private Java Keyword with Examples

The private keyword is an access control modifier that may be applied to a class, a method or a field (a variable declared in a class).

Key points about private Java Keyword

  1. A private class member cannot be accessed from outside the class; only members of the same class can access these private members.
  2. A class cannot be a private except inner classes because inner classes are nothing but again members of outer class. So members of a class (field, method, constructor and inner class) can be private but not the class itself. We can’t create subclasses to that class which has only private constructors.

private Java Keyword Example

Below diagram demonstrates the usage of private access modifier and it's visibility:


  • A private (inner) class, method or field may only be referenced from within the class in which it is declared. It is not visible outside the class or to subclasses.
  • The default access for all class members is package access, meaning that unless a specific access control modifier is present the class members are accessible from within any class in the same package.