Remove all occurrences of a value from a list?

Question:

In Python remove() will remove the first occurrence of value in a list.

How to remove all occurrences of a value from a list?

This is what I have in mind:

>>> remove_values_from_list([1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3], 2)
[1, 3, 4, 3]
Asked By: riza

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Answers:

You can use a list comprehension:

def remove_values_from_list(the_list, val):
   return [value for value in the_list if value != val]

x = [1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3]
x = remove_values_from_list(x, 2)
print x
# [1, 3, 4, 3]
Answered By: mhawke

Functional approach:

Python 3.x

>>> x = [1,2,3,2,2,2,3,4]
>>> list(filter((2).__ne__, x))
[1, 3, 3, 4]

or

>>> x = [1,2,3,2,2,2,3,4]
>>> list(filter(lambda a: a != 2, x))
[1, 3, 3, 4]

Python 2.x

>>> x = [1,2,3,2,2,2,3,4]
>>> filter(lambda a: a != 2, x)
[1, 3, 3, 4]
Answered By: Mark Rushakoff

You can use slice assignment if the original list must be modified, while still using an efficient list comprehension (or generator expression).

>>> x = [1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3]
>>> x[:] = (value for value in x if value != 2)
>>> x
[1, 3, 4, 3]
Answered By: A. Coady

I believe this is probably faster than any other way if you don’t care about the lists order, if you do take care about the final order store the indexes from the original and resort by that.

category_ids.sort()
ones_last_index = category_ids.count('1')
del category_ids[0:ones_last_index]
Answered By: Michael Clemmons

At the cost of readability, I think this version is slightly faster as it doesn’t force the while to reexamine the list, thus doing exactly the same work remove has to do anyway:

x = [1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3]
def remove_values_from_list(the_list, val):
    for i in range(the_list.count(val)):
        the_list.remove(val)

remove_values_from_list(x, 2)

print(x)
Answered By: Martin Andersson

To remove all duplicate occurrences and leave one in the list:

test = [1, 1, 2, 3]

newlist = list(set(test))

print newlist

[1, 2, 3]

Here is the function I’ve used for Project Euler:

def removeOccurrences(e):
  return list(set(e))
Answered By: Jared Burrows

All of the answers above (apart from Martin Andersson’s) create a new list without the desired items, rather than removing the items from the original list.

>>> import random, timeit
>>> a = list(range(5)) * 1000
>>> random.shuffle(a)

>>> b = a
>>> print(b is a)
True

>>> b = [x for x in b if x != 0]
>>> print(b is a)
False
>>> b.count(0)
0
>>> a.count(0)
1000

>>> b = a
>>> b = filter(lambda a: a != 2, x)
>>> print(b is a)
False

This can be important if you have other references to the list hanging around.

To modify the list in place, use a method like this

>>> def removeall_inplace(x, l):
...     for _ in xrange(l.count(x)):
...         l.remove(x)
...
>>> removeall_inplace(0, b)
>>> b is a
True
>>> a.count(0)
0

As far as speed is concerned, results on my laptop are (all on a 5000 entry list with 1000 entries removed)

  • List comprehension – ~400us
  • Filter – ~900us
  • .remove() loop – 50ms

So the .remove loop is about 100x slower…….. Hmmm, maybe a different approach is needed. The fastest I’ve found is using the list comprehension, but then replace the contents of the original list.

>>> def removeall_replace(x, l):
....    t = [y for y in l if y != x]
....    del l[:]
....    l.extend(t)
  • removeall_replace() – 450us
Answered By: Paul S

Repeating the solution of the first post in a more abstract way:

>>> x = [1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3]
>>> while 2 in x: x.remove(2)
>>> x
[1, 3, 4, 3]
Answered By: funk
p=[2,3,4,4,4]
p.clear()
print(p)
[]

Only with Python 3

Answered By: user5064329

Remove all occurrences of a value from a Python list

lists = [6.9,7,8.9,3,5,4.9,1,2.9,7,9,12.9,10.9,11,7]
def remove_values_from_list():
    for list in lists:
      if(list!=7):
         print(list)
remove_values_from_list()

Result: 6.9 8.9 3 5 4.9 1 2.9 9 12.9 10.9 11

Alternatively,

lists = [6.9,7,8.9,3,5,4.9,1,2.9,7,9,12.9,10.9,11,7]
def remove_values_from_list(remove):
    for list in lists:
      if(list!=remove):
        print(list)
remove_values_from_list(7)

Result: 6.9 8.9 3 5 4.9 1 2.9 9 12.9 10.9 11

Answered By: rafiqul786

Numpy approach and timings against a list/array with 1.000.000 elements:

Timings:

In [10]: a.shape
Out[10]: (1000000,)

In [13]: len(lst)
Out[13]: 1000000

In [18]: %timeit a[a != 2]
100 loops, best of 3: 2.94 ms per loop

In [19]: %timeit [x for x in lst if x != 2]
10 loops, best of 3: 79.7 ms per loop

Conclusion: numpy is 27 times faster (on my notebook) compared to list comprehension approach

PS if you want to convert your regular Python list lst to numpy array:

arr = np.array(lst)

Setup:

import numpy as np
a = np.random.randint(0, 1000, 10**6)

In [10]: a.shape
Out[10]: (1000000,)

In [12]: lst = a.tolist()

In [13]: len(lst)
Out[13]: 1000000

Check:

In [14]: a[a != 2].shape
Out[14]: (998949,)

In [15]: len([x for x in lst if x != 2])
Out[15]: 998949

better solution with list comprehension

x = [ i for i in x if i!=2 ]
Answered By: Amr
for i in range(a.count(' ')):
    a.remove(' ')

Much simpler I believe.

Answered By: marco

See the simple solution

>>> [i for i in x if i != 2]

This will return a list having all elements of x without 2

Answered By: Shameem

About the speed!

import time
s_time = time.time()

print 'start'
a = range(100000000)
del a[:]
print 'finished in %0.2f' % (time.time() - s_time)
# start
# finished in 3.25

s_time = time.time()
print 'start'
a = range(100000000)
a = []
print 'finished in %0.2f' % (time.time() - s_time)
# start
# finished in 2.11
Answered By: Sergey Kozlovskiy

What’s wrong with:

Motor=['1','2','2']
for i in Motor:
   if i != '2':
       print(i)
print(motor)
Answered By: code developer
a = [1, 2, 2, 3, 1]
to_remove = 1
a = [i for i in a if i != to_remove]
print(a)

Perhaps not the most pythonic but still the easiest for me haha

Answered By: Ankit Sharma

If you didn’t have built-in filter or didn’t want to use extra space and you need a linear solution…

def remove_all(A, v):
    k = 0
    n = len(A)
    for i in range(n):
        if A[i] !=  v:
            A[k] = A[i]
            k += 1

    A = A[:k]
Answered By: Moobius
hello =  ['h', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o', ' ', 'w', 'o', 'r', 'l', 'd']
#chech every item for a match
for item in range(len(hello)-1):
     if hello[item] == ' ': 
#if there is a match, rebuild the list with the list before the item + the list after the item
         hello = hello[:item] + hello [item + 1:]
print hello

[‘h’, ‘e’, ‘l’, ‘l’, ‘o’, ‘w’, ‘o’, ‘r’, ‘l’, ‘d’]

Answered By: SaNaMeDiO

Let

>>> x = [1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3]

The simplest and efficient solution as already posted before is

>>> x[:] = [v for v in x if v != 2]
>>> x
[1, 3, 4, 3]

Another possibility which should use less memory but be slower is

>>> for i in range(len(x) - 1, -1, -1):
        if x[i] == 2:
            x.pop(i)  # takes time ~ len(x) - i
>>> x
[1, 3, 4, 3]

Timing results for lists of length 1000 and 100000 with 10% matching entries: 0.16 vs 0.25 ms, and 23 vs 123 ms.

Timing with length 1000

Timing with length 100000

Answered By: jolvi

I just did this for a list. I am just a beginner. A slightly more advanced programmer can surely write a function like this.

for i in range(len(spam)):
    spam.remove('cat')
    if 'cat' not in spam:
         print('All instances of ' + 'cat ' + 'have been removed')
         break
Answered By: Asir Ajmal

No one has posted an optimal answer for time and space complexity, so I thought I would give it a shot. Here is a solution that removes all occurrences of a specific value without creating a new array and at an efficient time complexity. The drawback is that the elements do not maintain order.

Time complexity: O(n)
Additional space complexity: O(1)

def main():
    test_case([1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3], 2)     # [1, 3, 3, 4]
    test_case([3, 3, 3], 3)                 # []
    test_case([1, 1, 1], 3)                 # [1, 1, 1]


def test_case(test_val, remove_val):
    remove_element_in_place(test_val, remove_val)
    print(test_val)


def remove_element_in_place(my_list, remove_value):
    length_my_list = len(my_list)
    swap_idx = length_my_list - 1

    for idx in range(length_my_list - 1, -1, -1):
        if my_list[idx] == remove_value:
            my_list[idx], my_list[swap_idx] = my_list[swap_idx], my_list[idx]
            swap_idx -= 1

    for pop_idx in range(length_my_list - swap_idx - 1):
        my_list.pop() # O(1) operation


if __name__ == '__main__':
    main()
Answered By: Josh

We can also do in-place remove all using either del or pop:

import random

def remove_values_from_list(lst, target):
    if type(lst) != list:
        return lst

    i = 0
    while i < len(lst):
        if lst[i] == target:
            lst.pop(i)  # length decreased by 1 already
        else:
            i += 1

    return lst

remove_values_from_list(None, 2)
remove_values_from_list([], 2)
remove_values_from_list([1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3], 2)
lst = remove_values_from_list([random.randrange(0, 10) for x in range(1000000)], 2)
print(len(lst))


Now for the efficiency:

In [21]: %timeit -n1 -r1 x = random.randrange(0,10)
1 loop, best of 1: 43.5 us per loop

In [22]: %timeit -n1 -r1 lst = [random.randrange(0, 10) for x in range(1000000)]
g1 loop, best of 1: 660 ms per loop

In [23]: %timeit -n1 -r1 lst = remove_values_from_list([random.randrange(0, 10) for x in range(1000000)]
    ...: , random.randrange(0,10))
1 loop, best of 1: 11.5 s per loop

In [27]: %timeit -n1 -r1 x = random.randrange(0,10); lst = [a for a in [random.randrange(0, 10) for x in
    ...:  range(1000000)] if x != a]
1 loop, best of 1: 710 ms per loop

As we see that in-place version remove_values_from_list() does not require any extra memory, but it does take so much more time to run:

  • 11 seconds for inplace remove values
  • 710 milli seconds for list comprehensions, which allocates a new list in memory
Answered By: tuxdna

A lot of answers are really good. Here is a simple approach if you are a beginner in python in case you want to use the remove() method for sure.

rawlist = [8, 1, 8, 5, 8, 2, 8, 9, 8, 4]

ele_remove = 8

for el in rawlist:
    if el == ele_remove:
        rawlist.remove(ele_remove)

It may be slower for too large lists.

Answered By: ARHAM RUMI

If your list contains only duplicates of only one element for example list_a=[0,0,0,0,0,0,1,3,4,6,7] the code below would be helpful:

list_a=[0,0,0,0,0,0,1,3,4,6,7]
def remove_element(element,the_list):
    the_list=list(set(the_list))
    the_list.remove(element)
    return the_list

list_a=remove_element(element=0,the_list=list_a)
print(list_a)

or

a=list(set(i for i in list_a if i!=2))
a.remove(2)

The basic idea is that the sets do not allow duplicates, so first I have converted the list into set(which removes the duplicates), then used .remove() function to remove the first instance of the element(as now we have only one instance per item).


But if you have duplicates of multiple elements, the below methods would help:

  1. List comprehension
list_a=[1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3]
remove_element=lambda element,the_list:[i for i in the_list if i!=element]
print(remove_element(element=2,the_list=list_a))
  1. Filter
list_a=[1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3]
a=list(filter(lambda a: a != 2, list_a))
print(a)
  1. While loop
list_a=[1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3]
def remove_element(element,the_list):
    while element in the_list:the_list.remove(element)
    return the_list
print(remove_element(2,list_a))
  1. for loop (same as List comprehension)
list_a=[1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3]
a=[]
for i in list_a:
    if i!=2:
        a.append(i)
print(a)
Answered By: Faraaz Kurawle
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