Master 90-Degree Matrix Rotation in Java – Ultimate Guide

Problem Statement

You are given a 2D matrix (n x n) representing an image or matrix. Rotate the matrix by 90 degrees (clockwise). You have to rotate the image or matrix in place, which means you have to modify the input matrix directly. Do not allocate another matrix and do the rotation.

Rotation by 90 Degree Example

Optimal Solution for rotation by 90 Degree

The optimal solution to rotating a matrix by 90 degrees is to use the following algorithm:

  1. Reverse the rows of the matrix.
  2. Transpose the matrix.

Reversing rows and transposing a matrix are both relatively simple operations, achievable in a single pass through the matrix. This makes the optimal solution to rotating a matrix by 90 degrees very efficient.

Java Implementation for rotation by 90 degrees

import java.util.Arrays;
public class OptimalMatrixRotation {
    public static void rotateMatrixClockwise(int[][] matrix) {
        int n = matrix.length;

        // Reverse the rows
        for (int i = 0; i < n; i++) {
            for (int j = 0; j < n / 2; j++) {
                int temp = matrix[i][j];
                matrix[i][j] = matrix[i][n - 1 - j];
                matrix[i][n - 1 - j] = temp;

        // Transpose the matrix
        for (int i = 0; i < n; i++) {
            for (int j = i + 1; j < n; j++) {
                int temp = matrix[i][j];
                matrix[i][j] = matrix[j][i];
                matrix[j][i] = temp;

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        int[][] matrix = {
                {1, 2, 3},
                {4, 5, 6},
                {7, 8, 9}

        System.out.println("Original Matrix:");
        for (int[] row : matrix) {


    System.out.println("Matrix after 90-degree clockwise rotation:");
        for (int[] row : matrix) {
Rotation by 90 Degrees

Time Complexity: O(N*N) + O(N*N). The first one, O(N*N), is for transposing the matrix, and the second one is for reversing the matrix.

Space Complexity: O(1).

Benefits of the Optimal Solution

The optimal solution for matrix rotation in Java programming offers several advantages:

  • Efficiency: The combination of transpose and row reversal minimizes the number of operations, making it highly efficient for large matrices.
  • In-Place: The rotation is performed in-place, meaning no additional memory is required, making it memory-efficient.
  • Simplicity: The straightforward implementation allows for easy integration into various applications.


As a Java developer, adding this essential technique to your toolkit will empower you to tackle complex matrix rotation challenges with ease. Embrace the power of the optimal solution, which offers a time complexity of O(n^2), and grow your Java programming skills to new heights!

I hope this article has been helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions or contact us.

Show 1 Comment

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *