Many Java based programs like Tomcat require JAVA_HOME to be set as environment variable to work correctly. Please note JAVA_HOME should point to a JDK directory not a JRE one. The point of setting the environment variable is to let programs know in which directory executables like javac can be found.

Open Advanced System Settings

  • In Windows 10 press Windows key + Pause Key, This will open the System Settings window. Go to Change settings and select the Advanced tab.
  • Open “Windows search” – you will find it next to the Windows logo
  • In the search field type in – advanced system settings
  • Click on the match on top of the list

Set JAVA_HOME Environment variable

  • In “System Properties window” click “Environment Variables…”
  • Under “System variables” click the “New…” button and enter JAVA_HOME as “Variable name” and the path to your Java JDK directory under “Variable value

Update System PATH

  • In “Environment Variables” window under “System variables” select Path
  • Click on “Edit…”
  • In “Edit environment variable” window click “New
  • Type in %JAVA_HOME%\bin

Test your configuration

Open a new command prompt and type in:

echo %JAVA_HOME%

this will print out the directory JAVA_HOME points to or empty line if the environment variable is not set correctly, Now type in:


javac -version

this will print out the version of the java compiler if the Path variable is set correctly or “javac is not recognized as an internal or external command…” otherwise. UPDATE: in the comments below there are several suggesting to run the command prompt as administrator if you see the error message. Please make sure you try this option

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