FIX: Unable to access JarFile error on Windows 10/11

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • JAR stands for Java ARchive and is a file format based on the popular ZIP used for aggregating many files into one.
  • The Unable to access JAR file is a common error when you don't have compatible software to open it.
  • Some users reported that using certain file openers fixed the issue for them.
  • Others stated that simply by updating their Java version they got rid of the Unable to access JAR file error.
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Java browser plug-ins might have gone out of fashion, but there are still many programs that run off Java. You can open Java programs with JarFiles.

However, some Java software users can’t always open JAR programs when the Error: Unable to access JarFile error message pops up. These are a few resolutions for the JarFile error message.

How can I get rid of Unable to access JarFile error?

1. Use file opener software

The easiest way is to use software that can open multiple file formats. They are completely safe utilities that can help you access any file type without having any impact on the quality of its content.

Dedicated file openers can work with plenty of file types. Most of them have no issue with all major file formats, and many of them can open hundreds of different formats.

File opener software generally include utilities that let you convert your files, archive them, unarchive them, and more. 

2. Update your Java version

  1. Press the Win key + R keyboard shortcut to open Run.
  2. Enter appwiz.cpl in the Run text box, and click the OK button.
  3. Enter Java in the Search Programs search box as shown in the snapshot below.
  4. The version is listed in the Version column. In the above picture, is listed Java version 8 update 251.
  5. To see what is the latest Java version, open this webpage in your browser.
  6. Look at the version listed here and compare it with the one you have installed.
  7. If your Java version is older then go back to Control panel.
  8. Right-click on Java and select Uninstall.
  9. Select Yes to uninstall.
  10. From the Java website press the Agree and Start Free Java Download button to save the JRE setup wizard.
  11. Open the folder where you saved the setup wizard, right-click the Java install wizard and select Run as administrator.
  12. Press the Install button on the setup wizard’s window to install Java.

3. Select Java as the default program for JarFiles

  1. Open File Explorer and the folder that includes your JarFile.
  2. Right-click the Jar file and select Open with then Choose another app.
  3. Select Java if it’s listed among the default programs.
  4. If Java isn’t listed among the programs, select the Look for another app on this PC option.
  5. Then browse to the Java bin folder, select  Java and press the Open button.
  6. Press the OK button on the Open with window.
  7. Click the Jar to launch its program.

Note: Jar file error messages usually pop up when Java isn’t configured as the default software for a Jar file. So selecting Java as the default program for a Jar file might kick-start its program.

The path to the Java bin folder might be different depending on the Java bit version you have. Usually, you can find it in Program File (x86) -> Java -> Java version ->bin, as in the picture above. 

4. Select the Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives option

  1. To select that option, open File Explorer.
  2. Click the View tab and press the Options button to open the window directly below.
  3. Select the View tab shown directly below.
  4. Select the Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives Files and Folders option.
  5. Press the Apply button.
  6. Press the OK button to close the window.

Note: The unable to access jar file error message can also pop up when the Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives option isn’t selected.

5. Open the Jarfix Software

Jarfix is a lightweight program designed to fix Java programs that aren’t starting. The program fixes Jar filetype associations.

Click jarfix.exe on this webpage to save the software to a folder. Then you can click the jarfix.exe to open the window below and fix the Jar association. That’s all there is to it, and there are no further options to select on the Jarfix window.

Those are a few resolutions that might fix the unable to access JarFile error and kick-start your Jar software. For further details on how to launch Jar files in Windows, check out this article.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.

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