Fix Java was started but returned exit code=13 Error in Eclipse

Eclipse is one of the best IDEs for Java and Android developers. There are many issues with Eclipse if it is not configured properly. One of the most common errors with Eclipse IDE is of the java exit code 13. It is common to get an error like Java was started but returned exit code=13.

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This Eclipse error is one of the most frustrating bugs to solve if you don’t know the correct method. Here I have enlisted some possible solutions for this error. You have to try all of them one by one.

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How to Fix Java was started but returned exit code=13 Error

Method 1:

You may get this error if the versions of java and eclipse do not match. If you have installed 64 bit java jdk on your machine and 32 bit Eclipse IDE or vice versa, then you may get this error.

So, ensure that you have installed both the softwares with their correct versions. If you installed different versions, you will have to uninstall the softwares and install them again with the same version.

Method 2:

There are cases when you want to keep both the 32 bit version and the 64 bit version installed in your machine due to compatibility issue.

When this is the scenario, you need to correctly mention the path of the system variables in the Environment Variable Settings. You have to select either 32 bit or 64 bit in both the softwares i.e., Eclipse and Java JDK.

Suppose you select 32 bit versions, you need to go to the C drive in the JDK Folder of 32 bit version. Once you do that, you can copy the path and set it in the Environment Variable section. You won’t get the same error again.

Method 3:

Another solution to this error is by copying the Eclipse folder in the C:/Program Files folder. For some this may work. However, if it does not work, you should try putting the Eclipse Folder in the C:/Program Files (x86) folder.

We hope that at least one of the above methods will work in your system. You may have to try all the three methods. One of them will surely solve your error message “java was started but returned exit code 13”.

Method 4:

There are a lot of compatibility issues with Java 1.8 and higher versions. So, if you are not able to solve the error with the above methods, you can degrade to java 1.7 or lower version and check if the error is solved or not.

Method 5:

If you have 32 bit and 64 bit versions installed at the same time, you need to set the Eclipse to one version of Java JDK. It should be explicitly set by the user, otherwise the default version of Java will be used which may cause this Error Code 13.

The solution to this the manipulation of the eclipse.ini file. The eclipse.ini is located in the Eclipse folder. Open that file with notepad editor in windows.

You need to add the following code before the line that includes -vmargs in the eclipse.ini file.


C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_40-64\bin\javaw.exe

The second line may be different depending upon version of the java jdk installed in your machine. If you have a 32 bit JDK version, it may be found in Program Files(x86).

Few important points to remember while configuring eclipse.ini file:

1. The Java File’s Path must be Relative Path or Absolute Path. It should not just point to the Java Home Folder.

2. The -vm option and its path should be on a separate line.

3. The -vm option should be before -vmargs option.

Here is the screenshot of an eclipse.ini file.

Fix Java was started but returned exit code=13 Error in Eclipse

Comment below if you are getting any difficulty to solve Java was started but returned exit code=13 error in eclipse. I will try to help you.

59 thoughts on “Fix Java was started but returned exit code=13 Error in Eclipse”

    1. Hi, i am getting error when trying to launch Eclipse.
      Java was started but retruned exit code = 13

      First off, i went to eclipse and downloaded:
      Eclipse IDE for Java Developers (64 bit windwos). I also installed JDK 64 bit
      ,JDK 1.8 ( Java SE Development Kit 8u181). (i originally installed JAVA SE 10.0.2 but got same error and uninstalled
      and went with JKD 1.8 instead)

      I have since tried updating the .ini as per suggestion) – Method #5
      and also moved Eclipse to the Programs Files (x86) folder.

      I can send you full screenshot of the error via email if needed

  1. Rudragouda Desai

    I tried above options but still I am getting the same error. I am using JDK8 in my system(windows 8).
    Please help me out.

  2. I am getting the same error. Tried with above options which doesn’t work. Using java -version “1.8.0_144” in Windows 10. Please advise.

  3. Thanks.. I faced this problem in Liferay Developer Studio and updating the DeveloperStudio.ini file with javaw.exe location, resolved it.

  4. Gaurav Bhandari

    -vm fixed issue with me… however, I now see an extra command prompt running as well…. Which is actually hitting my OCD… Is there anyway I can hide the command prompt?

  5. This issue appeared to me all of sudden after months using Eclipse without any problems and the Method 5 did the trick. It is quite strange because I even had both 1.7 and 1.8 Java versions installed since some weeks ago (I had to install and use 1.7 for a legacy project) and I never had any conflicts until now.

    Thanks very much for the help.

  6. One other possible cause could be that if you have changed the JCE provider list in the JRE/lib/security/ I have come across this issue, when I was playing with a hardware security provider adding as #1 in the list.

  7. Prashant Aggarwal

    If you are working with Eclipse 32-bit, do check for the following lines in eclipse.ini file.
    These values define the amount of memory taken by Eclipse in Mb. So if you modify them to a large value you you would get the “Java was started but returned exit code=13” error.

  8. Installing the 64-bit Version of Java 1.8 worked for me. The “default” download on the Oracle site is 32-bit.

  9. I tried the same thing that you posted here but still i am getting the same error java started but returned with exit code=13

  10. Awesome! I had to use a program called Talend and I received this error. After configuring the Talend Configuration using the -vm and java path I needed, everything started working. Thank you!

  11. In my system, i have java both versions in C folder -program Files(64 bit java version)
    program files(x86)(32 bit java version

    I went to environment variables(control panel ->system security–>system–>advanced system settings–environment variables–path DELETED(32 bit)
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Oracle\Java\javapath

    now it is taking 64 bit version java path automatically.
    Check latest version in command prompt to cross check

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