Kotlin Throw Exceptions Handling

Exception handling is an essential aspect of writing robust and reliable code in any programming language. In Kotlin, just like in many other programming languages, you can throw and catch Exceptions to handle unexpected situations gracefully.

In this article, we’ll explore how to throw exceptions in Kotlin, along with some best practices and examples.

What is an Exception ?

An exception is an event that occurs during the execution of a program and disrupts the normal flow of the program’s instructions.

Exceptions are typically caused by errors or unexpected conditions and need to be handled properly to ensure that your program doesn’t crash.

Throwing an Exception in Kotlin

In Kotlin, you can throw an exception using the throw keyword, followed by an instance of a class that inherits from the Throwable class or one of its subclasses.

Here’s the basic syntax for throwing an exception:

throw SomeException("This is the error message")

Let’s break down this syntax:

  • throw: This keyword tells Kotlin that you are intentionally causing an exception.
  • SomeException: Replace this with the specific exception type you want to throw. Kotlin provides various built-in exception classes, and you can also create your custom exceptions by extending the Throwable class or its subclasses.
  • "This is the error message": This is an optional message that provides additional information about the exception. It’s a good practice to include a descriptive message to help with debugging.

Example: Throwing a Custom Exception

Let’s create a custom exception class and then throw an instance of it. Suppose you are building a file processing application, and you want to handle the case where a file is not found.

Here’s how you can define a custom exception and throw it:

class FileNotFoundException(message: String) : Exception(message)

fun findFile(filePath: String): String {
    // Imagine some code that tries to find the file
    val file = /* ... */
    if (file == null) {
        throw FileNotFoundException("File not found: $filePath")
    return file

In this example:

  • We define a custom exception class FileNotFoundException that inherits from the built-in Exception class.
  • We create a function findFile that takes a filePath as an argument.
  • Inside the findFile function, if the file is not found (in this simplified example, we’re using a null check to simulate this), we throw an instance of our custom exception, providing a meaningful error message.

Handling Thrown Exceptions

try {
    // Code that might throw an exception
} catch (e: SomeException) {
    // Handle the exception
} finally {
    // Optional code to run regardless of whether an exception was thrown
  • try: Enclose the code that might throw an exception inside a try block.
  • catch (e: SomeException): Define a catch block to catch the specific exception type (SomeException in this case). You can have multiple catch blocks to handle different exception types.
  • finally: You can optionally include a finally block that contains code to run regardless of whether an exception was thrown. This block is useful for cleanup operations.

Here’s an example of catching the FileNotFoundException we defined earlier:

fun main() {
    val filePath = "nonexistent.txt"
    try {
        val file = findFile(filePath)
        println("File found: $file")
    } catch (e: FileNotFoundException) {
        println("Error: ${e.message}")
    } finally {
        println("Cleanup code here")

In this example:

  • We call the findFile function with a file path that does not exist.
  • Inside the try block, we attempt to find the file, which throws a FileNotFoundException.
  • The catch block catches the exception and prints the error message.
  • The finally block is executed, allowing us to perform cleanup operations or any necessary tasks.


Exception handling is a critical aspect of writing robust and reliable Kotlin code. By understanding how to throw and catch exceptions, you can gracefully handle unexpected situations in your applications, preventing crashes and improving the overall user experience. Remember to provide meaningful error messages and consider creating custom exceptions when necessary to make your code more expressive and maintainable.

In summary, here are the key takeaways:

  • Use the throw keyword to throw exceptions in Kotlin.
  • Create custom exception classes when you need to handle specific error conditions.
  • Catch exceptions using try-catch blocks to handle them gracefully.
  • Optionally, use a finally block for cleanup operations that should run regardless of whether an exception was thrown.

With these techniques, you’ll be better equipped to write Kotlin code that handles exceptions effectively and provides a smoother experience for your users.

Related Posts

Error Handling Try-Catch in Kotlin

Kotlin Array Example

Exploring Kotlin Ranges with Examples

Exploring the Kotlin main() Function

Loop statements in Kotlin

Kotlin Throw Exceptions Handling
Scroll to top