Deleting an element from an array in PHP

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Top 5 Answer for Deleting an element from an array in PHP

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92

There are different ways to delete an array element, where some are more useful for some specific tasks than others.

Deleting a single array element

If you want to delete just one array element you can use unset() or alternatively \array_splice().

If you know the value and don’t know the key to delete the element you can use \array_search() to get the key. This only works if the element does not occur more than once, since \array_search returns the first hit only.

unset()

Note that when you use unset() the array keys won’t change. If you want to reindex the keys you can use \array_values() after unset(), which will convert all keys to numerically enumerated keys starting from 0.

Code:

$array = [0 => "a", 1 => "b", 2 => "c"]; unset($array[1]);           // ↑ Key which you want to delete 

Output:

[     [0] => a     [2] => c ] 

\array_splice() method

If you use \array_splice() the keys will automatically be reindexed, but the associative keys won’t change — as opposed to \array_values(), which will convert all keys to numerical keys.

\array_splice() needs the offset, not the key, as the second parameter.

Code:

$array = [0 => "a", 1 => "b", 2 => "c"]; \array_splice($array, 1, 1);                    // ↑ Offset which you want to delete 

Output:

[     [0] => a     [1] => c ] 

array_splice(), same as unset(), take the array by reference. You don’t assign the return values of those functions back to the array.

Deleting multiple array elements

If you want to delete multiple array elements and don’t want to call unset() or \array_splice() multiple times you can use the functions \array_diff() or \array_diff_key() depending on whether you know the values or the keys of the elements which you want to delete.

\array_diff() method

If you know the values of the array elements which you want to delete, then you can use \array_diff(). As before with unset() it won’t change the keys of the array.

Code:

$array = [0 => "a", 1 => "b", 2 => "c", 3 => "c"]; $array = \array_diff($array, ["a", "c"]);                           // └────────┘                           // Array values which you want to delete 

Output:

[     [1] => b ] 

\array_diff_key() method

If you know the keys of the elements which you want to delete, then you want to use \array_diff_key(). You have to make sure you pass the keys as keys in the second parameter and not as values. Keys won’t reindex.

Code:

$array = [0 => "a", 1 => "b", 2 => "c"]; $array = \array_diff_key($array, [0 => "xy", "2" => "xy"]);                                // ↑           ↑                                // Array keys which you want to delete 

Output:

[     [1] => b ] 

If you want to use unset() or \array_splice() to delete multiple elements with the same value you can use \array_keys() to get all the keys for a specific value and then delete all elements.

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86

It should be noted that unset() will keep indexes untouched, which is what you'd expect when using string indexes (array as hashtable), but can be quite surprising when dealing with integer indexed arrays:

$array = array(0, 1, 2, 3); unset($array[2]); var_dump($array); /* array(3) {   [0]=>   int(0)   [1]=>   int(1)   [3]=>   int(3) } */  $array = array(0, 1, 2, 3); array_splice($array, 2, 1); var_dump($array); /* array(3) {   [0]=>   int(0)   [1]=>   int(1)   [2]=>   int(3) } */ 

So array_splice() can be used if you'd like to normalize your integer keys. Another option is using array_values() after unset():

$array = array(0, 1, 2, 3);  unset($array[2]); $array = array_values($array); var_dump($array); /* array(3) {   [0]=>   int(0)   [1]=>   int(1)   [2]=>   int(3) } */ 
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74

  // Our initial array   $arr = array("blue", "green", "red", "yellow", "green", "orange", "yellow", "indigo", "red");   print_r($arr);    // Remove the elements who's values are yellow or red   $arr = array_diff($arr, array("yellow", "red"));   print_r($arr); 

This is the output from the code above:

Array (     [0] => blue     [1] => green     [2] => red     [3] => yellow     [4] => green     [5] => orange     [6] => yellow     [7] => indigo     [8] => red )  Array (     [0] => blue     [1] => green     [4] => green     [5] => orange     [7] => indigo ) 

Now, array_values() will reindex a numerical array nicely, but it will remove all key strings from the array and replace them with numbers. If you need to preserve the key names (strings), or reindex the array if all keys are numerical, use array_merge():

$arr = array_merge(array_diff($arr, array("yellow", "red"))); print_r($arr); 

Outputs

Array (     [0] => blue     [1] => green     [2] => green     [3] => orange     [4] => indigo ) 
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69

$key = array_search($needle, $array); if ($key !== false) {     unset($array[$key]); } 
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58

unset($array[$index]); 

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