How do I check string for equality?

To compare strings for their content equality we must use the String.equals() method. This method ensures that it will compare the content of both string instead of the object reference of the both string. This method returns true if both string in comparison have the same content.

Do not, never, use the == operator to compare string for its content. The == operator check for object reference equality, it returns true only if both objects point to the same reference. This operator returns false if the object doesn’t point to the same references.

package org.kodejava.lang;

public class StringEquals {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String s1 = "Hello World";
        String s2 = new String("Hello World");

        // This is good!
        if (s1.equals(s2)) {
            System.out.println("1. Both strings are equals.");
        } else {
            System.out.println("1. Both strings are not equals.");

        // This is bad!
        if (s1 == s2) {
            System.out.println("2. Both strings are equals.");
        } else {
            System.out.println("2. Both strings are not equals.");

In the example above we deliberately create an instance of s2 string using the new operator to make sure that we have a different object reference. When you run the program it will give you the following result:

1. Both strings are equals.
2. Both strings are not equals.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.