Convert a byte array to integer in Java and vice versa

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Problem :

I want to store some data into byte arrays in Java. Basically just numbers which can take up to 2 Bytes per number.

I’d like to know how I can convert an integer into a 2 byte long byte array and vice versa. I found a lot of solutions googling but most of them don’t explain what happens in the code. There’s a lot of shifting stuff I don’t really understand so I would appreciate a basic explanation.

Solution :

Use the classes found in the java.nio namespace, in particular, the ByteBuffer. It can do all the work for you.

byte[] arr = { 0x00, 0x01 };
ByteBuffer wrapped = ByteBuffer.wrap(arr); // big-endian by default
short num = wrapped.getShort(); // 1

ByteBuffer dbuf = ByteBuffer.allocate(2);
byte[] bytes = dbuf.array(); // { 0, 1 }

byte[] toByteArray(int value) {
     return  ByteBuffer.allocate(4).putInt(value).array();

byte[] toByteArray(int value) {
    return new byte[] { 
        (byte)(value >> 24),
        (byte)(value >> 16),
        (byte)(value >> 8),
        (byte)value };

int fromByteArray(byte[] bytes) {
     return ByteBuffer.wrap(bytes).getInt();
// packing an array of 4 bytes to an int, big endian, minimal parentheses
// operator precedence: <<, &, | 
// when operators of equal precedence (here bitwise OR) appear in the same expression, they are evaluated from left to right
int fromByteArray(byte[] bytes) {
     return bytes[0] << 24 | (bytes[1] & 0xFF) << 16 | (bytes[2] & 0xFF) << 8 | (bytes[3] & 0xFF);

// packing an array of 4 bytes to an int, big endian, clean code
int fromByteArray(byte[] bytes) {
     return ((bytes[0] & 0xFF) << 24) | 
            ((bytes[1] & 0xFF) << 16) | 
            ((bytes[2] & 0xFF) << 8 ) | 
            ((bytes[3] & 0xFF) << 0 );

When packing signed bytes into an int, each byte needs to be masked off because it is sign-extended to 32 bits (rather than zero-extended) due to the arithmetic promotion rule (described in JLS, Conversions and Promotions).

There’s an interesting puzzle related to this described in Java Puzzlers (“A Big Delight in Every Byte”) by Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter . When comparing a byte value to an int value, the byte is sign-extended to an int and then this value is compared to the other int

byte[] bytes = (…)
if (bytes[0] == 0xFF) {
   // dead code, bytes[0] is in the range [-128,127] and thus never equal to 255

Note that all numeric types are signed in Java with exception to char being a 16-bit unsigned integer type.

You can also use BigInteger for variable length bytes. You can convert it to long, int or short, whichever suits your needs.

new BigInteger(bytes).intValue();

or to denote polarity:

new BigInteger(1, bytes).intValue();

To get bytes back just:

new BigInteger(bytes).toByteArray()

A basic implementation would be something like this:

public class Test {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        int[] input = new int[] { 0x1234, 0x5678, 0x9abc };
        byte[] output = new byte[input.length * 2];

        for (int i = 0, j = 0; i < input.length; i++, j+=2) {
            output[j] = (byte)(input[i] & 0xff);
            output[j+1] = (byte)((input[i] >> 8) & 0xff);

        for (int i = 0; i < output.length; i++)

In order to understand things you can read this WP article:

The above source code will output 34 12 78 56 bc 9a. The first 2 bytes (34 12) represent the first integer, etc. The above source code encodes integers in little endian format.

/** length should be less than 4 (for int) **/
public long byteToInt(byte[] bytes, int length) {
        int val = 0;
        if(length>4) throw new RuntimeException("Too big to fit in int");
        for (int i = 0; i < length; i++) {
            val=val|(bytes[i] & 0xFF);
        return val;

As often, guava has what you need.

To go from byte array to int: Ints.fromBytesArray, doc here

To go from int to byte array: Ints.toByteArray, doc here

Someone with a requirement where they have to read from bits, lets say you have to read from only 3 bits but you need signed integer then use following:

data is of type: java.util.BitSet

new BigInteger(data.toByteArray).intValue() << 32 - 3 >> 32 - 3

The magic number 3 can be replaced with the number of bits (not bytes) you are using.

i think this is a best mode to cast to int

   public int ByteToint(Byte B){
        String comb;
        int out=0;
        salida= Integer.parseInt(comb);
        return out;

first comvert byte to String


next step is comvert to a int

out= Integer.parseInt(comb);

but byte is in rage of -128 to 127 for this reasone, i think is better use rage 0 to 255 and you only need to do this:


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