What does the String intern() method do in Java?

By | March 5, 2023

In Java, the intern() method is a method defined in the java.lang.String class that returns a canonical representation of the string. When the intern() method is called on a string, Java checks if a string with the same value is already present in the “string pool”, which is a special area of memory where Java stores all literal strings and string values that have been interned.

If a string with the same value already exists in the pool, then the intern() method returns a reference to that string. If the string is not already present in the pool, then Java adds it to the pool and returns a reference to the newly added string.

The intern() method can be useful for optimizing memory usage, especially when dealing with many string literals or strings with repeated values. By using intern(), you can ensure that only one instance of a given string value exists in memory, rather than creating multiple copies of the same value.

However, it is important to use intern() judiciously, as excessive use can lead to increased memory usage and potential performance issues. Additionally, the intern() method can have different behavior depending on the JVM implementation, so it is important to test and benchmark your code to ensure that intern() is providing the expected benefits.

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