Categories: java, file-io

How do I create a file and write to it in Java?

30 answers

What's the simplest way to create and write to a (text) file in Java?

All answers to this question, which has the identifier 2885173

The best answer:

Note that each of the code samples below may throw IOException. Try/catch/finally blocks have been omitted for brevity. See this tutorial for information about exception handling.

Note that each of the code samples below will overwrite the file if it already exists

Creating a text file:

PrintWriter writer = new PrintWriter("the-file-name.txt", "UTF-8"); writer.println("The first line"); writer.println("The second line"); writer.close(); 

Creating a binary file:

byte data[] = ... FileOutputStream out = new FileOutputStream("the-file-name"); out.write(data); out.close(); 

Java 7+ users can use the Files class to write to files:

Creating a text file:

List<String> lines = Arrays.asList("The first line", "The second line"); Path file = Paths.get("the-file-name.txt"); Files.write(file, lines, StandardCharsets.UTF_8); //Files.write(file, lines, StandardCharsets.UTF_8, StandardOpenOption.APPEND); 

Creating a binary file:

byte data[] = ... Path file = Paths.get("the-file-name"); Files.write(file, data); //Files.write(file, data, StandardOpenOption.APPEND); 

In Java 7 and up:

try (Writer writer = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(               new FileOutputStream("filename.txt"), "utf-8"))) {    writer.write("something"); } 

There are useful utilities for that though:

Note also that you can use a FileWriter, but it uses the default encoding, which is often a bad idea - it's best to specify the encoding explicitly.

Below is the original, prior-to-Java 7 answer

Writer writer = null;  try {     writer = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(           new FileOutputStream("filename.txt"), "utf-8"));     writer.write("Something"); } catch (IOException ex) {     // Report } finally {    try {writer.close();} catch (Exception ex) {/*ignore*/} } 

See also: Reading, Writing, and Creating Files (includes NIO2).

If you already have the content you want to write to the file (and not generated on the fly), the java.nio.file.Files addition in Java 7 as part of native I/O provides the simplest and most efficient way to achieve your goals.

Basically creating and writing to a file is one line only, moreover one simple method call!

The following example creates and writes to 6 different files to showcase how it can be used:

Charset utf8 = StandardCharsets.UTF_8; List<String> lines = Arrays.asList("1st line", "2nd line"); byte[] data = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};  try {     Files.write(Paths.get("file1.bin"), data);     Files.write(Paths.get("file2.bin"), data,             StandardOpenOption.CREATE, StandardOpenOption.APPEND);     Files.write(Paths.get("file3.txt"), "content".getBytes());     Files.write(Paths.get("file4.txt"), "content".getBytes(utf8));     Files.write(Paths.get("file5.txt"), lines, utf8);     Files.write(Paths.get("file6.txt"), lines, utf8,             StandardOpenOption.CREATE, StandardOpenOption.APPEND); } catch (IOException e) {     e.printStackTrace(); } 
public class Program {     public static void main(String[] args) {         String text = "Hello world";         BufferedWriter output = null;         try {             File file = new File("example.txt");             output = new BufferedWriter(new FileWriter(file));             output.write(text);         } catch ( IOException e ) {             e.printStackTrace();         } finally {           if ( output != null ) {             output.close();           }         }     } } 

Here's a little example program to create or overwrite a file. It's the long version so it can be understood more easily.

import; import; import; import; import; import;  public class writer {     public void writing() {         try {             //Whatever the file path is.             File statText = new File("E:/Java/Reference/bin/images/statsTest.txt");             FileOutputStream is = new FileOutputStream(statText);             OutputStreamWriter osw = new OutputStreamWriter(is);                 Writer w = new BufferedWriter(osw);             w.write("POTATO!!!");             w.close();         } catch (IOException e) {             System.err.println("Problem writing to the file statsTest.txt");         }     }      public static void main(String[]args) {         writer write = new writer();         write.writing();     } } 

A very simple way to create and write to a file in Java:

import; import; import;  public class CreateFiles {      public static void main(String[] args) {         try{             // Create new file             String content = "This is the content to write into create file";             String path="D:\\a\\hi.txt";             File file = new File(path);              // If file doesn't exists, then create it             if (!file.exists()) {                 file.createNewFile();             }              FileWriter fw = new FileWriter(file.getAbsoluteFile());             BufferedWriter bw = new BufferedWriter(fw);              // Write in file             bw.write(content);              // Close connection             bw.close();         }         catch(Exception e){             System.out.println(e);         }     } } 


try (Writer writer = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(new FileOutputStream("myFile.txt"), StandardCharsets.UTF_8))) {     writer.write("text to write"); }  catch (IOException ex) {     // Handle me }   

Using try() will close stream automatically. This version is short, fast (buffered) and enables choosing encoding.

This feature was introduced in Java 7.

Here we are entering a string into a text file:

String content = "This is the content to write into a file"; File file = new File("filename.txt"); FileWriter fw = new FileWriter(file.getAbsoluteFile()); BufferedWriter bw = new BufferedWriter(fw); bw.write(content); bw.close(); // Be sure to close BufferedWriter 

We can easily create a new file and add content into it.

Since the author did not specify whether they require a solution for Java versions that have been EoL'd (by both Sun and IBM, and these are technically the most widespread JVMs), and due to the fact that most people seem to have answered the author's question before it was specified that it is a text (non-binary) file, I have decided to provide my answer.

First of all, Java 6 has generally reached end of life, and since the author did not specify he needs legacy compatibility, I guess it automatically means Java 7 or above (Java 7 is not yet EoL'd by IBM). So, we can look right at the file I/O tutorial:

Prior to the Java SE 7 release, the class was the mechanism used for file I/O, but it had several drawbacks.

  • Many methods didn't throw exceptions when they failed, so it was impossible to obtain a useful error message. For example, if a file deletion failed, the program would receive a "delete fail" but wouldn't know if it was because the file didn't exist, the user didn't have permissions, or there was some other problem.
  • The rename method didn't work consistently across platforms.
  • There was no real support for symbolic links.
  • More support for metadata was desired, such as file permissions, file owner, and other security attributes. Accessing file metadata was inefficient.
  • Many of the File methods didn't scale. Requesting a large directory listing over a server could result in a hang. Large directories could also cause memory resource problems, resulting in a denial of service.
  • It was not possible to write reliable code that could recursively walk a file tree and respond appropriately if there were circular symbolic links.

Oh well, that rules out If a file cannot be written/appended, you may not be able to even know why.

We can continue looking at the tutorial:

If you have all lines you will write (append) to the text file in advance, the recommended approach is

Here's an example (simplified):

Path file = ...; List<String> linesInMemory = ...; Files.write(file, linesInMemory, StandardCharsets.UTF_8); 

Another example (append):

Path file = ...; List<String> linesInMemory = ...; Files.write(file, linesInMemory, Charset.forName("desired charset"), StandardOpenOption.CREATE, StandardOpenOption.APPEND, StandardOpenOption.WRITE); 

If you want to write file content as you go:

Simplified example (Java 8 or up):

Path file = ...; try (BufferedWriter writer = Files.newBufferedWriter(file)) {     writer.append("Zero header: ").append('0').write("\r\n");     [...] } 

Another example (append):

Path file = ...; try (BufferedWriter writer = Files.newBufferedWriter(file, Charset.forName("desired charset"), StandardOpenOption.CREATE, StandardOpenOption.APPEND, StandardOpenOption.WRITE)) {     writer.write("----------");     [...] } 

These methods require minimal effort on the author's part and should be preferred to all others when writing to [text] files.

If you wish to have a relatively pain-free experience you can also have a look at the Apache Commons IO package, more specifically the FileUtils class.

Never forget to check third-party libraries. Joda-Time for date manipulation, Apache Commons Lang StringUtils for common string operations and such can make your code more readable.

Java is a great language, but the standard library is sometimes a bit low-level. Powerful, but low-level nonetheless.

If you for some reason want to separate the act of creating and writing, the Java equivalent of touch is

try {    //create a file named "testfile.txt" in the current working directory    File myFile = new File("testfile.txt");    if ( myFile.createNewFile() ) {       System.out.println("Success!");    } else {       System.out.println("Failure!");    } } catch ( IOException ioe ) { ioe.printStackTrace(); } 

createNewFile() does an existence check and file create atomically. This can be useful if you want to ensure you were the creator of the file before writing to it, for example.

Here are some of the possible ways to create and write a file in Java :

Using FileOutputStream

try {   File fout = new File("myOutFile.txt");   FileOutputStream fos = new FileOutputStream(fout);   BufferedWriter bw = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(fos));   bw.write("Write somthing to the file ...");   bw.newLine();   bw.close(); } catch (FileNotFoundException e){   // File was not found   e.printStackTrace(); } catch (IOException e) {   // Problem when writing to the file   e.printStackTrace(); } 

Using FileWriter

try {   FileWriter fw = new FileWriter("myOutFile.txt");   fw.write("Example of content");   fw.close(); } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {   // File not found   e.printStackTrace(); } catch (IOException e) {   // Error when writing to the file   e.printStackTrace(); } 

Using PrintWriter

try {   PrintWriter pw = new PrintWriter("myOutFile.txt");   pw.write("Example of content");   pw.close(); } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {   // File not found   e.printStackTrace(); } catch (IOException e) {   // Error when writing to the file   e.printStackTrace(); } 

Using OutputStreamWriter

try {   File fout = new File("myOutFile.txt");   FileOutputStream fos = new FileOutputStream(fout);   OutputStreamWriter osw = new OutputStreamWriter(fos);   osw.write("Soe content ...");   osw.close(); } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {   // File not found   e.printStackTrace(); } catch (IOException e) {   // Error when writing to the file   e.printStackTrace(); } 

For further check this tutorial about How to read and write files in Java .


JFileChooser c = new JFileChooser(); c.showOpenDialog(c); File writeFile = c.getSelectedFile(); String content = "Input the data here to be written to your file";  try {     FileWriter fw = new FileWriter(writeFile);     BufferedWriter bw = new BufferedWriter(fw);     bw.append(content);     bw.append("hiiiii");     bw.close();     fw.close(); } catch (Exception exc) {    System.out.println(exc); } 

best way is to use Java7: Java 7 introduces a new way of working with the filesystem, along with a new utility class – Files. Using the Files class, we can create, move, copy, delete files and directories as well; it also can be used to read and write to a file.

public void saveDataInFile(String data) throws IOException {     Path path = Paths.get(fileName);     byte[] strToBytes = data.getBytes();      Files.write(path, strToBytes); } 

Write with FileChannel If you are dealing with large files, FileChannel can be faster than standard IO. The following code write String to a file using FileChannel:

public void saveDataInFile(String data)    throws IOException {     RandomAccessFile stream = new RandomAccessFile(fileName, "rw");     FileChannel channel = stream.getChannel();     byte[] strBytes = data.getBytes();     ByteBuffer buffer = ByteBuffer.allocate(strBytes.length);     buffer.put(strBytes);     buffer.flip();     channel.write(buffer);     stream.close();     channel.close(); } 

Write with DataOutputStream

public void saveDataInFile(String data) throws IOException {     FileOutputStream fos = new FileOutputStream(fileName);     DataOutputStream outStream = new DataOutputStream(new BufferedOutputStream(fos));     outStream.writeUTF(data);     outStream.close(); } 

Write with FileOutputStream

Let’s now see how we can use FileOutputStream to write binary data to a file. The following code converts a String int bytes and writes the bytes to file using a FileOutputStream:

public void saveDataInFile(String data) throws IOException {     FileOutputStream outputStream = new FileOutputStream(fileName);     byte[] strToBytes = data.getBytes();     outputStream.write(strToBytes);      outputStream.close(); } 

Write with PrintWriter we can use a PrintWriter to write formatted text to a file:

public void saveDataInFile() throws IOException {     FileWriter fileWriter = new FileWriter(fileName);     PrintWriter printWriter = new PrintWriter(fileWriter);     printWriter.print("Some String");     printWriter.printf("Product name is %s and its price is %d $", "iPhone", 1000);     printWriter.close(); } 

Write with BufferedWriter: use BufferedWriter to write a String to a new file:

public void saveDataInFile(String data) throws IOException {     BufferedWriter writer = new BufferedWriter(new FileWriter(fileName));     writer.write(data);      writer.close(); } 

append a String to the existing file:

public void saveDataInFile(String data) throws IOException {     BufferedWriter writer = new BufferedWriter(new FileWriter(fileName, true));     writer.append(' ');     writer.append(data);      writer.close(); } 

I think this is the shortest way:

FileWriter fr = new FileWriter("your_file_name.txt"); // After '.' write // your file extention (".txt" in this case) fr.write("Things you want to write into the file"); // Warning: this will REPLACE your old file content! fr.close(); 

To create file without overwriting existing file:

System.out.println("Choose folder to create file"); JFileChooser c = new JFileChooser(); c.setFileSelectionMode(JFileChooser.DIRECTORIES_ONLY); c.showOpenDialog(c); c.getSelectedFile(); f = c.getSelectedFile(); // File f - global variable String newfile = f + "\\hi.doc";//.txt or .doc or .html File file = new File(newfile);  try {     //System.out.println(f);     boolean flag = file.createNewFile();      if(flag == true) {         JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(rootPane, "File created successfully");     }     else {         JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(rootPane, "File already exists");     }     /* Or use exists() function as follows:         if(file.exists() == true) {             JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(rootPane, "File already exists");         }         else {             JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(rootPane, "File created successfully");         }     */ } catch(Exception e) {     // Any exception handling method of your choice } 
import; import; import;  public class FileWriterExample {     public static void main(String [] args) {         FileWriter fw= null;         File file =null;         try {             file=new File("WriteFile.txt");             if(!file.exists()) {                 file.createNewFile();             }             fw = new FileWriter(file);             fw.write("This is an string written to a file");             fw.flush();             fw.close();             System.out.println("File written Succesfully");         } catch (IOException e) {             e.printStackTrace();         }     } } 
package fileoperations; import; import;  public class SimpleFile {     public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {         File file =new File("text.txt");         file.createNewFile();         System.out.println("File is created");         FileWriter writer = new FileWriter(file);          // Writes the content to the file         writer.write("Enter the text that you want to write");          writer.flush();         writer.close();         System.out.println("Data is entered into file");     } } 

One line only ! path and line are Strings

import java.nio.file.Files; import java.nio.file.Paths;  Files.write(Paths.get(path), lines.getBytes()); 

The simplest way I can find:

Path sampleOutputPath = Paths.get("/tmp/testfile") try (BufferedWriter writer = Files.newBufferedWriter(sampleOutputPath)) {     writer.write("Hello, world!"); } 

It will probably only work for 1.7+.

It's worth a try for Java 7+:

 Files.write(Paths.get("./output.txt"), "Information string herer".getBytes()); 

It looks promising...

If we are using Java 7 and above and also know the content to be added (appended) to the file we can make use of newBufferedWriter method in NIO package.

public static void main(String[] args) {     Path FILE_PATH = Paths.get("C:/temp", "temp.txt");     String text = "\n Welcome to Java 8";      //Writing to the file temp.txt     try (BufferedWriter writer = Files.newBufferedWriter(FILE_PATH, StandardCharsets.UTF_8, StandardOpenOption.APPEND)) {         writer.write(text);     } catch (IOException e) {         e.printStackTrace();     } } 

There are few points to note:

  1. It is always a good habit to specify charset encoding and for that we have constant in class StandardCharsets.
  2. The code uses try-with-resource statement in which resources are automatically closed after the try.

Though OP has not asked but just in case we want to search for lines having some specific keyword e.g. confidential we can make use of stream APIs in Java:

//Reading from the file the first line which contains word "confidential" try {     Stream<String> lines = Files.lines(FILE_PATH);     Optional<String> containsJava = lines.filter(l->l.contains("confidential")).findFirst();     if(containsJava.isPresent()){         System.out.println(containsJava.get());     } } catch (IOException e) {     e.printStackTrace(); } 

File reading and writing using input and outputstream:

//Coded By Anurag Goel //Reading And Writing Files import; import; import; import; import;   public class WriteAFile {     public static void main(String args[]) {         try {             byte array [] = {'1','a','2','b','5'};             OutputStream os = new FileOutputStream("test.txt");             for(int x=0; x < array.length ; x++) {                 os.write( array[x] ); // Writes the bytes             }             os.close();              InputStream is = new FileInputStream("test.txt");             int size = is.available();              for(int i=0; i< size; i++) {                 System.out.print((char) + " ");             }             is.close();         } catch(IOException e) {             System.out.print("Exception");         }     } } 

Just include this package:


And then you can use this code to write the file:

Path file = ...; byte[] buf = ...; Files.write(file, buf); 

In Java 8 use Files and Paths and using try-with-resources construct.

import; import; import java.nio.file.Files; import java.nio.file.Paths;  public class WriteFile{     public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {         String file = "text.txt";         System.out.println("Writing to file: " + file);         // Files.newBufferedWriter() uses UTF-8 encoding by default         try (BufferedWriter writer = Files.newBufferedWriter(Paths.get(file))) {             writer.write("Java\n");             writer.write("Python\n");             writer.write("Clojure\n");             writer.write("Scala\n");             writer.write("JavaScript\n");         } // the file will be automatically closed     } } 

There are some simple ways, like:

File file = new File("filename.txt"); PrintWriter pw = new PrintWriter(file);  pw.write("The world I'm coming"); pw.close();  String write = "Hello World!";  FileWriter fw = new FileWriter(file); BufferedWriter bw = new BufferedWriter(fw);  fw.write(write);  fw.close(); 

You can even create a temporary file using a system property, which will be independent of which OS you are using.

File file = new File(System.*getProperty*("") +                      System.*getProperty*("file.separator") +                      "YourFileName.txt"); 

Using Google's Guava library, we can create and write to a file very easily.

package com.zetcode.writetofileex;  import; import; import;  public class WriteToFileEx {      public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {          String fileName = "fruits.txt";         File file = new File(fileName);          String content = "banana, orange, lemon, apple, plum";          Files.write(content.getBytes(), file);     } } 

The example creates a new fruits.txt file in the project root directory.

Reading collection with customers and saving to file, with JFilechooser.

private void writeFile(){      JFileChooser fileChooser = new JFileChooser(this.PATH);     int retValue = fileChooser.showDialog(this, "Save File");      if (retValue == JFileChooser.APPROVE_OPTION){          try (Writer fileWrite = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(new FileOutputStream(fileChooser.getSelectedFile())))){              this.customers.forEach((c) ->{                 try{                     fileWrite.append(c.toString()).append("\n");                 }                 catch (IOException ex){                     ex.printStackTrace();                 }             });         }         catch (IOException e){             e.printStackTrace();         }     } } 

There are at least several ways of creating a file and writing to it:

Small files (1.7)

You can use one of the write methods to write bytes, or lines, to a file.

Path file = Paths.get("path-to-file"); byte[] buf = "text-to-write-to-file".; Files.write(file, buf); 

These methods take care of most of the work for you, such as opening and closing the stream, but are not intended for handling large files.

Writing larger File by Using Buffered Stream I/O (1.7)

The java.nio.file package supports channel I/O, which moves data in buffers, bypassing some of the layers that can bottleneck stream I/O.

String s = "much-larger-text-to-write-to-file"; try (BufferedWriter writer = Files.newBufferedWriter(file, StandardCharsets.UTF_8)) {     writer.write(s, 0, s.length()); } 

This approach is preferential due to its efficient performance especially when completing a large amount of write operations. Buffered operations have this effect as they aren’t required to call the operating system’s write method for every single byte, reducing on costly I/O operations.

Using NIO API to copy (and create a new one) a file with an Outputstream (1.7)

Path oldFile = Paths.get("existing-file-path"); Path newFile = Paths.get("new-file-path"); try (OutputStream os = new FileOutputStream(newFile.toFile())) {     Files.copy(oldFile, os); } 

There are also additional methods that allow to copy all bytes from an input stream to a file.

FileWriter (text) (<1.7)

Writes directly into file (less performance) and should be used only when number of writes are less. Used to write character-oriented data to a file.

String s= "some-text"; FileWriter fileWriter = new FileWriter("C:\\path\\to\\file\\file.txt"); fileWriter.write(fileContent); fileWriter.close(); 

FileOutputStream (binary) (<1.7)

FileOutputStream is meant for writing streams of raw bytes such as image data.

byte data[] = "binary-to-write-to-file".getBytes(); FileOutputStream out = new FileOutputStream("file-name"); out.write(data); out.close(); 

With this approach one should consider to always write an array of bytes rather than writing one byte at a time. The speedup can be quite significant - up to 10 x higher or more. Therefore it is recommended to use the write(byte[]) methods whenever possible.

Last questions

how do i remove the switch on my home screen?
how to edit the JS date and time to update atuomatically?
How to utilize data stored in a multidimensional array
Powermockito not mocking URL constructor in URI.toURL() method
Android Bluetooth LE Scanner only scans when phone's Location is turned on in some devices
docker wordpress container can't connect to mysql container
How can I declare a number in java that is more than 64-bits? [duplicate]
Optaplanner solutionClass entityCollectionProperty should never return null error when simple JSON object passed to controller
Anylogic, get the time a pedestrain is in a queue
How do I fix this syntax issue with my .flex file?
Optimizing query in PHP
How to find the highest number of a column and print two columns of that row in R?
Ideas on “Error: Type is referenced as an interface from”?
JCIFS SmbFile.exists() and SmbFile.isDirectory() return false when it exists and I can listFiles()
PHP total order
Laravel booking system design
neural net - undefined column selected
How to indicate y axis does not start from 0 in ggplot?
Fragments in backStack
Spinner how to change the data