Fixing Java update did not complete Error Code: 1603

I have received the error message "Java update did not complete. Error Code: 1603" for months whenever I tried to update the Java installation on a PC running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.

The error would come up at the end of the installation after Java files were downloaded and the software was seemingly installed on the operating system.

I first thought that this was related to the online installer only and tried the offline installer instead, but the error message remained.

The core difference between online and offline installer is how files are made available. If you select the online installer, only a small stub is downloaded at first. When you run it, all required files get downloaded and installed.

The offline installer on the other hand is linked to a particular version of Java but works on its own without extra downloads.

java update did not complete error code 1603

The full error prompt read:

Java update did not complete

Error Code: 1603

Please refer to the Java Help Center for troubleshooting information or contact your system administrator.

The help center was not very helpful. It did list one entry for error 1603 but revealed no information other than it is indicating "that an installation did not complete" and that the error is under investigation.

I decided to check the Java installation on the computer in question and noticed that Java was not installed. What was installed however was the Java SDK; more precisely, the 64-bit Java SDK.

Assuming that this could have been the issue all along, I decided to download the 64-bit version of Java installed from the Java download site and install it instead.

Turns out, it went through without issues and the most recent version of Java was installed on the target machine.

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java install success

While I cannot speak in general terms, it appears as if you cannot install a 32-bit version of Java on a system with a 64-bit Java SDK.

The same is likely true if you have installed a 64-bit version of Java on the system and try to update it using the 32-bit version of Java.

The error may appear in other circumstances as well. Here are a couple of suggestions to resolve it if a 32-bit 64-bit conflict is not the issue on your end:

  1. You can try and uninstall Java completely from the system and run the installation again afterwards. You may use the Windows uninstaller for that or a third-party program such as Java Ra for that. It is advised to remove previous versions of Java, e.g. version 7, prior to installing a newer major version, e.g. version 8.
  2. The installer may be corrupt and re-downloading it may resolve the issue. Also, using the offline installer should resolve most download-related issues.
  3. Make sure that antivirus solutions are not blocking the deployment of Java.
  4. Try Oracle's official Java uninstall tool which may help you remove older versions of Java from the operating system.
  5. There may be a conflict with the Microsoft update KB2918614. Trying the workarounds suggested on the page may resolve the installation issue.
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Fixing Java update did not complete Error Code: 1603
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Find out how to fix the installation error Java update did not complete, Error Code: 1603 when installing Java on a Windows machine.
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Responses to Fixing Java update did not complete Error Code: 1603

  1. Inderjeet June 26, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    This worked for me :- Go to the Configure Java in Windows.Click on Security tab \ uncheck "Enable Java content in the browser". Click apply. Then check the box for "Enable Java content in the browser". Click apply.
    Close "Java Control Panel". Retry install.

  2. nek June 26, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    About 3 months ago I set up a new desktop with Win7 x64. I decided to hold off installing java this time and see how things go. So far so good not having it installed. I haven't even been on a web page yet that told me I needed to install java. If I can get by without it then I will be very happy.
    Using Pale Moon.

    • clas June 27, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

      nek, you sound so much like me. been java free for over a year and have never missed it at all. and i am online 8 hours a day for business and pleasure and visiting many sites. also using palemoon and its the one for me. got tired of constantly broken extensions in the ever-updating Firefox. java was just too buggy and never tight enough to stop the jerks of the world from using it against me.

  3. Zimbalist June 27, 2015 at 12:37 am #

    Serious error detected!
    You have Java installed!
    Delete immediately! [Y] / [Y]

  4. A different Martin June 27, 2015 at 2:08 am #

    Well, I have both the 32-bit and 64-bit Java Runtime Environments installed on my Windows 7 x64 system. I don't recall having had a problem installing either,* although I probably usually installed the 32-bit version first. I don't recall having used an "update" feature to update Java for a very long time, preferring instead to download and run the offline installers. I don't uninstall the existing versions before running the update installer; recently, at least, the installers seem to take care of that automatically. I'm pretty sure I've never installed the SDK.

    I don't recall having ever needed Java in a browser -- or if I did it was a long, long time ago -- but I'm pretty sure I have a couple of standalone apps that require it. (TuxGuitar comes to mind.)

    *Just because I don't recall having had a problem is no guarantee that I didn't at some point. I have a very vague recollection of running Oracle's Java uninstall tool at some point, but whether it was simply to get rid of old versions or to fix an installation problem, I just don't remember. Sorry!

    • A different Martin July 21, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

      Update: The old-Java-uninstall routine that comes with (or used to come with?) new Java Runtime Environment installers didn't always do the job correctly or completely for me, so now I do manually uninstall old JREs before installing newer versions.

      (I keep local, checksum-verified copies of older installers on hand, so if I ever run into a situation where a program, e.g., LibreOffice, doesn't work with a new JRE, I can reinstall the previous version and point to the older version in the program. It hasn't happened yet.)

  5. ilev June 27, 2015 at 8:46 am #

    JavaRa doesn't include removing old versions of Java anymore.

  6. Paul(us) June 28, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    For years I am following the same never failing method when I am removing - and installing main 32 bit and 64 bit java version's.
    I noticed that there is no difference when i remove main 32 - and 64 bit Java version's from main system with or the newest java uninstall tool or main Revo uninstaller.
    First I remove the old and than I install always with the offline version from Java first the 64 bit version and than the 32 bit version.
    Works like a charm!

  7. Purplemaize June 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    When I download Java, I always download the toolkit and any information I need for the new update so I can help in finding bug issues and repairing.

  8. tom July 1, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

    i have had to change the install dir .. made c:\java, that fixes some that fail. others will not install however a couple versions back it will install

    I dont mind errors on installs, but they should make an installler that if fails tells you why!

    At least the installers i had made in the far past would put up the error and WHY the error occurred.

    on a side note, apps i have been working with for years(stock trading apps)... for a few years they use java, then they go with a thick windows clients, then they go back to java.

  9. Reed July 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    This fix worked perfectly. I've been struggling for months with this and the fix was so simple. If only Oracle would post this solution on their Help page.

  10. Mike August 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

    Check for system or user environment variables. In my case it was _JAVA_OPTIONS (one user and one system environment variable) hwo messed upp my Java installation. Renamed this two variables temporary did the trick.

    • Cleison August 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

      I did the same and it worked very well. Thanks for your tip.

  11. Vikrant November 13, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    Please, refer the answer given by AndrewKoransky on https://community.oracle.com/thread/3671329

  12. S1111 December 31, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

    I've been fighting this on my laptop on Windows 7 and then Windows 10, and finally was able to get rid of the 1603 error by using JavaRa to clean off the failed install then going into my system / user Environment Variables and deleting any reference to Java. The latest Java install worked after that.

  13. Hamster April 1, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

    I fixed this error by deleting the file baseimagefam8 contained in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application data\Oracle\Java\installcache

    Then I started the installer again and voila

  14. Fred Weiner June 22, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

    Ignore error. Change Environment Variable JAVA_HOME to the correct location and it will work fine. From the command line type java -version to see that the version was installed correctly.

  15. Viet Nguyen July 6, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    Please check the Environment variable in your machine if there is a variable name “_JAVA_OPTIONS” in both User and System variable then you should rename it to the new name (ex: “_JAVA_OPTIONS_1″) and then install your JRE again, after you installed successful, remember to rename the “_JAVA_OPTIONS_1″ back to its original name “_JAVA_OPTIONS”

    How to check Environment Variable:
    1.Right click on Computer icon in your desktop or in Windows Explore
    2.Select "Properties"
    3.Select “Advance system settings”
    4.Click on “Environment Variable…” button, from here the Environment Windows will open

  16. ivangrove July 29, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    Install JRE 7

  17. Abhishek Singh December 7, 2016 at 8:34 am #

    Please do the following things. Step 1. Remove the Java related environment variables like JAVA_HOME. Step 2. Delete all the folders inside Java folder from Program Files, Program Files (x86). Step 3. Download offline installer for 64 bit windows 8.1. Step 4. Restart the machine. Step 5. Install the java.

  18. Moaz Hafeez May 18, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    I found the only way to get it installed was to go to the website http://www.ninite.com and install.

    Worth a try if you run out of options.

  19. Tim M July 21, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

    Thank you thank you thank you! Changed the system environment variable name, deleted java folders in program files, restarted, installed Java 8 141 successfully. What. A. Pain. In. The. [email protected]$.

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