Disable jusched.exe – Java Update Scheduler Annoyance

What is jusched and how to disable it?

A good computing practice ranking as high as daily backups is periodically clearing PC resources. This can be accomplished during weekly reviews of the Microsoft Windows Task Manager.

If you have Sun’s Java Runtime Environment (JRE) loaded onto your computer and you take the time to review active task manager processes, you will very likely encounter the “jusched.exe” process.

What exactly is jusched.exe and is it safe to delete?

The “jusched.exe” process is loaded by Java to automatically check for Java updates. The process typically runs continuously in the background, but only checks once a month for updates.

jusched-exe.gif

The problem with the jusched process is that it takes up a considerable amount of system resources in terms of memory and CPU cycles. For a process that only needs to perform an update once a month, it is difficult for some end-users to justify allowing this process to constantly run in the background.

Upon searching the Internet, Java users will find instructions for how to remove jusched.exe. You will be instructed to load the Microsoft Windows Control Panel and then proceed by changing Java control panel settings. However these instructions do not remove the memory resident Java jusched.exe process. You will still see the jusched process constantly running in the background upon startup/restart.

According to the Sun support site, the tweaks to the Control Panel will only disable the update checking. The jusched.exe process will still remain in memory hogging resources – supposedly doing nothing.

This issue was reported to Sun years ago as a bug, but it has not been fixed. Sun has released numerous updates to the Java JRE, but no functionality change has been delivered.

If Sun was a smaller company trying to pull this stuff, the blogsphere would be full of spyware accusations.

Spyware

Having a program periodically “phone home” by connecting to the mother-ship (i.e. Sun’s servers on the Internet) is bad business. And will cause users to uninstall the program and/or learn how to hack the settings which actually leads to further complications for software publishers.

One can only wonder how many users get their start in hacking the registry because of the idiocy and short-sightedness of some software publishers.

The only reason for software to phone home is for a software publisher to spy on their user-base. Granted the information exchange is likely innocuous and software companies are required to publish Privacy Policies, but why do they not provide opt out procedures?

Treating all users the same is not smart.

A good number of users will just unload the software and look for alternatives or just do without.

Here is the bug report from as far back as 2003 that was rejected by Sun and remains closed to this day:

A DESCRIPTION OF THE REQUEST

Installing JRE 1.4.2beta on Windows also schedules a process called ‘jusched.exe’ to run and stay resident each time Windows boots.

While I like the idea, it is really up to the user to decide whether or not he or she would like this to happen on their machine. What is even worse is that there is no (documented) way of disabling this program to be run (apart from searching the Windows registry for ‘jusched.exe’ and deleting the entry).

JUSTIFICATION

Users should have control over what applications are doing to their system. When a user decides not to use a certain feature, he or she should be able to do so.

It would also free up 1.5 MB of system memory.

EXPECTED BEHAVIOR

  1. Inform the user about this behaviour during installation. At that time it would be nice to let the user decide if this feature should be installed.
  2. At a later time, the user should be able to disable this feature (maybe from the plug-in control panel ?)

ACTUAL BEHAVIOR

The user is ignorant about the installation of the run-and-stay-resident application and is suprised (or rightfully worried) when the Windows task-manager lists the unknown ‘jusched.exe’.

CUSTOMER SUBMITTED WORKAROUND

Search the Windows registry for ‘jusched.exe’ and delete the entry.
(Review ID: 185255)

So what is the relationship between large corporate spyware, end-user annoyance and piracy?

Without the numbers or the facts to back this all up, the short answer is “probably nothing”, but just for the sake of discussion, let us outline a few theories…

First, let us summarize the findings on the jusched.exe process which seems to have been purposely coded to hang around and hog system memory.

Please Ignore The Man Behind The Curtain

If you dislike software that spawns unnecessary processes that hog system memory or you are just not quite sure what exactly the jusched.exe process is doing behind the scenes, then you really only have two choices:

  1. Uninstall the Java Runtime Engine from your computer and search for an alternative (you can get along just fine without Java installed on your machine)
  2. Learn how to hack the registry by opening up regedit in the command window and performing a search and destroy for all instances of “jusched”.

Note: Just a mild warning that updating the registry can cause your whole system to become unstable/unusable. So proceed with caution.

The good news is that when you learn how to edit the system registry, you will never again have to accept nasty software features like those included with jusched.exe. You can even use your registry editing skills to start pirating software. Sun would hate that!

This is where the discussion turns to a possible relationship between large company spyware, end user frustration, hacking and piracy…

Needless to say that pirating sofware is illegal in most places, so we do not recommend hacking as a way of getting even with shortsighted software publishers.

But there is no denying that a software publisher that “blocks all the exits” so that they can take a monthly census is probably inviting their very users to tweak their software in unintended ways.

In the worse case, these same users can leverage their new found “hacking” knowledge to perform larger acts could lead to software pirating. This of course would be very undesirable to software publishers as a whole.

Just because a company like Sun has been big enough to get away with releasing software that is difficult to configure and/or uninstall, does not mean that their actions do not cause harm to the industry and invariably to their shareholders.

People pirate software to avoid paying high fees, but a good number of pirates are operating out of spite.

Disclaimer: Once again, this is not an endorsement of software piracy. Software piracy is illegal and hurts the industry as a whole. The intent of this article was to avoid whining and to instead call attention to possible relationships between forced census (i.e. analytics), inability to opt out and software piracy. The secondary goal of this article might have been to inform software publishers of the high costs associated with forced monthly census that not only “checks for updates” but also shares personally identifiable information or even aggregated information to centralized servers for number crunching.

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