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Difference Between For and While Loop in Java

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If you're someone who finds it difficult to locate the "for" loop and "while" loop in different boxes, all you need right now is to go through this article.

What are the differences between the "for" loop and "while" loop in Java?

In Java, the iterations "or" loop and "while" are pretty different. While the former is used when we're aware of the number of iterations, the latter comes into aid when the volume alterations are unknown. Apart from that, there are other elements that set both of them apart. Walk along to learn more about these.

What is a For Loop in Java?

The “for” loop in Java is a function that is used when you know how many times you need to run it. The iteration generally allows a programmer to come up and execute any specific statement and attain a final condition.

Example of the "for" loop

Int input =5;

for(int i =1; ,= input; i++ )




What is a While Loop in Java?

While loop in java can be defined as a control flow statement that allows a programmer to execute a code repeatedly on the basis of a given specific Boolean condition.

Example of the "while" loop

Int input = 5;

Int i = 1;

while (i ,= input)





Difference Between For and While Loop in Java

Nature of Iteration

In the case of "for loop," the syntax can be executed only when the iteration sits on the very top of the syntax. In comparison, the location of the iteration doesn't matter for the syntax of the "while" loop to get executed.

When to Use

We use the "for" loop when the number of iterations is known. On the other hand, the "while" loop comes into aid when you're unaware of the number of iterations.

Number of Executions

While executing any statement in the "for" loop, we're generally aware of the number of times the execution is required. The case of the "while" loop, on the other hand, is different. It needs execution until the condition is false.

Absence of Condition

The situation of "no condition" behaves differently for both the loops. The "for" loop iterates infinite times. "While" loop under a similar situation displays an error.

Initialization Nature

In the case of the "for" loop, initialization, once done, can never be repeated. For the "while" loop, if you decide to use the initialization while condition checking, the same will be required each and every time when the loop iterates itself.

Comparison Chart: For Loop Vs While Loop in Java

ParametersFor LoopWhile Loop
Nature of iterationIteration needs to be at the top of the loop.Iteration can be placed anywhere.
When to UseWhen number of iterations are known.When the number of iterations is unknown.
Number of ExecutionKnownUntil the condition is false
Absence of ConditionIterates an infinite number of times.Displays error.
Initialization NatureOnce done cannot be repeated.It is required every time the loop iterates itself.

Similarities: How "for" loop is similar to the "while" loop in Java

Yes, it is true that "for" loop and "while" loop are pretty distinct in multiple aspects, but again you can't take away the fact that both "for" loop and "while" loop are iteration statements and are used to satisfy a specific condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better to use in java for loop vs. while loop?

The answer to this question depends upon the situation you’re in. At times you’ll find yourself executing a statement that needs the initialization of the “for” loop and vice versa.


Although the "for" loop and "while" loop are both iterations, there are a number of elements that sit uncommonly. In this article, we've walked through all of those to help you understand what actually differentiates the former from the latter.


Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.
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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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