Validate Email Address with Java Regular Expression example

Email validation is a very frequent requirement in many applications. Basically the main policy that email format follows is that it:

  • Has to start with characters, digits or ‘_’, ‘-‘, ‘+’ symbols
  • The above group can be followed with a ‘.’ and the same pattern as the first group.
  • Then it must have exactly one ‘@’ character.
  • The domain name must start with characters, digits and the ‘-‘ character.
  • Then it must be followed by a ‘.’.
  • After the ‘.’ you can have characters and digits.
  • Optionally you  can have a second level Top Level Domain that can start with a ‘.’ and the contain only characters.

This is the regular expression used for email validation:


You can take a look at the Pattern class documentation to learn how to construct your own regular expressions according to your policy.

1. Validator class

This is the class that we are going to use for email format validation.


import java.util.regex.Matcher;
import java.util.regex.Pattern;

public class EmailFormatValidator {

	private Pattern pattern;
	private Matcher matcher;

	private static final String EMAIL_PATTERN = "^[_A-Za-z0-9-\\+]+(\\.[_A-Za-z0-9-]+)*@"
			+ "[A-Za-z0-9-]+(\\.[A-Za-z0-9]+)*(\\.[A-Za-z]{2,})$";

	public EmailFormatValidator() {
		pattern = Pattern.compile(EMAIL_PATTERN);

	public boolean validate(final String email) {

		matcher = pattern.matcher(email);
		return matcher.matches();


2. Unit Testing our EmailFormatValidator class

For unit testing we are going to use JUnit. Unit testing is very important in these situations because they provide good feedback about the correctness of our regular expressions. You can test your program and reassure that your regular expression meets the rules on your policy about the form of the email addresses.

This is a basic test class:


import static org.junit.Assert.*;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Collection;

import org.junit.BeforeClass;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.junit.runners.Parameterized;
import org.junit.runners.Parameterized.Parameters;

public class EmailFormatValidatorTest {

	private String arg;
	private static EmailFormatValidator emailFormatValidator;
	private Boolean expectedValidation;

	public EmailFormatValidatorTest(String str, Boolean expectedValidation) {
		this.arg = str;
		this.expectedValidation = expectedValidation;

	public static void initialize() {
		emailFormatValidator = new EmailFormatValidator();

	public static Collection<Object[]> data() {
		Object[][] data = new Object[][] {
				{ "",false },    // it's not allowed to have a digit in the second level tld
				{ "", false },         // you cannot have @ twice in the address
				{ "java!!!", false },          // you cannot the have special character '!' in the address
				{ "", false },                  // tld cannot start with a dot
				{ "", false },             // must contain a @ character and a tld
				{ "", false },     // the address cannot start with a dot
				{ "", false }, // you cannot have double dots in your address

				{ "",true },                         
				{ "", true },
				{ "", true },
				{ "", true } };

		return Arrays.asList(data);

	public void test() {
		Boolean res = emailFormatValidator.validate(this.arg);
		String validv = (res) ? "valid" : "invalid";
		System.out.println("Hex Color Code "+arg+ " is " + validv);
		assertEquals("Result", this.expectedValidation, res);




Hex Color Code is invalid
Hex Color Code is invalid
Hex Color Code java!!! is invalid
Hex Color Code is invalid
Hex Color Code is invalid
Hex Color Code is invalid
Hex Color Code is invalid
Hex Color Code is valid
Hex Color Code is valid
Hex Color Code is valid
Hex Color Code is valid

This was an example on how to perform email address format validation with Java Regular Expression.

Nikos Maravitsas

Nikos has graduated from the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. During his studies he discovered his interests about software development and he has successfully completed numerous assignments in a variety of fields. Currently, his main interests are system’s security, parallel systems, artificial intelligence, operating systems, system programming, telecommunications, web applications, human – machine interaction and mobile development.
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