Python has various built-in methods you can use to interact with elements stored in a list. These methods let you add, access, modify, and remove elements.

In this article, you'll learn how to remove elements in a Python list using:

  • The pop() method.
  • The remove() method.
  • The del keyword.

How to Pop an Element From a Python List Using the pop() Method

You can use the pop() method to either remove a specific element in a list or to remove the last element.

When a parameter is used, you can specify the particular element (using the element's index number) to be removed. Without a parameter, the last element is removed.

Here are some examples:

pop() Example #1

names = ['Ihechikara', 'Doe', 'John', 'Jane']


# ['Ihechikara', 'Doe', 'Jane']

In the example above, we created a list called names with four elements: ['Ihechikara', 'Doe', 'John', 'Jane'].

Using the pop() method, we specified that the element at index 2 should be removed: names.pop(2).

The resulting list had three elements: ['Ihechikara', 'Doe', 'Jane']

pop() Example #2

In the next example, we'll use the pop() method without any parameter or specifying a particular element to be removed.

names = ['Ihechikara', 'Doe', 'John', 'Jane']


# ['Ihechikara', 'Doe', 'John']

Without passing the index of an element as a parameter to the pop() method in the list above, the last element in the list was removed.

That is: names.pop().

How to Remove an Element From a Python List Using the remove() Method

With the remove() method, you can pass in one parameter — the value of the element to be removed.

You can't use the index of elements as a parameter, and you can't use the remove() method without a parameter. These will result in an error.

Here's an example:

names = ['Ihechikara', 'Doe', 'John', 'Jane']


# ['Ihechikara', 'John', 'Jane']

In the list above, we specified the element to be removed using its value: names.remove("Doe"). So the element with a value of "Doe" was removed from the list.

An error would have been raised if we had used the index of the element — names.remove(1) — or used the method without a parameter — names.remove().

Similarly, removing an element that doesn't exist would raise an error.

How to Delete an Element From a Python List Using the del Keyword

With the del keyword, you can specify which element you want to remove using its index. You can also specify a range of elements to be removed.

Here are some examples:

del Example #1

names = ['Ihechikara', 'Doe', 'John', 'Jane']

del names[2]

# ['Ihechikara', 'Doe', 'Jane']

In the code above, we deleted the element at index 2: del names[2].

Note that the index is not specified within parenthesis but in square brackets

del Example #2

names = ['Ihechikara', 'Doe', 'John', 'Jane']

del names[0:2]

# ['John', 'Jane']

In the code above, we specified a range for the numbers to be deleted: del names[0:2]

With that, we're saying, "delete all the elements from index 0 and stop just before index 2". Index 2 will not be deleted – it is used as a point where the deletion will come to a halt.


In this article, we talked about lists in Python.

We saw the different methods that you can use to pop/delete/remove elements in a list.

Using code examples, we saw practical applications of each method.

Happy coding!