Java (programming language)

How to Sort Arrays in Java


Sorting arrays is a fundamental task in programming that involves arranging elements in a specific order. Java offers various built-in methods and algorithms to efficiently sort arrays, making it essential to understand these techniques for data manipulation.

Methods for Sorting Arrays

1. Arrays.sort() Method

  • Overview: Java’s utility class Arrays provides the sort() method for sorting arrays.
  • Usage: Arrays.sort(arrayName)
  • Features:
    • Handles primitive data types and objects that implement the Comparable interface.
    • Uses a highly efficient sorting algorithm (typically a tuned quicksort).

2. Sorting with a Loop

  • Approach: Manually implement sorting algorithms using loops for control flow.
  • Examples:
    • Bubble Sort
    • Selection Sort
    • Insertion Sort

3. Comparator Interface

  • Purpose: Define custom sorting criteria for objects that don’t implement Comparable or require non-standard sorting.
  • Usage: Create a class that implements Comparator and override the compare() method.
  • Example:


// Custom comparator for sorting strings in reverse order
class ReverseStringComparator implements Comparator<String> {
    public int compare(String s1, String s2) {
        return s2.compareTo(s1); // Reverse the comparison

// Usage:
Arrays.sort(stringsArray, new ReverseStringComparator());

Choosing the Right Method

  • Arrays.sort() is often the most convenient and efficient choice for simple sorting tasks.
  • Manual sorting algorithms provide flexibility for specific requirements or learning purposes.
  • Comparators offer customization for non-standard sorting or comparing objects without a natural order.

Additional Considerations

  • Time Complexity: Consider the time complexity of different sorting algorithms for large datasets.
  • Stability: Choose a stable sorting algorithm if the original order of equal elements needs to be preserved.
  • In-place vs. Out-of-place: Some algorithms sort elements within the original array (in-place), while others create a new sorted array (out-of-place).


Java provides a variety of tools for sorting arrays, each with its advantages and considerations. By understanding the available methods, their characteristics, and factors like time complexity and stability, you can make informed decisions to achieve efficient and accurate sorting in your Java applications.


Learn coding the easy way. Find programming guides, examples and solutions with explanations.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button