In this post we cover the most common Java ArrayList methods with code examples for each method.

The ArrayList class is a resizable array. We typically use ArrayList when we don’t know the size of the list beforehand.

The ArrayList class is in the java.util package.

How to Create an ArrayList

To create an ArrayList and add items to it, we instantiate an ArrayList object with a specified type, such as String or Integer.

Note the add() method adds an item to the next position in the ArrayList. See the next example to see how to add an item to a specific index.

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);
  }
}

Output:

[Apple, Banana, Grapes, Orange]

How to Add an Item to a Specific Position

To add an item to a specified position, we have to provide the desired index to the add() method.

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    fruitBasket.add(2, "Melon");
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);
  }
}

Output:

[Apple, Banana, Melon, Grapes, Orange]

How to Access an Item in an ArrayList

The get() method retrieves an item. We have to provided the index number to the get() method.

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    System.out.println(fruitBasket.get(1));
  }
}
Banana

How to Remove an Item From an ArrayList

To remove an item, we use the remove() method. We have to provide the index number.

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    fruitBasket.remove(0);
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);
  }
}

Output:

[Banana, Grapes, Orange]

How to Remove All Items From an ArrayList

The clear() method removes all items from an ArrayList.

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    fruitBasket.clear();
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);
  }
}
[]

How to Get the Size of an ArrayList

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    System.out.println(fruitBasket.size());
  }
}

Output:

4

How to Loop Through an ArrayList

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    for (int i = 0; i < fruitBasket.size(); i++) {
      System.out.println(fruitBasket.get(i));
    }
  }
}

Output:

Apple
Banana
Grapes
Orange

Looping Through an ArrayList With for-each

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    for (String i : fruitBasket) {
      System.out.println(i);
    }
  }
}

Output:

Apple
Banana
Grapes
Orange

ArrayList Example With Numbers

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<Integer> numbers = new ArrayList<>();
    numbers.add(10);
    numbers.add(20);
    numbers.add(30);
    numbers.add(40);
    for (int i : numbers) {
      System.out.println(i);
    }
  }
}

Output:

10
20
30
40

How to Replace an Item in an ArrayList

The replace() method replaces an item with another provided item. We have to specify the index of the item we want to replace.

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");

    fruitBasket.set(3, "Peach")
    for (String i : fruitBasket) {
      System.out.println(i);
    }
  }
}

Output:

#before replace
[Apple, Banana, Grapes, Orange]

#after replace
[Apple, Banana, Grapes, Peach]

How to Shuffle Items in an ArrayList

The shuffle() method is in the Collections class and is used to do a random shuffle of the ArrayList items.

import java.util.ArrayList;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Collections;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);

    Collections.shuffle(fruitBasket);
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);
  }
}

Output:

#before shuffle
[Apple, Banana, Grapes, Orange]

#after shuffle
[Grapes, Orange, Banana, Apple]

How to Sort Items in an ArrayList

import java.util.ArrayList;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Collections;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);

    Collections.sort(fruitBasket);
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);
  }
}

Output:

#before sort
[Orange, Apple, Grapes, Banana]

#after sort
[Apple, Banana, Grapes, Orange]

How to Reverse the Items on an ArrayList

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);

    Collections.reverse(fruitBasket);
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);
  }
}

Output:

#original list
[Apple, Banana, Grapes, Orange]

#after reverse
[Orange, Grapes, Banana, Apple]

How to Convert an ArrayList to Array


import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");

    String[] fruitArray = new String[fruitBasket.size()];
    fruitBasket.toArray(fruitArray);

    for (String i : fruitArray) {
      System.out.println(i);
    }
  }
}

Output:

Apple
Banana
Grapes
Orange

How to Swap Two Items in an ArrayList

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Collections;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket = new ArrayList<>();
    fruitBasket.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket.add("Orange");
    System.out.println(fruitBasket1);

    Collections.swap(fruitBasket, 1, 3);
    System.out.println(fruitBasket);
  }
}

Output:

#before swap
[Apple, Banana, Grapes, Orange]

#after swap
[Apple, Orange, Grapes, Banana]

How to Join Two ArrayLists

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class ArrayListTutorial {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket1 = new ArrayList<>();
    ArrayList<String> fruitBasket2 = new ArrayList<>();

    fruitBasket1.add("Apple");
    fruitBasket1.add("Banana");
    fruitBasket1.add("Grapes");
    fruitBasket1.add("Orange");

    fruitBasket2.add("Melon");
    fruitBasket2.add("Strawberries");

    fruitBasket1.addAll(fruitBasket2);

    System.out.println(fruitBasket1);
  }
}

Output:

[Apple, Banana, Grapes, Orange, Melon, Strawberries]

Conclusion

In this post you saw different examples of the most common operations on Java ArrayLists.

#java