Is Minecraft trying to download viruses?
I treated myself to a new MacBook for Christmas. It’s mostly for surfing and photos, but I want my grandson to be able to play Minecraft on it when he visits. Minecraft worked fine on my previous MacBook Pro (a 2012 model), but now when I try to start it, it claims I need to install legacy software. Is this safe to do? Alasdair Cranbourne
Yes. Minecraft uses the Java runtime component, which used to be bundled with OS X. This hasn’t been included with OS X since Mountain Lion, because Apple views Java as a potential security risk. While it’s true that some malicious software does try to exploit bugs in Java to attack your computer, the Java runtime itself is not a scam and downloading it from the official site (java.com/en/download) won’t infect your MacBook with anything. You can make Java safer on your computer by opening Java preferences (this should be added to System Preferences when you install Java) and unticking the box marked ‘Enable Java content in the browser’.
The snag with this is that some other apps – Adobe Photoshop CS5 is one – won’t run using the latest version of Java. They need a special tweaked version, available from Apple at support.apple.com/ kb/DL1572. You can have both versions installed at the same time though.
Ultimately, the fix for these applications is for them to migrate away from Java or include their own bundled version with the program files. For Minecraft, Mojang is working on a new version to do just this, available soon. Once released, delete the old Java by searching for javaappletplugin. plugin, and dragging it to the trash.
New Macs don’t include the Java runtime component by default anymore, but you can still download it.