Using foreach() To Iterate Through an Array in JavaScript


Rahul / March 11, 2023

10 min read––– views

If you're a JavaScript newbie or avid reader or pro or anything, you know that forEach is an incredibly useful tool. But what, exactly, is it and how does it work?

forEach is a built-in array method in JavaScript. It helps you to iterate through each element of an array and execute a callback function for every single one.

Yes, it's as simple as that!

In other words, the forEach loop allows you to go over each element of an array and execute a code on them individually.

This makes a lot of tasks easier than they used to be while coding in JavaScript.

For example, if you have an array of data and want to perform some operations on each item in the list or if you need to process elements of an array one after another—forEach is the way to go!

Nonetheless, it’s important that you understand the syntax and use cases of forEach before applying it.

That's why it's essential for JavaScript developers to understand forEach and how to use it correctly. By understanding how forEach works and its various pros and cons, you can make sure their code runs efficiently!

When to Use forEach in JavaScript

When it comes to looping over list items, forEach is the most efficient way to do so in JavaScript. It's a method of the Array object that allows for iteration over a given array, or array-like object.

With forEach, you can execute a given function on each item of the array without needing to explicitly create an index or loop counter variable.

So when should you use it? Whenever you want to iterate over a list or array of items and execute a given function on each one:

  • If you want to output every item in an array as a separate element in HTML, forEach is the ideal choice.

  • If you want to perform an operation on each item in an array and then push it into new_array, forEach is your friend.

  • To filter out specific items from an array and assign that filtered set to const new_array, use forEach.

  • For any computations on an array needed beforehand set up with another variable const result = 0 and return result inside the callback function at the end.

In short, if you want to loop over list items efficiently and effortlessly with functions like find(), filter(), every(), some(), reduce() etc., then make sure to give JavaScript’s forEach method a go!

How to Use forEach in JavaScript

The forEach() method in JavaScript is a useful tool that enables you to iterate over an array of data and execute a given operation for every element in the array.

For example, you can use the forEach() loop to iterate over all elements in an array and perform a mathematical calculation on each element, or access each element of an array and log it into the console.

Using the forEach() method is actually quite simple. All you have to do is pass a function as an argument to forEach(), which will then execute the function on each element of the array.

The syntax looks like this:


Here myArray represents any array you want to loop through and functionName represents any function that you want to apply to every element in that array.

Note that the function you pass as an argument must take in at least one argument itself, which will represent each element of the array individually.

For example, if we wanted to loop through our myArray and log each item into the console we would have to do something like this:


Real-World Uses of forEach in JavaScript

Have you ever wondered what forEach in JavaScript is used for?

The answer is simple: it's one of the most useful and powerful loops out there.

With the help of the forEach loop, you can quickly iterate over an array and perform some operation on each item. It's perfect for any task that requires repetitive actions, such as looping through a list of objects and doing something with them.

If you want to make sure that your code is short, sweet and efficient, then knowing how to use the forEach loop is essential.

Here are five real-world uses of forEach in JavaScript:

  • Looping Through An Array: One of the most common uses of forEach in JavaScript is to loop through an array of items, such as a list of objects or numbers. By looping through each item in the array and performing some action on it, you can quickly manipulate each item without writing dozens of lines of code. (Refer to the above example)

  • Modifying Elements In An Array: Another great way to use forEach in JavaScript is to modify elements in an array. This might involve changing a property or performing some kind of calculation on each element within the array.

let numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];

numbers.forEach(function(number, index) {
  numbers[index] = number * 2;

// Output: [2, 4, 6, 8, 10]

In the above example, we start with an array of numbers from 1 to 5. We use forEach() to iterate over each element in the array. The forEach() method takes a callback function as an argument that will be executed once for each element in the array.

The callback function takes two parameters: the current element and its index in the array. In this case, we multiply the current element by 2 and then assign the new value back to the same index in the array.

Finally, we log the modified array to the console, which outputs [2, 4, 6, 8, 10].

  • Aggregating Data: ForEach can also be used to aggregate data from multiple sources into a single collection or dataset. This is especially useful if you need to quickly gather data from multiple sources and combine them into a single source that can be easily manipulated or analyzed. Let's understand this from small example:
// Suppose you have an array of objects representing sales data for a company
const salesData = [
  { month: "January", revenue: 1000 },
  { month: "February", revenue: 2000 },
  { month: "March", revenue: 3000 }

You want to calculate the total revenue for all months. You can use the forEach method to loop through the array and add up the revenue:

let totalRevenue = 0;

salesData.forEach(sale => {
  totalRevenue += sale.revenue;

console.log(totalRevenue); // output: 6000
  • Creating Sums And Averages: As mentioned before, it's easy to use forEach to iterate over an array and perform calculations on its elements. You can use these loops to quickly calculate sums or averages across

The Pros and Cons of Using forEach in JavaScript

forEach is a handy tool to have in your JavaScript arsenal. But, like any built-in feature, it has its pros and cons. Here are the primary ones you should be aware of:


  1. forEach allows you to loop through an array or object without needing to write a for loop. This makes your code simpler, easier to read and easier to maintain.

  2. It allows you to easily “destruct” elements of an array or object while looping through them, making iteration much simpler.

  3. You can take advantage of prototype methods on the array’s or object’s elements, including this keyword which is known as the context reference in JavaScript coding.

  4. It also allows you to easily write callback functions with different parameters which makes debugging easier in case something goes wrong with your code.

  5. Finally, it provides a performance boost over regular for loops due to its simplified syntax and improved readability of your code base.


  1. You can accidentally modify the original array or object if the callback function isn’t written correctly or you forget the return statement where required.

  2. You cannot use break statements within forEach loops like you can with other types of loops such as for-loops or do-while loops which can cause problems when needed due to performance issues around large datasets that need to be looped through quickly and efficiently

  3. You cannot use continue statements within forEach either so if something needs to be skipped during iteration it must be done manually outside of the normal flow

Common Mistakes to Avoid With forEach in JavaScript

One of the most common mistakes developers make when using forEach in JavaScript is missing the return statement. The callback function you pass to forEach will only return a value if you explicitly tell it to.

This can cause unexpected results, and might lead to confusion and errors. So, remember this—when implementing forEach in JavaScript, make sure you include a return statement in your callback function when appropriate.

Besides forgetting the return statement, here are some other common mistakes that you should look out for:

Incorrect Syntax

Check your syntax—a few characters in the wrong place can cause your code not to be read correctly. Make sure your code is correctly structured, and your syntax is correct before running it.

Asynchronous Behavior

forEach is synchronous by default—so if you want a specific asynchronous order, it's best to use Promise.all(). This allows you to ensure that all of your promises have been fulfilled before running forEach.

Unintended Side Effects

If you're not careful with how you set up your loop body, changing variables outside of it may cause unexpected results and unintended side effects.

For instance, let's say one of your loop conditions changes variables outside of its scope—it could change the conditions for another loop inside the same scope as well.

To avoid this, use scoping functions or other techniques that create a clear boundary for where variables and functions should stop being used or changed.

By avoiding these common mistakes with forEach in JavaScript, you can go a long way towards becoming an efficient and effective developer!


Knowing how to use forEach in JavaScript is an important first step in writing code that is optimized for speed and efficiency. It is also a great way to make your code cleaner and more readable.

With practice, you’ll find that using forEach in JavaScript is easy to learn and can reduce the time it takes to write and maintain your code.

ForEach in JavaScript is the perfect tool for iterating through data structures, performing a task on each value, and executing a function on selected values. With the ability to call a function on each element in an array, you can execute conditional statements and perform operations on each item in the array in a concise, clean way.

Learning to use forEach in JavaScript is only the beginning. Utilizing other ES6 array methods, such as map and filter, can help you create more efficient code with less effort. With a little practice, you’ll be writing powerful JavaScript code in no time!

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