How to remove an element from a list in Python? Using Index/Value: Learn 4 In-built Python Methods!


A list in Python refers to a data structure in Python that is mutable or changeable. A python list can contain multiple elements in sequential order. Each value or element inside a list is called an item. And every element has its own unique index number, which is used primarily to access the element. While strings are defined as characters between quotes such as ‘hello’: the list on the other hand is defined by having elements or values between square brackets [ ]. 

A list in python has many methods associated with it, and there are some specific methods used to remove a specific element from a Python List. In this article, we’re trying to decipher some of these methods to remove an element from a list in Python. By the end of this article, you will know which method to pick and when to use them in order to remove an element from a list in Python. 

Why use Python List? 

Every programming language has some in-built data structures, which are most extensively used to access data collection. Python also includes several array-like structures in its standard library, and each has its own significant attributes. 

Unlike C++ Or similar low-level languages which don’t support dynamic data types, storing varied data types like float, string or a list inside a list is feasible in Python Programming. In other programming languages, a list only explicitly consists of strings. Whereas a list in Python stores varied data types in a single collection. 

In addition, slicing and indexing are also supported by Python Programming, implying that they can be modified after initialization.


Just like depicted in the picture above, all the elements in the lists are enclosed within square brackets [ ], and every element in the list is separated by a ‘comma’ (,). A list can also contain another list inside that list, known as a nested collection of lists. 

List Indexing 

In the first image, we have defined a list called “L”. Lists in Python are like variable-length arrays and we can access all the elements with an Index. The starting index is always set to 0. 

For List “L” 

At index 0, we have the Integer  ‘56’.

At index 1, we have a string named “GUVI”.

At index 2, we have a floating-point number of 65.3.

At index 3, we have a nested collection of lists [ 1, 2, 3 ]

This way, we can store elements of different types in a single list.

Indexing is essential to get a grasp on list methods prevalent in Python so that it provides ease for users to remove elements from Python. Now that you’ve mastered it, let’s see the methods to remove an element from lists in Python. 

Remove an element from a List 

Normally, there are three ways in which you can remove an element from a list in Python. 

  1. The Remove( ) Method 
  2. The Pop ( ) Method 
  3. Using the del Operator 
  4. The Clear () Method

Let’s elaborate on them one by one. 

1. The Remove ( ) Method 

The remove ( ) method is a list method to remove a specific element from the list. The remove () method removes an item from a list by its value and doesn’t use the index number attribute. Please note that when using the remove method, it will search and only remove the first hit of an item. 

Implying that in case if there is more than one instance of an item whose value you have passed as an argument to the method, then only the first occurrence will be removed. 

The general sysntax of the remove() method looks like:


ListName conveys the name of the list you been working on.

Remove() is one of Python in-built methods.

Please note that remove() takes one single argument. If you do not provide that you will get a TypeError.

value is the specific value of the item that you want to remove from list_name. In case, the specified value does not exist in the list, you’ll get an error named as ValueError.

#original list
Harry_Potter_Cast = ["Harry", "Draco", "Ron", "Hermione"]

#print original list

# remove the value 'Draci' from the list

#print updated list


#['Harry', 'Draco', 'Ron', 'Hermione']
#['Harry', 'Ron', 'Hermione']

Top 10 Python Books for beginners? That can help you learn Python in no-time.

2. The Pop( ) Method

The Pop () method is another most commanly used list object method to remove an element from a list in Python, and returns the element as output along with modified list. Unlike the remove () method, where we need to specify the value of the element, here we can simply specify the index of the item as an argument, and hence it pops out the specified item to be returned at the specified index. In case the particular item to be removed is not found in the list, IndexError is raised.

Also in case, the index is not specified, it remove the last item in the List and return it.

my_list = ["hello", "world", "welcome", "to", "GUVIBLOGS"]

# removing the last element from the list.
popped = my_list.pop()
print("The poped element is:", popped)
print("Now the list is:",my_list)


The popped element is: GUVI
Now the list is: ['hello', 'world', 'welcome', 'to']

One more instance with specified index.

my_list = ["hello", "world", "welcome", "to", "GUVIBLOGS"]
# removing a specific element using the index value.
popped = my_list.pop(3)
print("The poped element is:", popped)
print("Now the list is:",my_list)


The popped element is: to
Now the list is: ['hello', 'world', 'welcome', 'GUVIBLOGS']

3. Using the Del Operator

The Dep Operator is almost similar to pop method with just one subtle difference. Unlike pop method, where the specified index element is returned, in case of del operator, the element is simply deleted and not returned. So essentially, this operator takes the item’s index to be removed as the argument and deletes the item at that index. The del operator also supports removing a range of items in the list. SImilar to pop () method, the del operator raises IndexError when the index or indeices specified are out of range.

>>> list_int = list(range(10))
>>> print(list_int)
[ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] # List of Integer

>>> del list_int[5]
>>> print(list_int)
[ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9] # delete element at index 5

>>> del list_int[-1]
>>> print(list_int)
[ 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] #delete element at index -1 or last index

Let’s see some more instance where del operator is used to remove a range of items in the list.

>>> list_int = list(range(10))
>>> print(list_int)
[ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

>>> del list_int[2:5]
>>> print(list_int) 
[0, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9] 
# from index 2 to index 4. Last Index is exclusive

>>> list_int = list(range(10))
>>> del list_int[:3]
>>> print(list_int)
[ 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] # 0th index till 2nd index item deleted.

4. The Clear ( ) method

Just like name suggests, the clear () method is used remove all the items in the Python List. This is actually the easies method to clear a list in place. Similar to remove () method, it returns a None value.

my_list = [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, GUVI]
# remove all elemets from the list



We hope you were able to go through this article, and get a fair understanding of methos and operator used to remove an element from a list in Python. In case of range of elements to be removed, always use del operator. On the other hand, use above given methods logically & conclusively for minimal machine load. For more such articles on Python, Keep following the space.

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Tushar Vinocha
Tushar Vinocha

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