The parameter for split is a REGEX. In a REGEX the + character is a special character. To use it as a literal + you need to "escape" it with a single \ . To enter a single \ in a Java String you need to code a double \ (yes, messy isn't it). In summary: to split on + characaters you need to code split("\\+")
Check out the doc for java.util.regex.Pattern or any REGEX tutorial.