PHP 7 Script to Delete or Remove Single or Multiple Elements From an Array Full Project For Beginners

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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:

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

Output:

[
    [] => 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:

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

Output:

[
    [] => 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.

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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 = [ => "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 = [ => "a", 1 => "b", 2 => "c"];
$array = \array_diff_key($array, [ => "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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