interrupt() - Method to Terminate Thread

This section provides a tutorial example on how to terminate running threads with the interrupt() method.

There are 3 ways to terminate a thread:

The following program demonstrates all the 3 ways of terminating a thread. The program is design to work at a timer. It can be set to run for a given number of minutes. Once it started, the program creates 3 sub-threads:

 * Copyright (c) All Rights Reserved.
import java.util.*;
import java.text.*;
class TimerThread extends Thread {
   private static final int NORMAL_CLOCK = 1;
   private static final int COUNT_DOWN = 2;
   private static final int STOP_WATCH = 3;
   private int type; // type of clock
   private int c_millisecond, c_second, c_minute, c_hour;
   private static int remaining_minutes = 5;
   private static int clock_interval = 100; // in milliseconds < 1000
   public static void main(String[] a) {
      System.out.println("Normal clock Stop watch   Count-down");
      TimerThread normal_clock = new TimerThread(NORMAL_CLOCK);
      TimerThread count_down = new TimerThread(COUNT_DOWN);
      TimerThread stop_watch = new TimerThread(STOP_WATCH);
      while (count_down.isAlive()) {
         System.out.print(normal_clock.getClock()+" "+
            stop_watch.getClock()+" "+ count_down.getClock()+"\r");
         try {
         } catch (InterruptedException e) {
   public TimerThread(int t) {
      type = t;
      if (type==NORMAL_CLOCK) {
         GregorianCalendar c = new GregorianCalendar();
         c_hour = c.get(Calendar.HOUR_OF_DAY);
         c_minute = c.get(Calendar.MINUTE);
         c_second = c.get(Calendar.SECOND);
         c_millisecond = c.get(Calendar.MILLISECOND);
      } else if (type==COUNT_DOWN) {
         c_hour = remaining_minutes/60;
         c_minute = remaining_minutes%60;
         c_second = 0;
         c_millisecond = 0;
      } else {
         c_hour = 0;
         c_minute = 0;
         c_second = 0;
         c_millisecond = 0;
   public void run() {
      while (!isInterrupted()) {
         try {
         } catch (InterruptedException e) {
            break; // the main thread wants this thread to end
         if (type==NORMAL_CLOCK || type==STOP_WATCH)
            c_millisecond +=clock_interval;
         else c_millisecond -= clock_interval;
         if (c_millisecond>=1000) {
            c_second += c_millisecond/1000;
            c_millisecond = c_millisecond%1000;
         if (c_second>=60) {
            c_minute += c_second/60;
            c_second = c_second%60;
         if (c_minute>=60) {
            c_hour += c_minute/60;
            c_minute = c_minute%60;
         if (c_millisecond<0) {
            c_millisecond += 1000;
         if (c_second<0) {
            c_second += 60;
         if (c_minute<0) {
            c_minute += 60;
         if (c_hour<0) {
            c_hour = 0;
            break; // end this thread
   private String getClock() {
      // returning the clock as a string of HH:mm:ss:SSS format
      GregorianCalendar c = new GregorianCalendar();
      SimpleDateFormat f = new SimpleDateFormat("HH:mm:ss:SSS");
      return f.format(c.getTime());

Threads in this program will be terminated in the following sequence:

Please also note that:

Output of one execution of my program:

Normal clock  Stop watch    Count-down
21:19:13:764  00:05:00:000  00:00:00:000

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 JDK - Java Development Kit

 Execution Process, Entry Point, Input and Output

 Primitive Data Types and Literals

 Control Flow Statements

 Bits, Bytes, Bitwise and Shift Operations

 Managing Bit Strings in Byte Arrays

 Reference Data Types and Variables

 Enum Types and Enum Constants

 StringBuffer - The String Buffer Class

 System Properties and Runtime Object Methods

 Generic Classes and Parameterized Types

 Generic Methods and Type Inference

 Lambda Expressions and Method References

 Java Modules - Java Package Aggregation

Execution Threads and Multi-Threading Java Programs

 What Are Processes and Threads

 The "Thread" Class - Creating Thread Objects With Thread Sub Classes

 The "Runnable" Interface - Creating Thread Objects with Runnable Objects

 CPU Execution Time Shared by Multiple Threads

 CPU Execution Time Shared by Multiple Threads - Test Output

 Application Data Shared by Multiple Threads

 Application Data Shared by Multiple Threads - Test Results

interrupt() - Method to Terminate Thread

 ThreadGroup Class and "system" ThreadGroup Tree

 Synchronization Technique and Synchronized Code Blocks

 Deadlock Condition Example Programs

 Garbage Collection and the gc() Method

 Assert Statements and -ea" Option

 Annotation Statements and Declarations

 Java Related Terminologies

 Archived Tutorials


 Full Version in PDF/EPUB