Skip to content
Related Articles

Related Articles

Improve Article

Bitwise right shift operators in Java

  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 05 Aug, 2018

In C/C++ there is only one right shift operator ‘>>’ which should be used only for positive integers or unsigned integers. Use of right shift operator for negative numbers is not recommended in C/C++, and when used for negative numbers, output is compiler dependent (See this). Unlike C++, Java supports following two right shift operators.

1) >> (Signed right shift) In Java, the operator ‘>>’ is signed right shift operator. All integers are signed in Java, and it is fine to use >> for negative numbers. The operator ‘>>’ uses the sign bit (left most bit) to fill the trailing positions after shift. If the number is negative, then 1 is used as a filler and if the number is positive, then 0 is used as a filler. For example, if binary representation of number is 10….100, then right shifting it by 2 using >> will make it 11…….1.
See following Java programs as example ‘>>’

class Test {
    public static void main(String args[])  {
       int x = -4;
       int y = 4;



2) >>> (Unsigned right shift) In Java, the operator ‘>>>’ is unsigned right shift operator. It always fills 0 irrespective of the sign of the number.

class Test {
    public static void main(String args[])  {
       // x is stored using 32 bit 2's complement form. 
       // Binary representation of -1 is all 1s (111..1)       
       int x = -1;  
       System.out.println(x>>>29);  // The value of 'x>>>29' is 00...0111
       System.out.println(x>>>30);  // The value of 'x>>>30' is 00...0011 
       System.out.println(x>>>31);  // The value of 'x>>>31' is 00...0001 



Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above.

Attention reader! Don’t stop learning now. Get hold of all the important DSA concepts with the DSA Self Paced Course at a student-friendly price and become industry ready.  To complete your preparation from learning a language to DS Algo and many more,  please refer Complete Interview Preparation Course.

In case you wish to attend live classes with experts, please refer DSA Live Classes for Working Professionals and Competitive Programming Live for Students.

My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Recommended Articles
Page :