Java: error: release version 19 not supported

Before troubleshooting any problem, it’s crucial to understand its roots. The error message ‘Java: error: release version 19 not supported’ is Java’s way of communicating an issue with version compatibility. In the vast world of programming, different versions of languages co-exist. Each version comes with its unique set of features, enhancements, and updates. Just like how a novel’s new edition might come with additional content or revisions, the new version of a programming language has enhanced capabilities and improved performance.

Java is no different. Over time, it has evolved tremendously, introducing various versions, each bringing its novelty. The number following ‘release version’ indicates the Java version you’re trying to use in your program. When you encounter the ‘release version 19 not supported’ error, it essentially means your current Java Development Kit (JDK), the toolkit for developing Java applications, does not recognize or support some elements specific to Java version 19.

This discrepancy arises when your Java environment is set to an earlier version, while your program uses features introduced in a later release, in this case, version 19. Think of it as trying to read a new edition of a book using an older one. It won’t work, right? You might come across content that doesn’t exist in the older version, creating confusion.

Similarly, when your JDK doesn’t align with the Java version your program requires, you confront this error. Your JDK is essentially saying, “Hey, I don’t understand this. It’s like you’re speaking a different language!” Now that you understand what this error signifies, it’s time to address the cause and apply the appropriate solutions.

Java: error: release version 19 not supported
Java: error: release version 19 not supported

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Causes for  java: error: release version 19 not supported

Misconfigured Build Configuration

Your build configuration might be the culprit behind the ‘Java: error: release version 19 not supported’ problem. Tools like Maven or Gradle play a key role in defining your project’s build settings. An incorrect setup might provoke this error message.

In your project’s pom.xml file (for Maven) or build.gradle file (for Gradle), you may have specified Java version 19 as the target version. However, your environment might still be set to an older JDK version. This misalignment can cause the aforementioned error.

Double-check your configuration files. Verify if the Java version mentioned matches the JDK installed on your system. Synchronize these settings to ensure a smooth build and prevent such compatibility errors.

Outdated IDE Configuration

Your Integrated Development Environment (IDE), be it Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, or NetBeans, might have outdated settings. These environments have their Java compiler settings, which can sometimes be misaligned with your system’s JDK version.

Suppose you’ve recently updated your system’s JDK but forgot to reflect the change in your IDE. The IDE would then attempt to compile your code using an older Java version, causing the dreaded ‘release version not supported’ error.

To resolve this, navigate to your IDE’s settings and update the Java compiler version. The exact steps depend on the IDE in use. For instance, in IntelliJ IDEA, you would go to ‘File > Project Structure > Project Settings > Project’, and update the ‘Project SDK’ and ‘Project language level’.

Incorrect Path in System Variables

Another possible reason is an incorrect path set in your system’s environment variables. This can occur if you’ve installed multiple JDK versions or have recently updated your JDK.

Your system may still point to an older JDK version in the environment variables, despite having a newer version installed. This can result in the compiler not recognizing newer Java features, thus generating the error message.

Correct this by setting the correct path to your JDK in the environment variables. In Windows, you can do this via ‘System Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables’. On macOS or Linux, you can modify the ‘.bash_profile’ or ‘.bashrc’ file.

Incompatible Third-Party Libraries

At times, third-party libraries might be the reason behind the error. If a library you’re using in your project is not compatible with Java version 19, it can potentially cause the ‘release version not supported’ error.

While developing Java applications, you might use several third-party libraries to ease the coding process. These libraries are often built to be compatible with certain Java versions. If a library is not updated or does not support Java 19, it might fail during the compilation process, resulting in the error.

Address this by ensuring all the libraries you’re using are updated and compatible with Java 19. Regularly check the library’s official documentation or source code repository for version compatibility information. If a library isn’t compatible, consider looking for an alternative that supports Java 19.

How to fix Java: error: release version 19 not supported

Fix 1: Using the ‘-source’ and ‘-target’ Compiler Options

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Navigate to the directory containing your Java file.
  3. Type the following command: javac -source 19 -target 19, replacing ‘’ with the name of your Java file.
  4. Press ‘Enter’ to execute the command. Your Java file will be compiled considering Java version 19.

Fix 2: Utilizing Docker for Java Environment

Follow steps:

  1. Install Docker on your system if you haven’t already. Follow the official Docker installation guide for your respective operating system.
  2. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  3. Type docker pull openjdk:19 and press ‘Enter’. This command will download the Docker image for OpenJDK version 19.
  4. To create a Docker container with this image, use the command docker run -it openjdk:19 bash.
  5. You’re now inside a Docker container with Java 19 installed. You can compile and run your Java programs here without encountering the error.

Fix 3: Deploying Version Management Tools

  1. Choose a version management tool. This guide uses jEnv as an example.
  2. Install jEnv following the instructions provided on its official website.
  3. Add the desired Java versions to jEnv. Use the command jenv add /path/to/java/home, replacing ‘/path/to/java/home’ with the path to the JDK on your system.
  4. To switch Java versions, use the command jenv global version_number, replacing ‘version_number’ with the number of the Java version you want to use.

Fix 4: Adjusting IDE Compiler Settings

Follow steps:

  1. Open your IDE. This guide uses IntelliJ IDEA as an example.
  2. Go to ‘File > Project Structure > Project Settings > Project’.
  3. Change the ‘Project SDK’ to 19.
  4. Also, change the ‘Project language level’ to 19.
  5. Click ‘OK’ to save your changes. Your IDE is now set to compile your Java programs using Java version 19.

Fix 5: Using the –release Compiler Option

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Navigate to the directory where your Java file is located.
  3. Use the javac –release 19 command, replacing ‘’ with your file’s name.
  4. Hit ‘Enter’. This command tells the compiler to treat your code as conforming to Java 19.

Fix 6: Using an Online Compiler

Follow steps:

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to an online Java compiler such as JDoodle or
  2. Select the appropriate Java version, in this case, 19.
  3. Copy your code into the online compiler.
  4. Hit the ‘Run’ or ‘Compile’ button.

Fix 7: Using a Newer IDE Version

  1. Check if your IDE has a newer version that supports Java 19.
  2. If available, download and install the newer IDE version.
  3. Open your project in the updated IDE and adjust the project settings to use Java 19.

Fix 8: Using a Script to Switch Java Versions

Follow steps:

  1. Create a script that changes the Java version depending on your needs.
  2. The script would need to adjust the ‘JAVA_HOME’ and ‘PATH’ environment variables to point to the respective Java version.
  3. Save this script and run it whenever you need to switch Java versions.

Fix 9: Using an Integrated Terminal in Your IDE

  1. Open your IDE and locate its integrated terminal (most modern IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA and VSCode have one).
  2. In the integrated terminal, use the javac –release 19 command to compile your Java file with JDK 19.
  3. This can circumvent system-wide Java version settings as it uses the IDE’s specified Java SDK.

Fix 10: Upgrading the Java Compiler Plugin

Follow steps:

  1. Check your build tool’s documentation. For Maven, look at the maven-compiler-plugin documentation.
  2. Find out the latest version of the plugin that supports Java 19.
  3. Update the plugin version in your build configuration file (pom.xml for Maven or build.gradle for Gradle).
  4. Rebuild your project.

Fix 11: Uninstalling Older Java Versions

  1. Navigate to your system’s software uninstallation menu. On Windows, it’s under ‘Control Panel’ > ‘Programs’ > ‘Programs and Features’.
  2. Find all the older versions of Java or JDK in the list.
  3. Select an old version and choose ‘Uninstall’.
  4. Repeat the process until all older versions are removed.
  5. Install Java 19 following the instructions on the official Java website.
  6. Check your Java version using java -version in your terminal or command prompt to ensure it now points to Java 19.

Fix 12: Updating System Environment Variables

  1. Locate your JDK 19 installation directory on your system.
  2. Copy the path to this directory.
  3. On Windows, right-click ‘My Computer’ > ‘Properties’ > ‘Advanced system settings’ > ‘Environment Variables’.
  4. Find the ‘Path’ variable under ‘System variables’, select it, and click ‘Edit’.
  5. Add a new entry using the path to your JDK 19 directory. Click ‘OK’ to save changes.
  6. Open a new terminal window and check the Java version using java -version. It should now point to Java 19.


The ‘Java: error: release version 19 not supported’ message can be daunting. But with a keen eye and strategic solutions, it can be resolved efficiently. You might face this issue due to misconfigured build setups, outdated IDE settings, or incompatible libraries. Sometimes, even an incorrect path set in your system’s environment variables can trigger it.

Fortunately, we have several ways to fix this error. Updating your build tool’s Java compiler plugin, adjusting your IDE’s compiler settings, managing Java versions with tools like jEnv, using Docker, or even utilizing an online compiler are among these methods. So, the next time you encounter this error, fret not. Remember these solutions, and you’ll be back to coding in no time. After all, problem-solving is an integral part of a programmer’s journey!


What does ‘Java: error: release version 19 not supported’ mean?

This error occurs when your system tries to compile Java code with a JDK version that doesn’t support it.

How can I fix this error in my IDE?

Adjust the compiler settings in your IDE to match the required Java version, which in this case is 19.

Can Docker help to resolve this error?

Yes, Docker can provide an isolated environment with the specific Java version, thus preventing the error.

What role does my build configuration play in this error?

A misconfigured build setup, specifying an unsupported Java version, can cause this error.

Can outdated libraries lead to this error?

   Yes, libraries incompatible with Java 19 can trigger the ‘release version not supported’ error.

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