FileInputStream Class in Java

The FileInputStream class creates an InputStream that you can use to read bytes from a file. It is used for reading byte-oriented data (streams of raw bytes) such as image data, audio, video etc. 
You can also read character-stream data. But, for reading streams of characters, it is recommended to use FileReader class.

FileInputStream class Constructor

  1. FileInputStream(File file) - Creates a FileInputStream by opening a connection to an actual file, the file named by the File object file in the file system.
  2. FileInputStream(FileDescriptor fdObj) - Creates a FileInputStream by using the file descriptor fdObj, which represents an existing connection to an actual file in the file system.
  3. FileInputStream(String name) - Creates a FileInputStream by opening a connection to an actual file, the file named by the pathname in the file system.
From above constructors, two commonly used constructors are shown here:
FileInputStream(String filePath)
FileInputStream(File fileObj)
Either can throw a FileNotFoundException. Here, filePath is the full pathname of a file, and fileObj is a File object that describes the file. 
The following example creates two FileInputStreams that use the same disk file and each of the two constructors:
FileInputStream f0 = new FileInputStream("/execute.bat");

File f = new File("/execute.bat");
FileInputStream f1 = new FileInputStream(f);

FileInputStream class APIs/Methods

  • int available() - Returns an estimate of the number of remaining bytes that can be read (or skipped over) from this input stream without blocking by the next invocation of a method for this input stream.
  • void close() - Closes this file input stream and releases any system resources associated with the stream.
  • protected void finalize() - Ensures that the close method of this file input stream is called when there are no more references to it.
  • FileChannel getChannel() - Returns the unique FileChannel object associated with this file input stream.
  • FileDescriptor getFD() - Returns the FileDescriptor object that represents the connection to the actual file in the file system being used by this FileInputStream.
  • int read() - Reads a byte of data from this input stream.
  • int read(byte[] b) - Reads up to b.length bytes of data from this input stream into an array of bytes.
  • int read(byte[] b, int off, int len) - Reads up to len bytes of data from this input stream into an array of bytes.
  • long skip(long n) - Skips over and discards n bytes of data from the input stream.

FileInputStream class Example

In this example demonstrate the usage of few important methods of FileInputStream class.
This example shows how to read a single byte, an array of bytes, and a subrange of an array of bytes. It also illustrates how to use available( ) to determine the number of bytes remaining and how to use the skip( ) method to skip over unwanted bytes.
The program reads its own source file, which must be in the current directory.
Notice that it uses the try-with-resources statement to automatically close the file when it is no longer needed.

 * The class demonstrate the usage of FileInputStream class methods.
 * @author

public class FileInputStreamDemo {
 public static void main(String args[]) {
  int size;
  // Use try-with-resources to close the stream.
  try (FileInputStream f = new FileInputStream("")) {

   System.out.println("Total Available Bytes: " + (size = f.available()));

   int n = size / 40;
   System.out.println("First " + n + " bytes of the file one read() at a time");
   for (int i = 0; i < n; i++) {

   System.out.println("\nStill Available: " + f.available());
   System.out.println("Reading the next " + n + " with one read(b[])");
   byte b[] = new byte[n];
   if ( != n) {
    System.err.println("couldn’t read " + n + " bytes.");

   System.out.println(new String(b, 0, n));
   System.out.println("\nStill Available: " + (size = f.available()));

   System.out.println("Skipping half of remaining bytes with skip()");
   f.skip(size / 2);

   System.out.println("Still Available: " + f.available());
   System.out.println("Reading " + n / 2 + " into the end of array");

   if (, n / 2, n / 2) != n / 2) {
    System.err.println("couldn’t read " + n / 2 + " bytes.");
   System.out.println(new String(b, 0, b.length));
   System.out.println("\nStill Available: " + f.available());
  } catch (IOException e) {
   System.out.println("I/O Error: " + e);
Total Available Bytes: 1523
First 38 bytes of the file one read() at a time

Still Available: 1485
Reading the next 38 with one read(b[])


Still Available: 1447
Skipping half of remaining bytes with skip()
Still Available: 724
Reading 19 into the end of array

import"couldn’t re

Still Available: 705

More Examples


public class FileInputStreamExample {
 public static void main(String[] args) {
  File file = new File("sample.txt");
  try (FileInputStream fis = new FileInputStream(file)) {
   int content;
   while ((content = != -1) {
    // convert to char and display it
    System.out.print((char) content);
  } catch (IOException e) {
There is some content in file 
newline added to existing file