Difference between Java.exe and Javaw.exe

“java.exe” and “javaw.exe” are Java executables on the Windows platform. These files are nearly identical versions of the Java Application Launcher utility. Both versions of the launcher take the same arguments and options. The launcher is invoked with “java” or “javaw” followed by launcher options, the class or Java archive (JAR) file name and application arguments.

1. javaw.exe

This non-console version of the application launcher is used to launch java applications usually with graphical user interfaces (GUIs). These applications have windows with menus, buttons and other interactive elements. Essentially, use javaw.exe when you don’t want a command prompt window to appear either to take further input or show output.

The javaw.exe launcher will, however, display a dialog box with error information if a launch of java application fails for some reason.

2. java.exe

The java.exe is very similar to javaw.exe. The console version of the launcher is used for applications with text-based interfaces or that output text. Any application launched with “java” will cause the command line waits for the application response till it closes.

When launched using javaw, the application launches and the command line exits immediately and is ready for the next command.

That’s the only noticeable difference between java.exe and javaw.exe. If you know of any other noticeable differences, please share them with all of us.

Happy Learning !!


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