How can I add new array elements at the beginning of an array in JavaScript?

Moon Source

I have a need to add or prepend elements at the beginning of an array.

For example, if my array looks like below:

[23, 45, 12, 67]

And the response from my AJAX call is 34, I want the updated array to be like the following:

[34, 23, 45, 12, 67]

Currently I am planning to do it like this:

var newArray = [];

for (var i = 0; i < theArray.length; i++) {

theArray = newArray;
delete newArray;

Is there any better way to do this? Does JavaScript have any built-in functionality that does this?

The complexity of my method is O(n) and it would be really interesting to see better implementations.



answered 7 years ago meagar #1

Use unshift. It's like push, except it adds elements to the beginning of the array instead of the end.

  • unshift/push - add an element to the beginning/end of an array
  • shift/pop - remove and return the first/last element of and array

A simple diagram...

   unshift -> array <- push
   shift   <- array -> pop

and chart:

          add  remove  start  end
   push    X                   X
    pop           X            X
unshift    X             X
  shift           X      X

Check out the MDN Array documentation. Virtually every language that has the ability to push/pop elements from an array will also have the ability to unshift/shift (sometimes called push_front/pop_front) elements, you should never have to implement these yourself.

answered 7 years ago Maksym #2

array operations image

var a = [23, 45, 12, 67];
console.log(a); // [34, 23, 45, 12, 67]

answered 5 years ago dreftymac #3

Quick Cheatsheet:

The terms shift/unshift and push/pop can be a bit confusing, at least to folks who may not be familiar with programming in C.

If you are not familiar with the lingo, here is a quick translation of alternate terms, which may be easier to remember:

* array_unshift()  -  (aka Prepend ;; InsertBefore ;; InsertAtBegin )     
* array_shift()    -  (aka UnPrepend ;; RemoveBefore  ;; RemoveFromBegin )

* array_push()     -  (aka Append ;; InsertAfter   ;; InsertAtEnd )     
* array_pop()      -  (aka UnAppend ;; RemoveAfter   ;; RemoveFromEnd ) 

answered 3 years ago ozimax06 #4

you have an array: var arr = [23, 45, 12, 67];

To add an item to the beginning, you want to use splice:

var arr = [23, 45, 12, 67];
arr.splice(0, 0, 34)

answered 2 years ago zangw #5

Another way to do that through concat

var arr = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7];

The difference between concat and unshift is that concat returns a new array. The performance between them could be found here.

function fn_unshift() {
  return arr;

function fn_concat_init() {
  return [0].concat(arr)

Here is the test result

enter image description here

answered 2 years ago Abdennour TOUMI #6

With ES6 , use the spread operator ... :


var arr = [23, 45, 12, 67];
arr = [34, ...arr]; // RESULT : [34,23, 45, 12, 67]


answered 4 weeks ago Tirkesh Turkesh #7

var testdata = new Array();
testdata = [23, 45, 12, 67];
testdata = [34, ...testdata]; 

answered 4 weeks ago Harunur Rashid #8

push() adds a new element to the end of an array.
pop() removes an element from the end of an array.

unshift() adds a new element to the beginning of an array.
shift() removes an element from the beginning of an array.

use theArray.unshift(response)

answered 3 weeks ago Jenny O'Reilly #9

If you need to continuously insert an element at the beginning of an array, it is faster to use push statements followed by a call to reverse, instead of calling unshift all the time.

Benchmark test:

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