Spring: destroy prototype beans

Prototype-scoped beans destruction is not managed by Spring container (only construction is managed). But we can manage it ourselves with Spring BeanPostProcessors.

In previos post (Spring Bean PostProcessors) we considered some trivial examples of using BeanPostProcessor. Now let’s consider more interesting case - destruction of prototype-scoped beans. The reason for this is that Spring does not manage desctruction phase of prototype-scoped beans, as it is mentioned in the docs: 7.5.2 The prototype scope:

In contrast to the other scopes, Spring does not manage the complete lifecycle of a prototype bean: the container instantiates, configures, and otherwise assembles a prototype object, and hands it to the client, with no further record of that prototype instance. Thus, although initialization lifecycle callback methods are called on all objects regardless of scope, in the case of prototypes, configured destruction lifecycle callbacks are not called. The client code must clean up prototype-scoped objects and release expensive resources that the prototype bean(s) are holding.

And Spring offers to use BeanPostProcessor for this:

To get the Spring container to release resources held by prototype-scoped beans, try using a custom bean post-processor, which holds a reference to beans that need to be cleaned up.

OK, let’s consider how could we do this.

DestructionAwareBeanPostProcessor - can we use it?

We have a special BeanPostProcessor for applying some custom actions when destroying beans - DestructionAwareBeanPostProcessor. It defined 2 new methods:

  • void postProcessBeforeDestruction(Object bean, String beanName) throws BeansException
  • boolean requiresDestruction(Object bean)

We should return true in requiresDestruction when beans comes into it, and then, when destruction phase begin, method postProcessBeforeDestruction will be called, and this particular bean will be passed to this method.

Sounds like this is what we need, the only problem is that this is not applicable to prototype-scoped beans! Yes, for this DestructionAwareBeanPostProcessor only singletone-scoped beans are passed inso, so for desctruction of prototype-scoped beans this will not work.

OK, then it looks that we should create our own implementation of BeanPostProcessor that handles destruction of prototype-scoped beans.

Implement BeanPostProcessor for destruction of prototype-scoped beans

OK, let’s implement our prototype beans having one condition in mind: they all should implement DisposableBean, and put destruction code into method destroy - to allow unified processing. As we know, Spring container itself will not call this method itself (for prototype beans) - so we will take care about it.

Now let’s consider the code of BeanPostProcessor that handles destruction of prototype beans:

 * Bean PostProcessor that handles destruction of prototype beans
public class DestroyPrototypeBeansPostProcessor implements BeanPostProcessor, BeanFactoryAware, DisposableBean {

    private BeanFactory beanFactory;

    private final List<Object> prototypeBeans = new LinkedList<>();

    public Object postProcessBeforeInitialization(Object bean, String beanName) throws BeansException {
        return bean;

    public Object postProcessAfterInitialization(Object bean, String beanName) throws BeansException {
        if (beanFactory.isPrototype(beanName)) {
            synchronized (prototypeBeans) {
        return bean;

    public void setBeanFactory(BeanFactory beanFactory) throws BeansException {
        this.beanFactory = beanFactory;

    public void destroy() throws Exception {
        synchronized (prototypeBeans) {
            for (Object bean : prototypeBeans) {
                if (bean instanceof DisposableBean) {
                    DisposableBean disposable = (DisposableBean)bean;
                    try {
                    } catch (Exception e) {

It is simple:

  • Save reference to bean if and only if it is of prototype scope
  • This DestroyPrototypeBeansPostProcessor is Spring bean itself, so when it’s destroy method is called - we destroy all prototype beans.

Here is full code of the project: https://github.com/iryndin/misc/tree/master/blogprjs/03-beanpostprocessor-destroyprototypes


It is useful to take a look at implementation of ScheduledAnnotationBeanPostProcessor. This class handles desctruction actions for sheduled tasks. Exactly the case where additional actions should be taken. Also this class implements DestructionAwareBeanPostProcessor methods, so it is always useful to see how these methods can be implemented.

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