Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

In computer programming, an exception is a special condition encountered during program execution that is unexpected or anomalous. For example, if the program tries to open a file from disk, but the file does not exist or there is a disk read error, this condition is an exception. Exceptions must be anticipated by the programmer and properly handled in the program code, branching program execution as appropriate to avoid a fatal error. This aspect of computer programming is known as exception handling.

Fatal exception, Programming terms