REST Controller Not found in Spring Boot applications: how to solve it

A pretty common issue for Spring Boot application is a 404 Not Found Error for your REST Controllers. Let’s learn how to fix it in one minute!

Problem description

You are running a Spring Boot application which includes a REST Controller, as in this example:

package com.example.controller; 
@RestController // shorthand for @Controller and @ResponseBody rolled together
public class ExampleController {
   @RequestMapping( "/hello" )
   public String echo() {
      return "Hello World!";


To run your Spring Boot application you are using an Application Main class:

package com.example.application;
public class MainApp {
   public static void main( String[] args ) { MainApp.class, args );

Then, you request for the “/hello” endpoint but you get a 404 error:

$ curl http://localhost:8080/hello

  "timestamp": 9853742596220,
  "status": 404,
  "error": "Not Found",
  "message": "No message available",
  "path": "/hello"

How to fix the issue

To understand what is the issue, we need to focus on the @SpringBootApplication annotation. As a matter of fact, this annotation it’s a combination of three annotations:


The default @ComponentScan annotation (without arguments) tells Spring to scan the current package and all of its sub-packages..

Therefore, only classes under the package “com.example.application” will be scanned. There are two ways to fix it.

Solution #1

The best practice is to place the Main Application class at the root of your project. This way, it will automatically scan and find the Controller class which are available in a sub-package. For example, here is a package structure that works:

spring boot controller not found

In the above project, we have placed the DemoApplication class at the root of other packages, therefore you will not have issues in finding other classes.

Solution #2

As another option, you could add to your @ComponentScan annotation the starting point used to scan for Classes:

@ComponentScan(basePackages = "com.myapp.demo")
public classDemoApplication {
   // ...

We have just covered some options to fix a common error in Spring Boot applications, related to REST Controller not found.