Java MessageDigest getInstance()

In this guide, you will learn about the MessageDigest getInstance() method in Java programming and how to use it with an example.

1. MessageDigest getInstance() Method Overview


The getInstance() method of the MessageDigest class in Java is a static method used to get a MessageDigest object that implements the specified digest algorithm. The purpose of this method is to provide a way to create MessageDigest objects for generating hash values (digests) from input data.


public static MessageDigest getInstance(String algorithm) throws NoSuchAlgorithmException


- algorithm: The name of the hash function to use, e.g., "MD5", "SHA-256".

Key Points:

- The getInstance() method throws NoSuchAlgorithmException if the specified algorithm is not available in the environment.

- Commonly used algorithms are "MD5", "SHA-1", "SHA-256".

- Once the MessageDigest object is created, you can use it to digest input data and obtain the hash value.

- MessageDigest is thread-safe and can be used by multiple threads concurrently.

2. MessageDigest getInstance() Method Example

import java.util.Arrays;

public class MessageDigestExample {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try {
            // Get a MessageDigest object for the SHA-256 algorithm
            MessageDigest sha256Digest = MessageDigest.getInstance("SHA-256");

            // Input data to be hashed
            String inputData = "Java MessageDigest Example";

            // Compute the SHA-256 hash value of the input data
            byte[] hashValue = sha256Digest.digest(inputData.getBytes());

            // Print the computed hash value
            System.out.println("Computed Hash Value: " + Arrays.toString(hashValue));
        } catch (NoSuchAlgorithmException e) {


Computed Hash Value: [-123, -58, -93, 72, 112, -53, -53, -40, -74, -116, 104, -32, 13, -58, -121, 62, 68, -105, -20, -79, -5, -103, -62, 115, -53, 87, -67, -73, -46, 33, -55, 25]
(Note: The actual output may vary due to the hashing algorithm and input data.)


In this example, we obtained a MessageDigest object implementing the "SHA-256" algorithm using the getInstance() method. We then provided some input data as a string, converted it to bytes, and computed its hash value using the digest() method of the MessageDigest object. The resulting hash value, represented as a byte array, is then printed to the console.