String to Char Array Java Tutorial

Thanoshan MV
3 min readMar 23, 2021
Photo by Alex Alvarez on Unsplash.

In this article, we’ll look at how to convert a string to an array of characters in Java. I’ll also briefly explain to you what strings, characters, and arrays are.

What is a Character in Java?

Characters are primitive datatypes. A character is a single character enclosed inside single quotation marks. It can be a letter, a digit, a punctuation mark, a space or something similar. For example:

char firstVowel = 'a';

What is a String in Java?

Strings are objects (reference type). A string is made up of a string of characters. It’s anything inside double quotation marks. For example:

String vowels = "aeiou";

What is an Array in Java?

Arrays are fundamental data structures that can store a fixed number of elements of the same data type in Java. For example, let’s declare an array of characters:

char[] vowelArray = {'a', 'e', 'i', 'o', 'u'};

Now, we have a basic understanding of what strings, characters, and arrays are.

Let’s Convert a String to a Character Array

1. Use toCharArray() Instance Method

toCharArray() is an instance method of the String class. It returns a new character array based on the current string object.

Let’s check out an example:

// define a string
String vowels = "aeiou";
// create an array of characters
char[] vowelArray = vowels.toCharArray();
// print vowelArray

Output: [a, e, i, o, u]

When we convert a string to an array of characters, the length remains the same. Let’s check the length of both vowels and vowelArray :

System.out.println("Length of \'vowels\' is " + vowels.length());
System.out.println("Length of \'vowelArray\' is " + vowelArray.length);


Length of 'vowels' is 5
Length of 'vowelArray' is 5
Thanoshan MV

My notes, findings, thoughts and investigations.