Comprehensive Guide to JavaScript Arrays: Adding, Removing, and Iterating Elements

19 Jun 2024

Understanding Array Declaration and Accessing Elements, Array Methods: Adding and Removing Elements and Other Useful Array Methods, Iterating.

Arrays are fundamental data structures in JavaScript, allowing us to store multiple values in a single variable. They are versatile and come with a variety of methods that make manipulating data efficient and straightforward. In this guide, we’ll explore array basics, methods for adding and removing elements, and best practices for utilizing arrays effectively in your JavaScript code.

Declaration and Accessing Elements

In JavaScript, you can declare an array using square brackets [] and populate it with elements separated by commas. Arrays can hold any type of data, including numbers, strings, objects, and even other arrays.

// Declaration of an array
let names = ['Raj', 'Shiva', 'Anand', 'Kumar'];

// Accessing elements using index
console.log(names[0]); // Output: 'Raj'
console.log(names[2]); // Output: 'Anand'

Arrays in JavaScript are zero-indexed, meaning the first element is accessed using index 0, the second with index 1, and so on.

Array Methods: Adding and Removing Elements

JavaScript arrays provide powerful methods for dynamically manipulating their contents:

  • push: Adds one or more elements to the end of an array and returns the new length of the array.
console.log(names); // Output: ['Raj', 'Shiva', 'Anand', 'Kumar', 'Ajay']

  • pop: Removes the last element from an array and returns that element.
let lastName = names.pop();
console.log(lastName); // Output: 'Ajay'
console.log(names); // Output: ['Raj', 'Shiva', 'Anand', 'Kumar']

  • shift: Removes the first element from an array and returns that element, shifting all other elements one position to the left.
let firstName = names.shift();
console.log(firstName); // Output: 'Raj'

  • unshift: Adds one or more elements to the beginning of an array and returns the new length of the array.
console.log(names); // Output: ['Vivek', 'Shiva', 'Anand', 'Kumar']

Useful Array Methods

  • splice: Changes the contents of an array by removing or replacing existing elements and/or adding new elements.
names.splice(2, 0, 'Rahul'); // Insert 'Rahul' at index 2
console.log(names); // Output: ['Vivek', 'Shiva', 'Rahul', 'Anand', 'Kumar']

  • slice: Returns a shallow copy of a portion of an array into a new array object selected from start to end (end not included).
let selectedNames = names.slice(1, 4); // Returns elements at index 1, 2, and 3
console.log(selectedNames); // Output: ['Shiva', 'Rahul', 'Anand']

  • concat: Combines two or more arrays and returns a new array.
let moreNames = ['Suresh', 'Deepak'];
let allNames = names.concat(moreNames);

Iterating Over Arrays

You can iterate over arrays using loops or array methods like forEach, map, filter, and reduce. Here’s an example using forEach:

names.forEach(function(name, index) {
    console.log(`Name at index ${index}: ${name}`);

Coding problems, along with their solutions in JavaScript

Problem 1: Find the Largest Number in an Array

Problem Statement: Write a function that takes an array of numbers as input and returns the largest number in the array.

Example: Input: [3, 9, 1, 25, 6] Output: 25


function findLargestNumber(arr) {
    if (arr.length === 0) {
        return null; // Return null for empty array or handle accordingly
let max = arr[0]; // Assume the first element is the largest initially
    for (let i = 1; i < arr.length; i++) {
        if (arr[i] > max) {
            max = arr[i]; // Update max if current element is larger
    return max;
// Example usage:
let numbers = [3, 9, 1, 25, 6];
console.log("Largest number:", findLargestNumber(numbers)); // Output: 25


//one-liner version
let findLargestNumberOneliner = arr => arr.length === 0 ? null : arr.reduce((max, current) => current >= max ? current : max, arr[0]);
let numbers1 = [3, 9, 1, 25, 6];
console.log("Largest number:", findLargestNumberOneliner(numbers1));

This one-liner version achieves the same functionality as the original function:

  • It uses Array.prototype.reduce to iterate over the array and find the maximum number.
  • The initial value of max is set to arr[0], assuming the array is not empty (handled by the ternary operator arr.length === 0 ? null : ...).
  • It compares each element current with max and updates max if current is larger.

Problem 2: Reverse a String

Problem Statement: Write a function that takes a string as input and returns the string reversed.

Example: Input: "hello" Output: "olleh"


function reverseString(str) {
    return str.split('').reverse().join('');

// Example
let str = "hello";
console.log("Reversed string:", reverseString(str)); 
// Output: "olleh"


  • split('') : The split('') method splits the string str into an array of characters. If you pass an empty string '' as the delimiter, each character of the string becomes an element in the array.
  • For str = "hello", str.split('') returns ['h', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o'].
  • reverse(): The reverse() method reverses the elements of the array.
  • After ['h', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o'].reverse(), the array becomes ['o', 'l', 'l', 'e', 'h'].
  • join(''): The join('') method joins all elements of the array into a string.
  • ['o', 'l', 'l', 'e', 'h'].join('') returns "olleh".
  • Return Statement: Finally, return str.split('').reverse().join(''); returns the reversed string "olleh".

Problem 3: Remove Duplicates from an Array

Problem Statement: Write a function that takes an array of numbers or strings and returns a new array with duplicates removed.

Example: Input: [1, 3, 5, 3, 7, 1, 9, 5] Output: [1, 3, 5, 7, 9]


function removeDuplicates(arr) {
    let uniqueArray = [];

for (let i = 0; i < arr.length; i++) {
        if (uniqueArray.indexOf(arr[i]) === -1) {
    return uniqueArray;

// Example usage:
let numbersWithDuplicates = [1, 3, 5, 3, 7, 1, 9, 5];
let uniqueNumbers = removeDuplicates(numbersWithDuplicates);
console.log("Array with duplicates removed:", uniqueNumbers); // Output: [1, 3, 5, 7, 9]


//one-liner version
let removeDuplicatesOneliner = arr => [ Set(arr)];
let numbersWithDuplicatesOneliner = [1, 3, 5, 3, 7, 1, 9, 5];
let uniqueNumbersOneliner = removeDuplicatesOneliner(numbersWithDuplicatesOneliner);
console.log("Array with duplicates removed:", uniqueNumbersOneliner);

This one-liner version achieves the same functionality as the original function:

  • Arrow Function: removeDuplicates is now written as an arrow function, which simplifies its syntax.
  • Set Object: [ Set(arr)] utilizes the Set object in JavaScript, which automatically removes duplicate values from an array.
  • new Set(arr): Creates a Set object from the array arr, removing duplicates.
  • [ Set(arr)]: Converts the Set object back to an array.
  • Example Usage: The function removeDuplicates is applied to numbersWithDuplicates, resulting in uniqueNumbers, which contains only the unique values from numbersWithDuplicates.

Explanation for above questions:

  1. Find the Largest Number in an Array: Iterate through the array, keeping track of the maximum number encountered.
  2. Reverse a String: Convert the string to an array of characters, reverse the array, and then join the characters back into a string.
  3. Remove Duplicates from an Array: Use an auxiliary array (uniqueArray) to keep track of unique elements encountered so far. Check each element against uniqueArray and add it if it doesn't already exist.

These problems are common in interviews because they test basic understanding of algorithms (like searching and sorting) and manipulation of data structures (like arrays and strings). Practice these types of problems to improve your problem-solving skills and familiarity with JavaScript syntax and built-in functions.


Arrays in JavaScript are powerful and flexible, offering a wide range of methods for manipulating data efficiently. Understanding how to declare, access, and use array methods effectively will enhance your ability to work with collections of data in your JavaScript applications. Experiment with these methods and incorporate them into your projects to become proficient in handling arrays. Happy coding!

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Sadanand Gadwal