Exception Handling in Java

While coding, we may face few compile time errors because of incorrect syntax and those errors can be removed by re-correcting our syntax. Similarly, we may also come across Run-Time errors caused by exceptions and those errors also needed to be handled. Java provides us with an important feature that allows us to handle those run time exceptions. That feature is called Exception Handling in Java. In this article we will look about this interesting topic.

exception handling in java

What is an Exception?

An Exception is an unexpected event that occurs in the runtime of a program(i.e., an exception is a Runtime error), by which normal flow of the program gets interrupted and program will be terminated abnormally. In such cases, system generates a message, which may not be understandable to the user. But no worries, such type of exceptions occurred during runtime can be handled in java by providing user friendly message.

What is Exception Handling in Java?

Whenever, an exception occurs and if it is not handled properly, flow of the program will be terminated and system generates an error message as below.

Below is an example of exception generated by the system:

Above mentioned message may not be understandable to the user, what’s the actual issue is. In such cases, we handle exceptions to generate message in user friendly language. By this exception handling,normal flow of the program will be maintained and statements after the exception will be executed successfully.

Hierarchy of Java Exception Classes

exception handling in java

Hierarchy Classes

Types of Exception

There are two types of exception. They are:

1) Checked Exceptions.

2) Unchecked Exceptions.

Checked Exceptions:  The Classes that extend Throwable class other than RunTimeException are known as checked exceptions. Checked exceptions are checked at compile-time. For Example, IO Exception, SQL Exception etc..

Unchecked Exceptions: The Classes that extend RunTImeException are known as unchecked exceptions. Unchecked exceptions are checked at runtime. For Example, ArithmeticException, NullPointerException, ArrayOutOfBoundException etc..

Keywords for Exception Handling in Java

There are 5 keywords used for exception handling in java.

  1. try
  2. catch
  3. finally
  4. throw
  5. throws

Try Block

The try block encloses set of statements from which an exception may occur. It must be used within the method. A try block is always followed by a block which can handle the exception that was thrown by try block, that can be either catch block or finally block or both.

Syntax of try block:

Catch Block

Catch block is where we can handle exceptions that are thrown from try block. It must be always followed by a try block. A try block may contain any number of catch blocks. Each different catch block may contain different exception. When an exception thrown by try block, corresponding catch block which handles that exception will be executed.

Syntax of try catch block:

Example for try-catch block:

Exception occurred in try block is handled by corresponding catch block. A try block may have any number of catch blocks. But, its better to place a generic exception handler catch block after all catch blocks which displays a generic message. A generic exception handler handles any type of exception. That block will only execute, if the exceptions was not handled by other catch blocks.


Example for Multiple catch blocks:

As we already discussed, a single try block may have any number of catch blocks followed. A generic catch block is able to handle any type of exception. No issue, even if there is no exception thrown from try block followed by catch block. That catch block will be ignored.


Finally Block

Finally block consists of set of statements, which will always be executed whether exception is handled or not. It is followed by try block or catch block. For each single try block, there may be any number of catch blocks but, only one finally block.

Example for finally block:
Case 1: No exception occurred


Case 2: Exception occurred and not handled


Case 3: Handled occurred exception


Java throw keyword

Java throw keyword is used to throw an exception explicitly. That can be either checked or unchecked exception, It can also be used to throw custom exceptions. Let’s discuss about it later.




Java throws keyword

Throws keyword is used for handling checked exceptions. Multiple exceptions can be declared using throws keyword.

Syntax of java throws keyword :

Advantage of throws keyword over using try-catch block:

Let’s consider it with an example. Whenever we have a single method with some set of statements and that may throw any exception, in that case we may go with try-catch


Similarly, if we have several number of methods with set of statements that may cause exceptions, in that case we go with using throws keyword as below:

That’s about exception handling in Java. Comment below in case of any queries. We’ll discuss more beginner topics in our future articles.


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