Eclipse - no Java (JRE) / (JDK) ... no virtual machine


I am trying to get Eclipse v3.5 (Galileo) to re-run on my computer - I have run it before with no problems, but now I keep getting this error:

A Java Runtime Environment (JRE) or Java Development kit (JDK) must be available in order to run Eclipse. No Java virtual machine was found after searching the following locations: C:\eclipse\jre\javaw.exe javaw.exe in your current PATH

I've just done a fresh install of both the JDK and the SDK.

I have Windows 7 (x64).

What's up with this? How do I fix it?

I can't run any of the ipconfig / tracert / or ping.

1/22/2017 8:44:01 PM

Accepted Answer

Eclipse will by default try to launch with the default "java.exe" (the first one referenced by your PATH)

Three things to remember:

  • "Installing" a JRE or a JDK can be as simple as unzipping or copying it from another computer: there is no special installation steps, and you can have as many different JVM versions (1.4, 5.0, 6.0...) as you want, "installed" (copied) almost anywhere on your disk.
  • I would recommend to always run Eclipse with the lastest JRE possible (to benefit from the latest hotspot evolutions). You can:
  • The JVM you will reference within your Eclipse session is not always the one used for launching Eclipse because:
    • You only need a JRE to launch Eclipse, but once Eclipse launched, you should register a JDK for your projects (especially for Java sources and debugging purposes, also in theory for compilation but Eclipse has its own Java compiler) Note: You could register just a JRE within Eclipse because it is enough to run your program, but again a JDK will allow for more operations.
    • Even though the default registered Java in Eclipse is the one used to launch the session, you can want to register an older SDK (including a non-Sun one) in order to run/debug your programs with a JRE similar to the one which will actually be used in production.

Installed JREs

June 2012, jmbertucci comments:

I'm running Windows 7 64-bit and I had the 32-bit JRE installed. I downloaded Eclipse 64-bit which looks for a 64-bit JRE. Because I didn't have the 64-bit JRE it threw the error, which makes sense.

I went to the Java manual install page (which was not as directly accessible as you'd like) and installed the 64-bit version. See "Java Downloads for All Operating Systems". That was all I needed.

April 2016: Steve Mayne adds in the comments:

I had to edit the eclipse.ini file to reference the correct Java path - Eclipse doesn't use the environment PATH at all when there is a value in eclipse.ini.

5/23/2017 10:31:39 AM

All the other answers about setting only the JAVA_HOME are not entirely right. Eclipse does namely not consult the JAVA_HOME. Look closer at the error message: your current PATH

It literally said PATH, not JAVA_HOME.

Rightclick My Computer and choose Properties (or press Winkey+Pause), go to the tab Advanced, click the button Environment Variables, in the System Variables list at the bottom select Path (no, not Classpath), click Edit and add ;c:\path\to\jdk\bin to the end of the value.

Alternatively and if not present, you can also add JAVA_HOME environment variable and make use of it in the PATH. In the same dialogue click New and add JAVA_HOME with the value of c:\path\to\jdk. Then you can add ;%JAVA_HOME%\bin to end of the value of the Path setting.


Open up Windows' System Properties from the control panel and hunt down the environment variables section:

  • Add a JAVA_HOME entry pointing to the directory where the JDK is installed (e.g. C:\Program Files\Java\jre6)
  • Find the Path entry and add the following onto the end ;%JAVA_HOME%\bin
  • OK the changes
  • Restart eclipse so that it is aware of the new environment

Most Java tools will now be able to find your Java installation either by using the JAVA_HOME environment variable or by looking for java.exe / javaw.exe in the Path environment variable.


If you download the 64 bit version of Eclipse; it will look for the 64 bit version of JRE. If you download the 32 bit version of Eclipse; it will look for the 32 bit version of JRE

What I did was to install the both the 32 and 64 bit version of JRE. You can get that from the SUN Oracle site. The JAVA site seems to automatically install the 32 bit version of Java. I guess that's because of the web browser.


It turned out that all I needed to do was change the 'path' to:

"C:\Windows\system32;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\System32\Wbem; C:\Program Files (x86)\Java; C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_14\bin"

that did it :)


I have windows 7 64-bit, and I had this same problem with eclipse. To get it to work, I had to use internet explorer (64-bit version) to download java. This was the only way to get java to install a 64-bit version. When I used firefox to install java, it automatically installed a 32-bit version (so idiotic!). And The Eclipse 64-bit version wouldn't detect the java 32-bit version.