Difference Between Error and Exception in Java

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Difference between error and exception in JAVA is that an error is caused by a lack of system resources, whereas your code causes an exception. In Java, the classes java.lang.Exception and java.lang.Error are members of the java.lang.Throwable class. However, there are some fundamental difference between error and exception in JAVA. While the java.lang.Error class represents errors, particularly those attributed to the application’s runtime environment, the java.lang.Exception class considers exceptions attributed to the application itself.

Difference between error and exception in JAVA PDF

Let’s look at some more differences between error and exception in JAVA, along with a comparison chart and a brief description of error and exception.

Difference Between Error and Exception in JAVA

The table provided below shows the difference between error and exception in JAVA based on recoverable, timing, etc. These differences help understand Errors and Exceptions in Java for the upcoming GATE exam and provide a strong base for exam preparation.

Key Differences Between Error and Exception in JAVA



An error can be considered an explosion when no defense or checks against a specific failure condition exists.

An exception can be thought of as the last line of defense against errors.

An error can potentially terminate your program and possibly your entire system.

When an exceptional case occurs, an exception has the ability to disrupt the normal flow of the program and redirect it to another location.

Errors are classified into three types: syntax errors, runtime errors, and logical errors.

Exceptions are classified into two types: Exceptions, both checked and unchecked

At runtime, an error cannot be handled.

At runtime, an exception can be handled.

An error can occur both during compilation and during runtime.

Even though all Exceptions occur during runtime, checked exceptions can be detected at compile time.

An error is an unpredictable event that no one can predict or control.

An exception can be guessed, handled, and used to alter the program’s original flow.

What is Error?

An error is a sudden occurrence that cannot be handled at runtime. Errors can cause your program to crash. Most programs are incapable of recovering from errors. Errors cannot be detected or corrected. They are usually the result of the environment in which the code is running. Based on this concept, various questions can be seen in the previous year’s GATE CSE exam. Error handling is beyond the scope of a program. It is possible to handle it externally.

Errors are classified into three types:

  • Syntax Error
  • Runtime Error
  • Logical Error

What is an Exception?

An exception is an event that occurs that can disrupt the normal flow of program instructions. Exceptions can be caught and handled, so the program continues to work for the exceptional situation rather than stop it.

If the exception is not handled properly, the program may be terminated. Exceptions can be used to indicate that a program error has occurred. There are 2 types of Exceptions:

  • Checked Exceptions
  • Unchecked Exceptions
Related GATE Notes
Responsivity Types Of Governors
SR Flip-Flop Types Of Vibration
Norton’s Theorem Welded Joints
P N Junction Diode Round Robin Scheduling
Classless Addressing Scaling In Computer Graphics
Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium