java.math.BigInteger shiftLeft(int n)


On this document we will be showing a java example on how to use the shiftLeft(int n) method of BigInteger Class. Basically this method returns a BigInteger whose value is (this << n). The shift distance, n, may be negative, in which case this method performs a right shift. (Computes floor(this * 2n).)

Let’s take a for example a BigInteger 12 which is equivalent to binary 1100. So if we have a value n=1, then the binary 1100 shifted to the left by 1 would become 11000. The equivalent of 11000 is 24 which be the returned value of the method shiftLeft().


  • this method is related to shiftRight().

Method Syntax

public BigInteger shiftLeft(int n)

Method Argument

Data Type Parameter Description
int n index of bit to shift.

Method Returns

The flipBit() method this << n


Requires Java 1.1 and up

Java BigInteger shiftLeft(int n) Example

Below is a java code demonstrates the use of shiftLeft(int n) method of BigInteger class. The example presented might be simple however it shows the behavior of the shiftLeft(int n) method.


import java.math.BigInteger;
import java.util.Scanner;

 * A java example source code to demonstrate
 * the use of shiftLeft(int n) method of BigInteger class

public class BigIntegerShiftLeftExample {

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		// initialize a BigInteger object
		BigInteger val1 = new BigInteger("17");
		 * Note: 17 in binary is 10001

		// get user input
		System.out.print("Enter the shift distance:");
		Scanner s = new Scanner(;
		String input = s.nextLine();

		 * convert the input to Integer unboxing feature will be used to
		 * transform Integer to primitive int
		Integer inputBitNumber = Integer.parseInt(input);

		// get the new BigInteger
		BigInteger result = val1.shiftLeft(inputBitNumber);
		System.out.println("Result of the operation:" + result);



This example is a lot simpler than it looks. The first part is the declaration of a BigInteger. User are then asked to provide the shift distance. We then shifted the BigInteger object to the left with the specified shift distance. Result is printed at the end.

Sample Output

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

BigInteger shiftLeft() example output