Updates to Java default to installing Yahoo Toolbar, even on a Mac. This is not cool.
Ideally you shouldn’t install Java on your computer. Like Adobe Flash, it’s dead software walking – an anachronism that’s not required for modern life. You should uninstall it if it’s already installed on your system.
However, some apps give you no choice, especially older software. Until recently I used an old release of Photoshop that required it, for example. Some components of LibreOffice still do, amazingly.
Turning off crapware in Java updates
To Oracle’s credit they provide a hidden preference option to turn off the Yahoo crapware in updates. Open System Preferences, click the Java icon at the bottom, click the Advanced tab, scroll to the bottom, and put a check in the box that reads Suppress Sponsor Offers When Installing Or Updating Java.
Avoiding crapware when installing Java
If installing Java for the first time on a Mac you can use the following command to install it without the crapware. Open a Terminal window (it’s in the Utilities folder of the Applications list in Finder), then type open. Then drag and drop the Java installation file on top of the window, tap the spacebar, and add --args SPONSORS=0 (note that’s two hyphens before args).
On my system the completed command looked like this:
open /Volumes/Java\ 8\ Update\ 66/Java\ 8\ Update\ 66.app --args SPONSORS=0
(Notably in my tests I simply couldn’t get Java to install any which way on my El Capitan test system; I suspect the installer is currently broken.)