The Life Cycle of Applet in Java with Example - A Comprehensive Guide

Nov 7, 2023

Welcome to, your reliable source for in-depth information on the life cycle of applets in Java. If you're looking to develop interactive and engaging Java applications, understanding the applet life cycle is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the stages of applet initialization, start, stop, and destroy, providing you with a detailed example along the way.

What is an Applet and Why Should You Care?

Before we dive into the applet's life cycle, let's first understand what an applet is. An applet is a Java program that runs within a web browser. It's a powerful tool that allows developers to create dynamic and interactive content on webpages. Whether you're building an online game, a visual simulation, or an educational resource, applets can enhance user experience and add a new level of interactivity to your web applications.

The Applet Life Cycle

Now that you have a basic understanding of what applets are, let's explore their life cycle. The applet life cycle consists of four stages: initialization, start, stop, and destroy. Each stage plays a crucial role in the applet's functioning.

1. Initialization

The first stage of the applet life cycle is the initialization phase. This is where the applet prepares itself for execution. During this stage, the applet's init method is called, which is responsible for initializing the applet's resources, setting up the graphical user interface (GUI), and any other necessary setup tasks.

2. Start

Once the applet is initialized, it moves on to the start stage. The start stage is where the applet becomes visible to the user. In this stage, the start method of the applet is called. Here, you can begin any background processes, load data, or perform any operations required to start the applet's functionality.

3. Stop

The stop stage is triggered when the applet is no longer visible to the user, either because they navigate to a different webpage or minimize the browser window. The stop method of the applet is called during this stage. This is where you can pause or stop any processes or animations, release resources, or perform any necessary cleanup operations.

4. Destroy

The final stage of the applet life cycle is the destroy stage. This stage is reached when the applet is no longer needed and is about to be removed from memory. The destroy method is called during this stage, allowing you to free up resources, close any open connections, or perform final cleanup tasks.

Example: Creating a Simple Interactive Applet

Let's walk through an example to illustrate the applet life cycle. Imagine you want to create a basic applet that displays a button and changes the color of a rectangle when the button is clicked.

Step 1: Initialization

First, in the init method, you would initialize the applet's resources, such as loading images or setting up the GUI components.

Step 2: Start

In the start method, you would add event listeners to the button and handle the logic for changing the color of the rectangle when the button is clicked.

Step 3: Stop

In the stop method, you would remove the event listeners and pause any ongoing processes or animations.

Step 4: Destroy

In the destroy method, you would release any allocated resources and perform final cleanup.

By understanding the applet life cycle and implementing the necessary methods, you can create robust and interactive Java applets that provide a seamless user experience.


In conclusion, the applet life cycle in Java consists of four stages: initialization, start, stop, and destroy. Each stage serves a specific purpose and allows you to control the behavior of your applets. By leveraging the power of applet development, you can create engaging and interactive web applications that captivate your audience.

Thank you for reading this comprehensive guide on the life cycle of applets in Java. We hope you found it informative and helpful in your journey to becoming a proficient Java developer.

life cycle of applet in java with example