How to run a JAR file on Windows 10 [QUICK GUIDE]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • To run a JAR file on your Windows 10 device you certainly need to have Jave installed.
  • You'll find below a path to the latest Java version in case you need it.
  • Then, you can find JAR file openers or executors, and we recommend some. 
  • Using Command Prompt is also a handy solution if you don't want to install third-party tools.
run a Jar file on Windows 10 PC
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A JAR file is a Java archive package format that might include a Java program within it. While you can extract JARs with archive software such as 7zip, you can’t run a pure Java JAR app as you would with other programs in Windows.

Since that’s the case, we’ll cover how you can run a pure Java app JAR file in Windows.

How can I run a JAR file on Windows 10?

  1. Add Java to Windows
  2. Download a JAR file opener
  3. Use Java(TM) Platform SE binary
  4. Run a JAR file from the Windows Command Prompt
  5. Add a third-party JAR executor to Windows

1. Add Java to Windows

The crucial thing you need upfront is to have Java installed. Without it, Java apps aren’t going to run in Windows. This is how you can install or update Java in Windows 10:

  • First, open Command Prompt(Admin) by pressing the Win key + R keyboard combination and entering cmd in the box.
  • Next, input java -version in the Command Prompt and press Enter. It will then provide further details on your Java version as below.
cmd java
  • The current version of Java is Version 8 Update 131. If you don’t have Java or the most up-to-date version, you can add it for free.
  • Run through the Java setup wizard. Then, open your browser to verify that the program is working.
java installer

For more info on how to add the latest Java version on Windows 10, check out this updated article.


2. Download a JAR file opener

You can open JAR files and hundreds of different formats with a single application. File Viewer Plus is a universal file viewer for Windows that can open and display over 300 different file types.

The new updated version has a plethora of features that will save you big time on opening, viewing, or editing files.

File Viewer Plus supports the most popular text, audio or video file type, as well as archive, source code or web files.

File Viewer Plus

File Viewer Plus

Opening just about any type of file is at the tip of your fingers with this easy-to-use program.
Check priceVisit website

3. Use Java(TM) Platform SE binary

  1. Open the File Explorer and the folder that includes the file you need to run.
  2. You should right-click the JAR file and select Open with from the context menu.
  3. Click Choose another app and then select to open it with Java(TM) Platform SE binary. open the Jar File with Java Platform SE binary
  4. Click the Always use this app to open JAR files check box.
  5. Press the OK button to close the menu.
  6. Now you can run the selected JAR, and all other JARfiles will also be associated with Java.

4. Run a JAR file from the Windows Command Prompt

  1. Press the Win key + X hotkey and select Command Prompt (Admin) to open it as administrator.
  2. Then input the following command (replacing the example with the actual path of the file you need to run) and press Enter: java -jar c:pathtojarfile.jar
  3. Alternatively, you can open the folder that includes the JAR in the Command Prompt first by entering cd / followed by the directory. Then, you can input java -jar file.jar without the folder path.
run jar with cmd

That will open the executable JAR file so long as it contains a manifest file to specify the application’s entry point. (The developers should have already included that in the archive.)

If you develop your own Java programs, you’ll need to convert the JAR to an executable format.


Having trouble accessing Command Prompt as admin? Take a closer look at this guide.


5. Add a third-party JAR executor to Windows

There are also executor programs for Windows that enable you to run JAR files the same as any other program. Jarx is one of them and you can add it to Windows by clicking Jarx-1.2-installer.exe on this page.

Click the jarx.exe to run the software, which doesn’t really have a GUI as such (except an About jarx window). Then you can double-click the JAR files to run them in Windows.

If you’re having trouble accessing the JAR file or you get some kind of an error, take a look at this nifty guide to finding some great fixes.

With all this, you can now run JAR files in Windows. If you need to fix a JAR file that isn’t opening, check out this Windows Report guide.

If you have any other suggestions or questions, leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to take a look.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in May 2017 and was revamped and updated in December 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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