Java System clearProperty() Method

The System.clearProperty() method in Java is used to remove a system property that is specified by a given key.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. clearProperty() Method Syntax
  3. Examples
    • Basic Usage
    • Handling Non-Existent Properties
  4. Real-World Use Case
  5. Conclusion


The System.clearProperty() method is a member of the System class in Java. It removes the system property indicated by the specified key. If the property does not exist, the method simply returns null. This method is useful for managing system properties dynamically within your application.

clearProperty() Method Syntax

The syntax for the clearProperty() method is as follows:

public static String clearProperty(String key)


  • key: The name of the system property to be removed.


  • The previous string value of the system property, or null if the property did not exist.


  • SecurityException if a security manager exists and its checkPropertyAccess method doesn't allow access to the specified system property.


Basic Usage

To demonstrate the basic usage of clearProperty(), we will first set a system property and then clear it.


public class ClearPropertyExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Set a system property
        System.setProperty("", "exampleValue");

        // Print the property value
        System.out.println("Property before clearing: " + System.getProperty(""));

        // Clear the system property
        String previousValue = System.clearProperty("");

        // Print the previous value and the current property value
        System.out.println("Previous property value: " + previousValue);
        System.out.println("Property after clearing: " + System.getProperty(""));


Property before clearing: exampleValue
Previous property value: exampleValue
Property after clearing: null

Handling Non-Existent Properties

If you try to clear a property that does not exist, the method returns null.


public class NonExistentPropertyExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Attempt to clear a non-existent property
        String previousValue = System.clearProperty("");

        // Print the result
        if (previousValue == null) {
            System.out.println("Property '' did not exist.");
        } else {
            System.out.println("Previous property value: " + previousValue);


Property '' did not exist.

Real-World Use Case

Dynamic Configuration Management

In a real-world scenario, the clearProperty() method can be used to dynamically manage configuration properties. For instance, you might want to clear a system property after it has been used to ensure that it does not affect subsequent operations.


public class ConfigurationManager {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Set a system property for configuration
        System.setProperty("config.mode", "development");

        // Retrieve and use the property
        String mode = System.getProperty("config.mode");
        if ("development".equals(mode)) {
            System.out.println("Running in development mode");

        // Clear the property after use

        // Verify that the property has been cleared
        if (System.getProperty("config.mode") == null) {
            System.out.println("Configuration mode property has been cleared.");


Running in development mode
Configuration mode property has been cleared.


The System.clearProperty() method in Java provides a way to remove a system property specified by a given key. By understanding how to use this method, you can effectively manage system properties within your Java applications. Whether you are dynamically managing configuration settings or ensuring that system properties do not interfere with subsequent operations, the clearProperty() method offers a straightforward and powerful tool for handling system properties in Java.