Although jade plants do not need to be pruned for their own well-being, they can get to a size where pruning becomes necessary either because they have become top heavy or simply for aesthetic reasons. Because pruning a plant always exposes it to health risks, it is especially important to ask yourself whether your plant has reached that size before you begin. If the answer is yes, get some sharp scissors and some antibacterial gel or ordinary hand sanitizer and you're ready to prune.
The first thing to do is to imagine a mental picture of the plant post-pruning. When you cut a branch back, two new branches typically grow out of the next node. This allows you to predict to some extent where new branches will grow. Keep in mind that you should only ever cut back as much as 20 to 30 percent of the plant's branches. If you like, you can use pieces of string or colored tape to mark the branches you've selected to cut.
Once you have a clear plan of where you'll cut, take the antibacterial gel and rub it onto your sheers to sanitize. Take one of the branches you have chosen to remove. Make a clean cut all the way through with the scissors just above a node. Or if you've elected to cut the branch back completely, make the cut flush against the main branch.
Spring or summer is the best time to prune jade, as the plant is already putting all its energy towards its growth and will recover most quickly. However, you can prune jade at any time of the year with good results.
Don't throw the cut branches away! New jade plants are very easy to grow from cuttings. Just stick the cut end of the branch into a pot of potting mix and perlite and in next to no time you'll have a plethora of little jade plants to give to family and friends.