Life cycle of a Thread (Thread States)

A thread can be in one of the five states in the thread. According to sun, there is only 4 states new, runnable, non-runnable and terminated. There is no running state. But for better understanding the threads, we are explaining it in the 5 states. The life cycle of the thread is controlled by JVM. The thread states are as follows:

  1. New
  2. Runnable
  3. Running
  4. Non-Runnable (Blocked)
  5. Terminated
life cycle of thread


The thread is in new state if you create an instance of Thread class but before the invocation of start() method.


The thread is in runnable state after invocation of start() method, but the thread scheduler has not selected it to be the running thread.


The thread is in running state if the thread scheduler has selected it.

4)Non-Runnable (Blocked)

This is the state when the thread is still alive, but is currently not eligible to run.


A thread is in terminated or dead state when its run() method exits.

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