On this document we will be showing a java example on how to use the exists() method of File Class. This method is basically in place to provide mechanism to test whether the file or directory denoted by this abstract pathname exists. This is essential method in handling files because with this in existence, we are capable to handle complex situation wherein the required files doesn’t exist thus require further action.


  • SecurityException – If a security manager exists and its SecurityManager.checkRead(java.lang.String) method denies read access to the file or directory.

Method Syntax

public boolean exists()

Method Argument

Data Type Parameter Description

Method Returns

This method returns boolean, true if and only if the file or directory denoted by this abstract pathname exists; false otherwise.


Requires Java 1.0 and up

Java File exists() Example

Below is a java code demonstrates the use of exists() method of File class. The example presented might be simple however it shows the behaviour of the exists() method of File class. Basically we have used the returned value of the exists() method before reading the file. If the file exists, Scanner class is used to read the file and print the contents line by line. If the file does not exists, a message “File does not exists” will be printed on the console.

Sample Output

Below is the sample output when you run the above example.

java lang File exists() example output