Java – Generating a list of files ordered newest to oldest

I recently had a situation where I needed an ordered list of file names by newest to oldest so I thought I would share the code. This uses the last modified date as in my case that worked and as doesn’t provide the created date only last modified.

First a method which returns an ArrayList of all files within a given directory.

public static ArrayList listFiles(String directoryName) {
		File directory = new File(directoryName);

		ArrayList filenames = new ArrayList();

		// get all the files from a directory
		File[] fList = directory.listFiles();
  		if (fList != null) {
       			for (File file : fList) {
           				if (file.isFile()) {
           				} else if (file.isDirectory()) {
		return filenames;

We will then call the above method when building the ordered list of files. As below;

public static Map<String, Long> orderedListOfFiles(String directoryName) {
		Map<String, Long> fileMap = new HashMap<String, Long>();

		// get all the files from a directory
		ArrayList filePaths = listFiles(directoryName);
		for (String path: filePaths) {
     			File file = new File(path);
     			fileMap.put(path, file.lastModified());
		List<Map.Entry<String, Long>> list = new LinkedList<Map.Entry<String, Long>>(fileMap.entrySet());
		Collections.sort(list, new Comparator<Map.Entry<String, Long>>() {

				public int compare(Map.Entry<String, Long> m1, Map.Entry<String, Long> m2) {
					if (m1.getValue() > m2.getValue())
	            		return -1;
	                return 1;

		  Map<String, Long> result = new LinkedHashMap<String, Long>();
	        for (Map.Entry<String, Long> entry : list) {
	            result.put(entry.getKey(), entry.getValue());
		return result;

To switch oldest to newest simply modify the compare method implemented inside the Comparator class.

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