JavaScript Array.unshift() Method | Explained

JavaScript provides multiple predefined methods that are used to perform different task on the arrays. For instance, the Array.concat() method is used to concatenate multiple arrays, the Array.shift() method deletes the initial item of an array, Array.push() method inserts a new item at the end of an array, etc. If we talk about the Array.unshift() method, it is a widely used array method that inserts one or more elements at the start of an array.In this write-up, we will learn about the Array.unshift() method with the help of some convenient examples. To do so, this post will explain the following core concepts of the Array.unshift() method:

So, let’s begin!

What is Array.unshift() in JavaScript

It is a predefined method in JavaScript that is used to insert at least one item at the start of an array and hence increases the array’s length.


The basic syntax of the Array.unshift() method is shown in the below-given snippet:

arrayName.unshift(item1, item2, item3, ....itemN);

In the above snippet, arrayName is an array while the item1, item2, etc. are the items/elements to be inserted at the start of any specific array.

What does Array.unshift() Method Return

In JavaScript, the unshift() method takes some items as parameters, inserts them at the beginning of the targeted array, and returns a new length of the array(i.e. increased length).

How to Use Array.unshift() Method in JavaScript

As of now, we are done with the theoretical part of the Array.unshift() method. For the clarity of concepts, we will consider a couple of scenarios where we can use the Array.unshift() method.


In this example, firstly, we will create a numeric array of five elements, and afterward we will insert some new elements at the beginning of that array using the Array.unshift() method:

const empAge = [35, 40, 25, 27, 28];

const size = empAge.unshift(23, 32);

console.log("Array Size: ", size);

console.log("Array Elements: ", empAge);

Initially, we created an array “empAge” of five elements, next, we utilized the unshift method and we passed it two elements and stored it in a variable size. Afterwards, we printed array size and array elements of the browser’s console:

The output shows that the Array.unshift() method returned the new length of the array.


Let’s consider another example to understand how Array.unshift() method works with the string data:

const empNames = ["Daniel", "Seth", "Joe", "Smith", "Denly"];

const size = empNames.unshift("John", "Paul", "Ambrose");

console.log("Array Size: ", size);

console.log("Array Elements: ", empNames);

In this example we utilized the unshift() method to insert three elements “John”, “Paul”, and “Ambrose” at the start of the array.

The output verifies the working of Array.unshift() method.


In JavaScript, the Array.unshift() is a predefined method that takes some items as parameters, inserts them at the beginning of the targeted array, and returns the array’s modified length. The Array.unshift() method is equally effective for both numeric as well as string/alphabetic data. This post explained different aspects of the Array.unshift() method e.g., what is Array.unshift() method, its syntax, and how to use it in JavaScript.

About the author

Anees Asghar

I am a self-motivated IT professional having more than one year of industry experience in technical writing. I am passionate about writing on the topics related to web development.