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Javascript Array Shift: How to Remove First Item in the Array


Javascript shift() method removes the item at the zeroeth index and shifts the values at consecutive indexes down, then returns that removed value.

Javascript Array shift()

Javascript array shift() is an inbuilt function that removes the first item from an array and returns that deleted item. The shift() method changes the length of the array on which we are calling the shift() method. Javascript Array Shift method is not a pure function as it directly modifies the array.

If we want to remove the last item of an array, use the Javascript pop() method.

If the length property is 0, undefined is returned.


The syntax for shift() method is the following.


An array element can be a string, a number, an array, a boolean, or any other object types that are allowed in the Javascript array. Let us take a simple example.

// app.js

let apps = ["Instagram", "Facebook", "Messanger"];


The first item of the array will be removed, and the length of the array will be 2.

Javascript Array Shift Example | Array.prototype.shift Tutorial

Using shift() method in while loop

If we want to check a specific condition using the shift() function, then you can use a while loop. We can use the shift() method in a while loop like the below code.

// app.js

let names = ["Harvey", "Donna", "Mike", "Rachel" ,"Louis", "Jessica"];

while( (i = names.shift()) !== undefined ) {

So until the value of undefined is found, it will remove each item of an array.

Javascript Array Shift Example

The shift() method deletes and returns the removed element of the original array. All remaining elements in the array get shifted one slot to the left to fill the hole created by removing the first element. It will not create a new array.

Javascript shift() method removes the first element, whereas the pop() method removes the last element of an array.

Finally, Javascript Array Shift Example is over.

See also

Javascript array push()

Javascript array pop()

Javascript array unshift()

  1. Post says

    It works really well for me

  2. Alan says


  3. Amit Parmar says

    nice post

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