How to remove an array element by index in JavaScript

Recently I was faced with the need to remove an item from an array, by index in
JavaScript and I came to realize it had been quite a while since I had to do
something like that.

My initial, and extremely incorrect thought was that I could just use delete
to remove the element as such:

const testArray = ['one', 'two', 'three'
delete testArray[1

Since this data was being used to render rows in a table, “deleting” the value
didn’t actually update the table as expected. That’s because using delete it
deletes the value explicitly. When in the context of an array, that leaves you
with an undefined value at the index of the array.

The aforementioned deletion would leave you with this:

["one", undefined, "three"]

Oh so close.

Sadly, not even the first time I’ve made this mistake. Hence this post, as I
figured the best way to commit this one to memory would be to write about it.

To remove an element (or elements) from a JavaScript array by index is
accomplished with the splice method. It will edit the array in place, similar
to what I was trying to accomplish with the delete command:

const testArray = ['one', 'two', 'three'
testArray.splice(1, 1

And the resulting array will be the more desirable:

["one", "three"]

The first argument of the splice command is the index of the element we want
to delete. The second argument tells splice to delete 1 element. If you were
to omit the second argument, splice would remove the rest of the array,
starting at the index in the first argument.

An added bonus to using the splice method is that it will return the element
values (as an array) that are deleted, so if you wanted to not only remove the
value, but do something additional with it, you could:

const testArray = ['one', 'two', 'three'
const removedValue = testArray.splice(1, 1

The removedValue would then hold the following:


Not much to it! Hopefully next time this one comes up for me I won’t make the
mistake of using delete again!

Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

If you found this article helpful, please consider buying me a coffee.