How to read text file contents line by line?

In the following code example you will learn how to read file contents line by line using the Apache Commons FileUtils.lineIterator() method. Reading file contents one line at a time, do some processing, and release it from memory immediately will lower the memory consumption used by your program.

The snippet below give you the basic usage of the FileUtils.lineIterator() method. You pass the file to read and the encoding to use. An Iterator of the lines in the file will be returned. Use the hasNext() method to see if there are lines to read from the iterator. The nextLine() method will give you the next line from the file.

When we finished with the iterator we need to close it using the LineIterator.close() or LineIterator.closeQuietly() method.



import java.util.Objects;

public class ReadFileLineByLine {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        // Load file from resource directory.
        ClassLoader classLoader = ReadFileLineByLine.class.getClassLoader();
        URL url = Objects.requireNonNull(classLoader.getResource("data.txt"),
                "Resource could not be found.");

        File file = new File(url.getFile());
        LineIterator iterator = FileUtils.lineIterator(file, "UTF-8");
        try {
            while (iterator.hasNext()) {
                String line = iterator.nextLine();
                System.out.println("line = " + line);
        } finally {

In the example above we load the file from a resource directory. That’s why we use the ClassLoader.getResource() method. If you want to load a file from an absolute path you can simply create a File object and pass the absolute path to the file.

Maven Dependency


How do I set the value of file attributes?

This code snippet show you an example on how to set the value of file attributes. Here we will set the DosFileAttributes. To set the value of file attributes we use the Files.setAttributes() method. To set DosFileAttributes we can use the following attributes: "dos:archive", "dos:hidden", "dos:readonly" and "dos:system".

For details let’s see the code snippet below:

package org.kodejava.example.nio;

import java.nio.file.Files;
import java.nio.file.Path;
import java.nio.file.Paths;
import java.nio.file.attribute.DosFileAttributes;

public class UpdateDosFileAttributesExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        String path = "D:\resources\data.txt";
        Path file = Paths.get(path);

        // Get current Dos file attributes and print it.
        DosFileAttributes attr =
                Files.readAttributes(file, DosFileAttributes.class);

        // Set a new file attributes.
        Files.setAttribute(file, "dos:archive", false);
        Files.setAttribute(file, "dos:hidden", false);
        Files.setAttribute(file, "dos:readonly", false);
        Files.setAttribute(file, "dos:system", false);

        // Read the newly set file attributes and print it.
        attr = Files.readAttributes(file, DosFileAttributes.class);

     * Print the DosFileAttributes information.
     * @param attr DosFileAttributes.
    private static void printAttributes(DosFileAttributes attr) {
        System.out.println("isArchive()  = " + attr.isArchive());
        System.out.println("isHidden()   = " + attr.isHidden());
        System.out.println("isReadOnly() = " + attr.isReadOnly());
        System.out.println("isSystem()   = " + attr.isSystem());

The output of the code snippet:

isArchive()  = true
isHidden()   = true
isReadOnly() = true
isSystem()   = true
isArchive()  = false
isHidden()   = false
isReadOnly() = false
isSystem()   = false

How do I read all lines from a file?

The java.nio.file.Files.readAllLines() method read all lines from a file. This method ensures that the file is closed when all bytes have been read or an I/O error, or other runtime exception, is thrown. Bytes from the file are decoded into characters using the specified charset.

Note that this method is intended for simple cases where it is convenient to read all lines in a single operation. It is not intended for reading in large files. This method is available in Java 7.

package org.kodejava.example.nio;

import java.nio.charset.Charset;
import java.nio.file.Files;
import java.nio.file.Paths;
import java.util.List;

public class ReadFileAsListDemo {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        ReadFileAsListDemo demo = new ReadFileAsListDemo();

    private void readFileAsList() {
        String fileName = "/data.txt";

        try {
            URI uri = this.getClass().getResource(fileName).toURI();
            List<String> lines = Files.readAllLines(Paths.get(uri),

            for (String line : lines) {
        } catch (Exception e) {