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Java detect when application is closing

I learned Java for about 1 year some years ago. Now I wanted to go back to it, but my skills got a bit rusty. So I’m using Eclipse with the WindowBuilder to make an easy Form Application to get started again. I wanted to get a popup window when I exit the application because in future projects I need to execute some code when the application is being exited by another way than my own exit button (for example via the red cross or Alt+F4).

So this is my code so far:

import java.awt.EventQueue;

import javax.swing.JFrame;
import javax.swing.JOptionPane;
import javax.swing.JButton;
import java.awt.BorderLayout;
import java.awt.event.ActionListener;
import java.awt.event.ActionEvent;

public class Mainframe {

private JFrame frame;

 * Launch the application.
public static void main(String[] args) {

    Runtime.getRuntime().addShutdownHook(new Thread()
        public void run()
            JOptionPane.showConfirmDialog(null, "Do you", "Message", 
            MessageBox.infoBox("YOUR INFORMATION HERE", "TITLE BAR MESSAGE");

    EventQueue.invokeLater(new Runnable() {
        public void run() {
            try {
                Mainframe window = new Mainframe();
            } catch (Exception e) {


 * Create the application.
public Mainframe() {

 * Initialize the contents of the frame.
private void initialize() {
    frame = new JFrame();
    frame.setBounds(100, 100, 450, 300);

    JButton btnNewButton = new JButton("New button");
    btnNewButton.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
        public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent arg0) {

    frame.getContentPane().add(btnNewButton, BorderLayout.SOUTH);


I used the code for the “when the Application is being exited” from this example, but no matter how I close it, no “Messagebox is appearing”. When I use the code for the MessageBoxes directly after the main void, the MessageBoxes appear, so I guess I missplaced the ShutdownHook.

I would really appreciate if anybody can help me fix this problem.


The shutdown hook is meant to perform certain actions (such as closing database connections and shutting down threads) once the application has been shut down (be it by a System.exit call or a kill signal from the OS). It is not meant to be used for these kinds of dialogs.

You will want to add a WindowListener to your JFrame, and perform an action on the windowClosing and/or windowClosed events. In this listener, you can then display a dialog or whatever you wish.

If you wish to be able to override the closing of the window, you can find details on how to do so on this question.