Things I've Learnt

Things You Should Know About Array.findIndex

January 04, 2020

Array.prototype.findIndex according to MDN is:

A method that returns the index of the first element in the array that satisfies the provided testing function. Otherwise, it returns -1, indicating that no element passed the test.

Example Usage

Say we have the following array:

const arr = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

The following code will find the first element who’s value is 3 and return its index:

arr.findIndex(value => value === 3) // 2

What’s happening here?

We are calling findIndex, passing it a callback (a method that gets called back). The callback gets called per each item in arr, and the first parameter passed to it is the current value.


Take a look at the following piece of code. What do you think the output should be?

[1, 2, 3, 'some value'].findIndex(value => {
  return false

Now try running it in the console, what is the output?

Back to our example, it was a very simple one, for which we could have easily gone with indexOf:

arr.indexOf(3) // Also outputs 2

But, and that’s where findIndex shines, what if we have the following array:

const students = [
  { name: 'Billy Blaze' },
  { name: 'Dave' },
  { name: 'Rio' }

If we wanted to look for a student who’s name is “Dave” we couldn’t use indexOf since it accepts the entire object we are looking for as its argument.

I mean, we could write something like this:


But that just makes no sense.

However, by calling findIndex and passing it a callback that looks for a specific name within the object passed to it, we could accomplish this easily:

students.findIndex(student => === 'Dave')

Array.findIndex vs Array.find

Much like findIndex, find accepts a callback that gets called per each item within the array, until one is found.

Unlike findIndex (that returns the found item’s index within the array), find will return the item itself.