How to use Java property files?


I have a list of key/value pairs of configuration values I want to store as Java property files, and later load and iterate through.


  • Do I need to store the file in the same package as the class which will load them, or is there any specific location where it should be placed?
  • Does the file need to end in any specific extension or is .txt OK?
  • How can I load the file in the code
  • And how can I iterate through the values inside?
9/16/2016 12:30:11 PM

Accepted Answer

You can pass an InputStream to the Property, so your file can pretty much be anywhere, and called anything.

Properties properties = new Properties();
try {
  properties.load(new FileInputStream("path/filename"));
} catch (IOException e) {

Iterate as:

for(String key : properties.stringPropertyNames()) {
  String value = properties.getProperty(key);
  System.out.println(key + " => " + value);
4/2/2012 12:36:54 PM

  • You can store the file anywhere you like. If you want to keep it in your jar file, you'll want to use Class.getResourceAsStream() or ClassLoader.getResourceAsStream() to access it. If it's on the file system it's slightly easier.

  • Any extension is fine, although .properties is more common in my experience

  • Load the file using Properties.load, passing in an InputStream or a StreamReader if you're using Java 6. (If you are using Java 6, I'd probably use UTF-8 and a Reader instead of the default ISO-8859-1 encoding for a stream.)

  • Iterate through it as you'd iterate through a normal Hashtable (which Properties derives from), e.g. using keySet(). Alternatively, you can use the enumeration returned by propertyNames().


If you put the properties file in the same package as class Foo, you can easily load it with

new Properties().load(Foo.class.getResourceAsStream(""))

Given that Properties extends Hashtable you can iterate over the values in the same manner as you would in a Hashtable.

If you use the *.properties extension you can get editor support, e.g. Eclipse has a properties file editor.


There are many ways to create and read properties files:

  1. Store the file in the same package.
  2. Recommend .properties extension however you can choose your own.
  3. Use theses classes located at java.util package => Properties, ListResourceBundle, ResourceBundle classes.
  4. To read properties, use iterator or enumerator or direct methods of Properties or java.lang.System class.

ResourceBundle class:

 ResourceBundle rb = ResourceBundle.getBundle("prop"); //

Properties class:

Properties ps = new Properties();

This load the properties file:

Properties prop = new Properties();
InputStream stream = ...; //the stream to the file
try {
} finally {

I use to put the .properties file in a directory where I have all the configuration files, I do not put it together with the class that accesses it, but there are no restrictions here.

For the name... I use .properties for verbosity sake, I don't think you should name it .properties if you don't want.



Properties pro = new Properties();
FileInputStream in = new FileInputStream("D:/prop/");
String temp1[];
String temp2[];
// getting values from property file
String username = pro.getProperty("usernamev3");//key value in prop file 
String password = pro.getProperty("passwordv3");//eg. username="zub"
String delimiter = ",";                         //password="abc"

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