Destructuring Assignments: Arrays

Destructuring assignment is a cool feature in JavaScript that makes it easier to take values from arrays (or properties from objects) and set them into new variables.

Imagine you have a box filled with balls, and you want to take out the first two balls. Destructuring lets you do this with just a simple line of code! Let’s see how it works with arrays.

What is Destructuring?

Destructuring is like opening a package and taking out only the things you want, ignoring the rest. For arrays, it lets you grab items based on their position in the array and assign them to variables.

How to Destructure Arrays

Suppose you have an array of fruits:

let fruits = ["Apple", "Banana", "Cherry"];

Without destructuring, if you wanted the first fruit, you’d do something like this:

let firstFruit = fruits[0]; // Apple

But with destructuring, you can do this in a more direct way:

let [firstFruit] = fruits;
console.log(firstFruit); // Apple

This tells JavaScript: “Create a variable called firstFruit and put the first item from the fruits array into it.”

Skipping Items

What if you only care about the second fruit? You can skip items by using extra commas:

let [, secondFruit] = fruits;
console.log(secondFruit); // Banana

This says, “Skip the first item, and put the second item in secondFruit.”

Using Rest Parameters to Gather the Rest

Sometimes, you might want to take the first few items and then gather the rest into another array. You can do this with the rest parameter (...):

let [firstFruit, ...otherFruits] = fruits;
console.log(firstFruit); // Apple
console.log(otherFruits); // ["Banana", "Cherry"]

This means “Take the first item for firstFruit and put the rest into otherFruits.”

Swapping Variables

Destructuring can also make swapping variables super easy, without needing a temporary variable:

let a = 1;
let b = 2;

[b, a] = [a, b];
console.log(a); // 2
console.log(b); // 1

Default Values

If you try to destructure more items than the array has, you can set default values to avoid undefined:

let [a, b, c = "Default"] = ["Hello", "World"];
console.log(a); // Hello
console.log(b); // World
console.log(c); // Default

This sets c to “Default” since there’s no third item in the array.


Destructuring arrays in JavaScript is a handy way to extract items into variables, making your code cleaner and more readable. Whether you’re grabbing specific items, skipping over some, or gathering the rest, destructuring can simplify your array manipulations. It’s like telling JavaScript, “Here’s exactly what I want from this array,” and it handles the rest for you.