How to Insert into Array at an Index Without Mutation in JavaScript

Published Jun 5, 2020

Most array insert methods require modifying the original array, but how can we avoid mutation and return a new array with the inserted element?

Insert With Mutation

We know we can use splice() to insert items into an array at some specified index.

let arr = ["one", "two", "four"];
arr.splice(2, 0, "three");
console.log(arr); // ["one", "two", "three", "four"]

Insert Without Mutation

We can create an insert() function that will use the ES6 spread operator to insert the array items around the inserted item.

const insert = (arr, index, ...newItems) => [
  ...arr.slice(0, index),
  ...newItems,
  ...arr.slice(index)
];

arr.slice(0, index) is grabbing the array elements before the specified index.

arr.slice(index) is grabbing the array elements after the specified index.

Suppose we have ...arr. The ..., or spread operator, will “drop” the array arr and instead return its values.

const arr1 = ["one", "two", "four"];
const arr2 = insert(arr1, 2, "three");
console.log(arr2); // ["one", "two", "three", "four"]

We can also insert multiple elements at once.

const arr1 = ["one", "two", "five"];
const arr2 = insert(arr1, 2, "three", "four");
console.log(arr2); // ["one", "two", "three", "four", "five"]

More JS Articles