Creating user defined exceptions

Though Java provides an extensive set of in-built exceptions, there are cases in which we may need to define our own exceptions in order to handle the various application specific errors that we might encounter.

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While defining an user defined exception, we need to take care of the following aspects:

  • The user defined exception class should extend from Exception class.
  • The toString() method should be overridden in the user defined exception class in order to display meaningful information about the exception.

Let us see a simple example to learn how to define and make use of user defined exceptions.

public class NegativeAgeException extends Exception {

    private int age;

    public NegativeAgeException(int age){
        this.age = age;

    public String toString(){
        return "Age cannot be negative" + " " +age ;

public class CustomExceptionTest {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception{

        int age = getAge();

        if (age < 0){
            throw new NegativeAgeException(age);
            System.out.println("Age entered is " + age);

    static int getAge(){
        return -10;

In the CustomExceptionTest class, the age is expected to be a positive number. It would throw the user defined exception NegativeAgeException if the age is assigned a negative number.

At runtime, we get the following exception since the age is a negative number.

Exception in thread "main" Age cannot be negative -10
	at tips.basics.exception.CustomExceptionTest.main(

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