Create file chooser dialog

In this tutorial we are going to learn how to create a File Chooser Dialog in a Java Desktop Application. We all use file chooser dialogs on a daily basis. It is a very important component when you want to upload a file or to process a file in a GUI Application, because it lets the user choose the file he wants very easily.

Basically, to create a file chooser dialog, one should follow these steps:

  • Create a new JFrame.
  • Use getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout()) to set flow layout for the frame.
  • Create a new JButton that will fire up the file chooser.
  • Add a new ActionListener to the button. Override the actionPerformed method. Now every time the user pressed the button, this method will fire up. Inside this method we are going to create the pop up dialog.
  • To create that dialog, create a new JFileChooser to a file path.
  • Use showOpenDialog to pop up an “Open File” file chooser dialog.
  • Use showSaveDialog to pop up a “Save File” file chooser dialog.

Let’s see the code snippet that follows:

package com.javacodegeeks.snippets.desktop;

import java.awt.FlowLayout;
import java.awt.event.ActionEvent;
import java.awt.event.ActionListener;
import java.io.File;

import javax.swing.JButton;
import javax.swing.JFileChooser;
import javax.swing.JFrame;

public class CreateColorChooserDialog {

	private static final long serialVersionUID = 1L;

	private static void createAndShowGUI() {

		// Create and set up the window.
		final JFrame frame = new JFrame("Centered");

		// Display the window.
		frame.setSize(200, 200);

		// set flow layout for the frame
		frame.getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());

		JButton button = new JButton("Choose file/directory");

		button.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
			public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {



	private static void createFileChooser(final JFrame frame) {

		String filename = File.separator+"tmp";
		JFileChooser fileChooser = new JFileChooser(new File(filename));

		// pop up an "Open File" file chooser dialog

		System.out.println("File to open: " + fileChooser.getSelectedFile());

		// pop up an "Save File" file chooser dialog

		System.out.println("File to save: " + fileChooser.getSelectedFile());


	public static void main(String[] args) {

  //Schedule a job for the event-dispatching thread:

  //creating and showing this application's GUI.

  javax.swing.SwingUtilities.invokeLater(new Runnable() {

public void run() {





This was an example on how to create a file chooser dialog in a Java Desktop Application.

Ilias Tsagklis

Ilias is a software developer turned online entrepreneur. He is co-founder and Executive Editor at Java Code Geeks.
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