this error and found that my PATH variable (on Windows) was probably changed. First in my PATH was this entry:


...and Eclipse ran "C:\ProgramData\Oracle\Java\javapath\javaw" - which gave the error. I suspect that this is something that came along with an installation of Java 8.

I have several Java versions installed (6,7 and 8), so I removed that entry from the PATH and tried to restart Eclipse again, which worked fine.

If it's doesn't work for you, you'll need to upgrade your JDK (to the Java versions - 8 in this case).

Instructions on how to edit PATH variable


If you have recently installed Java 8 and uninstalled Java 7, install JDK 8 and retry.


For me the solution was to go into (on Windows 8.1):

System > Advanced system setting > Environment Variables 

Under 'System variables' in the 'Path' variable there was the following first:


I removed this and Eclipse worked again!


I had the same issue, Java was started but returned exit code=13.

My solution was to create an environment variable to Windows properties variable name = PATH variable value = C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_02\bin, not to C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin.

Next I added a line to file eclipse.ini → C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_02\bin\javaw.exe.

That worked for me.


enter image description here

The issue was fixed by doing the following steps.

  1. Eclipse finds the JAVA executables from 'C:\ProgramData\Oracle\Java\javapath'

  2. The folder structure will contain shortcuts to the below executables,
    i. java.exe
    ii. javaw.exe
    iii. javaws.exe

  3. For me the executable paths were pointing to my Program Files(x86) (home for 32 bit applications) folder location

  4. I corrected it to Program Files (which homes 64-bit applications) and the issue got resolved

Please find the screenshot for the same.