Tag Archives: byte

Reading a File into Byte Array

This example implements a method that reads the entire contents of a file into a byte array.

// Returns the contents of the file in a byte array.
public static byte[] getBytesFromFile(File file) throws IOException {
    InputStream is = new FileInputStream(file);

    // Get the size of the file
    long length = file.length();

    // You cannot create an array using a long type.
    // It needs to be an int type.
    // Before converting to an int type, check
    // to ensure that file is not larger than Integer.MAX_VALUE.
    if (length > Integer.MAX_VALUE) {
        // File is too large

    // Create the byte array to hold the data
    byte[] bytes = new byte[(int)length];

    // Read in the bytes
    int offset = 0;
    int numRead = 0;
    while (offset < bytes.length
           && (numRead=is.read(bytes, offset, bytes.length-offset)) >= 0) {
        offset += numRead;

    // Ensure all the bytes have been read in
    if (offset < bytes.length) {
        throw new IOException("Could not completely read file "+file.getName());

    // Close the input stream and return bytes
    return bytes;