Java: convert a file to a byte array, then convert byte array to a file.

In this post, I will show you how to convert a file to a byte array and then convert a byte array to a file.

To convert a file to byte array, ByteArrayOutputStream class is used. This class implements an output stream in which the data is written into a byte array. The buffer automatically grows as data is written to it. The data can be retrieved using toByteArray() and toString().

To convert byte array back to the original file, FileOutputStream class is used. A file output stream is an output stream for writing data to a File or to a FileDescriptor.

The following code has been fully tested.

import java.util.logging.Level;
import java.util.logging.Logger;
public class genFile {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws FileNotFoundException, IOException {
        File file = new File("java.pdf");
        FileInputStream fis = new FileInputStream(file);
        //System.out.println(file.exists() + "!!");
        //InputStream in = resource.openStream();
        ByteArrayOutputStream bos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
        byte[] buf = new byte[1024];
        try {
            for (int readNum; (readNum = != -1;) {
                bos.write(buf, 0, readNum); //no doubt here is 0
                //Writes len bytes from the specified byte array starting at offset off to this byte array output stream.
                System.out.println("read " + readNum + " bytes,");
        } catch (IOException ex) {
            Logger.getLogger(genJpeg.class.getName()).log(Level.SEVERE, null, ex);
        byte[] bytes = bos.toByteArray();
        //below is the different part
        File someFile = new File("java2.pdf");
        FileOutputStream fos = new FileOutputStream(someFile);

Why would someone like to convert a file to byte array?

There are various applications of this conversion. For example, convert file into byte to save into database, transfer file to other system using web service, etc.

Similarly, you can convert an image to byte array, see this post.

There is a very convenient method from - toByteArray(). Check out some examples here.


1. ByteArrayOutputStream Java Doc
2. FileOutputStream Java Doc

Category >> Real Methods  
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  • Ezhil

    Could u explain how to write the ByteArray (.docx file w already stored in DB as ByteArray ) which am getting from DB into PDF Document

  • Ali Khan

    Best example… Searching for it last 3 days… Many Thanks.. 🙂

  • Ponpandian N Nateshan

    save the doc files as pdf.
    Open the doc file,
    Click File -> Save As,
    In the Save as type: drop down select PDF

  • Pingback: Converter um File para array de byte e, um array de byte para File | FAQ()

  • Dhanush

    Can u please tell me how to convert doc files to pdf

  • Pingback: how to write java data to pdf file()

  • Eloy

    I want to do the same (with Android)… have you found any way??

  • dddddddd


  • i want ot convert audio file into bytes then convert butes array into audio file plz help

  • Bennet

    Awesome and a simple example! Keep the good work up!

  • jorge


  • 李志平

    It used to be a big confusion for me.thank you very much.

  • Thusitha dissanayaka

    Very good code, This is very use full for me, Thanks lot …

  • Steve

    I tried this but the file created was padded with trailing nulls making it unusable. How do I get a file without trailing nulls?

  • Babli

    Thanks a lot. this code solves my problem which I was facing for last 1 week and looking for solution in the net. Thanks a lot again….

  • Admin

    If file size is large, I don’t think it even should be read to a byte array in memory.

  • Daison

    Sir , how can i read large size of file upto 2 GB?

  • Daison

    Nice code. I like it. I will use it . Thanks.

  • rp

    How the byte pass to the bmp image , its give error with methods pls tell me that how it solve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11