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JavaScript array shift | Method

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Using the JavaScript array shift() Method you can remove the first element of an array. This method removes the first element from an array and returns that removed element.


Note: This method changes the original array.

This method modifies the original array by removing the element from the beginning of the array and shifting all the other elements to a lower index position.

JavaScript array shift

Simple example code removing first element form number and string element arrays. A string, a number, an array, or any other type is allowed in an array.

<!DOCTYPE html>

    const array1 = [1, 2, 3];
    const firstElement = array1.shift();

    let languages = ["English", "Java", "Python", "JavaScript"];
    let first = languages.shift();




JavaScript array shift Method

Using the shift() method in the while loop

Where in the example every iteration will remove the next element from an array until it is empty:

const names = ["Andrew", "Edward", "Paul", "Chris" ,"John"];

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

Output: Andrew, Edward, Paul, Chris, John

Another example

Let’s say you have an array of tasks to be completed, and you want to implement them.

let tasks = ['Task 1', 'Task 2', 'Task 3'];

function removeFirstTask() {
  let firstTask = tasks.shift(); // remove the first task from the array
  return firstTask;

console.log(tasks); // ["Task 2", "Task 3"]
console.log(removeFirstTask()); /"Task 1"
console.log(tasks); // ["Task 2", "Task 3"]

Comment if you have any doubts or suggestions on this JS array topic.

Note: The All JS Examples codes are tested on the Firefox browser and the Chrome browser.

OS: Windows 10

Code: HTML 5 Version

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