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Java: Methods on how to iterate over a List

Following we present a few methods on how to iterate over a List in Java.

Currently we present:

  1. Using a standard for loop
  2. Using an iterator to loop
  3. Using a For-Each loop
  4. Using Streams
ListLooper.java (compressed) (0 downloads)
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Iterator;
import java.util.List;

public class ListLooper {

    public static void main(final String[] argv) {

        final String elementsArray[] = new String[] { "First Element", "Second Element", "Third Element" };
        // First of all we convert an array of Strings to a list of Strings, we do this to avoid adding each element to the list we will use by using the add() method.
        final List<String> elementsList = Arrays.asList(elementsArray);

        // Method 1: Using a standard for loop
        System.out.println("Method 1: Using a standard for loop");
        // We will loop N times, where N is the size of the list.
        // Since the first element of the list is on position 0, we start from that and finish at position N-1.
        for (int i = 0; i < elementsList.size(); i++) {

            // Using get() we retrieve the element at position.
            System.out.println(elementsList.get(i));
        }

        // Method 2: Using an iterator to loop
        System.out.println("Method 2: Using an iterator to loop");
        // The Java iterator is an interface that belongs to the collection framework and allows us to traverse a collection and access the data element of the collection without bothering the user about the implementation details of that collection. 
        final Iterator<String> iterator = elementsList.iterator();
        while (iterator.hasNext()) {

            // next() returns the next element in the collection until the hasNext() method returns false.
            System.out.println(iterator.next());
        }

        // Method 3: Using a For-Each loop
        System.out.println("Method 3: Using a For-Each loop");
        // This code works for any object that implements the Iterable interface.
        for (final String element : elementsList) {

            System.out.println(element);
        }

        // Method 4: Using Streams
        System.out.println("Method 4: Using Streams");
        // This code will not work for Java versions earlier than Java 8.
        elementsList.forEach((element) -> {

            System.out.println(element);
        });
     }
}
ListLooper.java (compressed) (0 downloads)

Compilation and execution are presented in the next section.

javac ListLooper.java;

java ListLooper;
Method 1: Using a standard for loop
First Element
Second Element
Third Element
Method 2: Using an iterator to loop
First Element
Second Element
Third Element
Method 3: Using a For-Each loop
First Element
Second Element
Third Element
Method 4: Using Streams
First Element
Second Element
Third Element

Following is the Java version used in this article

java -version
openjdk version "1.8.0_111"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_111-b16)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.111-b16, mixed mode)