Why do I get ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException in Java?

The ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException exception is thrown to indicate that an array has been accessed with an illegal index. The index is either negative or greater than or equal to the size of the array.

Array with 10 elements

For example see the code snippet below:

String[] vowels = new String[]{"a", "i", "u", "e", "o"}
String vowel = vowels[10]; // throws the ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException

Above we create a vowels array with five elements. This will make the array have indexes between 0..4. On the next line we tried to access the tenth element of the array which is illegal. This statement will cause the ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException thrown.

We must understand that arrays in Java are zero indexed. The first element of the array will be at index 0 and the last element will be at index array-size - 1. So be careful with your array indexes when accessing array elements. For example if you have an array with 5 elements this mean that the index of the array is from 0 to 4.

If you are trying to iterate an array using for loop. Make sure the index start from 0 and execute the loop while the index is less than the length of the array, you can get the length of the array using the array length property. Let’s see the code snippet below:

for (int i = 0; i < vowels.length; i++) {
    String vowel = vowels[i];
    System.out.println("vowel = " + vowel);

Or if you don’t need the index you can simplify your code using the for-each or enhanced for-loop statement instead of the classic for loop statement as shown below:

for (String vowel : vowels) {
    System.out.println("vowel = " + vowel);

How do I fill array with non-default value?

This code snippet will show you how to create array variable and initialized it with a non-default value. By default, when we create an array of something in Java all entries will have its default value. For primitive types like int, long, float the default value are zero (0 or 0.0). For reference types (anything that holds an object in it) will have null as the default value. For boolean variable it will be false.

If you want to initialize the array to different value you can use the Arrays.fill() method. This method will help you to set the value for every element of the array.

Let see the following code snippet as an example:

package org.kodejava.util;

import java.util.Arrays;

public class ArraysFillExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Assign -1 to each element of numbers arrays
        int[] numbers = new int[5];
        Arrays.fill(numbers, -1);
        System.out.println("Numbers: " + Arrays.toString(numbers));

        // Assign 1.0f to each element of prices arrays
        float[] prices = new float[5];
        Arrays.fill(prices, 1.0f);
        System.out.println("Prices : " + Arrays.toString(prices));

        // Assign empty string to each element of words arrays
        String[] words = new String[5];
        Arrays.fill(words, "");
        System.out.println("Words  : " + Arrays.toString(words));

        // Assign 9 to each element of the multi array
        int[][] multi = new int[3][3];
        for (int[] array : multi) {
            Arrays.fill(array, 9);
        System.out.println("Multi  : " + Arrays.deepToString(multi));

In the code snippet above we utilize the Arrays.fill() utility method to assign value for each element of the int, float and String array. To change the default value of multidimensional array we can’t directly call the Arrays.fill() method. In the example we use for-loop to set each element of the sub-array using the Arrays.fill() method.

The output of the code snippet above are:

Numbers: [-1, -1, -1, -1, -1]
Prices : [1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0]
Words  : [, , , , ]
Multi  : [[9, 9, 9], [9, 9, 9], [9, 9, 9]]

How can I insert an element in array at a given position?

As we know an array in Java is a fixed-size object, once it created its size cannot be changed. So if you want to have a resizable array-like object where you can insert an element at a given position you can use a java.util.List object type instead.

This example will show you how you can achieve array insert using the java.util.List and java.util.ArrayList object. Let see the code snippet below.

package org.kodejava.util;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.List;

public class ArrayInsert {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Creates an array of integer value and prints the original values.
        Integer[] numbers = new Integer[]{1, 1, 2, 3, 8, 13, 21};
        System.out.println("Original numbers: " +

        // Creates an ArrayList object and initialize its values with the entire
        // content of numbers array. We use the add(index, element) method to add
        // element = 5 at index = 4.
        List<Integer> list = new ArrayList<>(Arrays.asList(numbers));
        list.add(4, 5);

        // Converts back the list into array object and prints the new values.
        numbers = list.toArray(new Integer[0]);
        System.out.println("After insert    : " + Arrays.toString(numbers));

In the code snippet above the original array of Integer numbers will be converted into a List, in this case we use an ArrayList, we initialized the ArrayList by passing all elements of the array into the list constructor. The Arrays.asList() can be used to convert an array into a collection type object.

Next we insert a new element into the List using the add(int index, E element) method. Where index is the insert / add position and element is the element to be inserted. After the new element inserted we convert the List back to the original array.

Below is the result of the code snippet above:

Original numbers: [1, 1, 2, 3, 8, 13, 21]
After insert    : [1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21]

How do I clone an array variable?

You have an array variable, and you want to make a clone of this array into a new array variable. To do this, you can use Apache Commons Lang ArrayUtils.clone() method. The code snippet below demonstrates the cloning of a primitive array that contains some integer elements in it.

package org.kodejava.commons.lang;

import org.apache.commons.lang3.ArrayUtils;

public class PrimitiveArrayClone {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        int[] fibonacci = new int[]{1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55};
        System.out.println("fibonacci = " + ArrayUtils.toString(fibonacci));

        int[] clone = ArrayUtils.clone(fibonacci);
        System.out.println("clone = " + ArrayUtils.toString(clone));

The fibonacci array contents were cloned into the clone array, and we print out the content using ArrayUtils.toString() method.

fibonacci = {1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55}
clone = {1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55}

In the code snippet above the clone() method create a reference to a new array. The clone() method itself doesn’t change the original array. In addition to clone primitive arrays, the clone() method also work for cloning an array of objects.

As an example we will create an array of String objects and clone it using the ArrayUtils.clone() method. To display the contents of the array, we will again use the ArrayUtils.toString() method.

package org.kodejava.commons.lang;

import org.apache.commons.lang3.ArrayUtils;

public class ObjectArrayClone {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String[] colors = new String[]{"Red", "Green", "Blue", "Yellow"};
        System.out.println("colors = " + ArrayUtils.toString(colors));

        String[] clone = ArrayUtils.clone(colors);
        System.out.println("clone = " + ArrayUtils.toString(clone));

And here is the result:

colors = {Red,Green,Blue,Yellow}
clone = {Red,Green,Blue,Yellow}

The only different between cloning a primitive array and object array using the ArrayUtils.clone() method is that when cloning an object such as String, Date, etc. we need to cast the result of the clone() method into the targeted object type.

Maven Dependencies


Maven Central

How do I create array of unique values from another array?

This code snippet show you how to create an array of unique numbers from another array of numbers.

package org.kodejava.lang;

import java.util.Arrays;

public class UniqueArray {
     * Return true if num appeared only once in the array.
    public static boolean isUnique(int[] numbers, int num) {
        for (int number : numbers) {
            if (number == num) {
                return false;
        return true;

     * Convert the given array to an array with unique values and
     * returns it.
    public static int[] toUniqueArray(int[] numbers) {
        int[] temp = new int[numbers.length];
        // in case you have value of 0 in the array
        Arrays.fill(temp, -1);

        int counter = 0;
        for (int number : numbers) {
            if (isUnique(temp, number))
                temp[counter++] = number;

        int[] uniqueArray = new int[counter];
        System.arraycopy(temp, 0, uniqueArray, 0, uniqueArray.length);
        return uniqueArray;

     * Print given array
    public static void printArray(int[] numbers) {
        for (int number : numbers) {
            System.out.print(number + " ");

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        int[] numbers = {1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 4, 7, 9, 7};

For other example to create unique array check the following example How do I remove duplicate element from array?.