The indexOf() method returns the first index at which a given element can be found in the array, or -1 if it is not present.

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indexOf(searchElement, fromIndex)



Element to locate in the array.

fromIndex Optional

Zero-based index at which to start searching, converted to an integer.

  • Negative index counts back from the end of the array — if fromIndex < 0, fromIndex + array.length is used. Note, the array is still searched from front to back in this case.
  • If fromIndex < -array.length or fromIndex is omitted, 0 is used, causing the entire array to be searched.
  • If fromIndex >= array.length, the array is not searched and -1 is returned.

Return value

The first index of the element in the array; -1 if not found.


The indexOf() method compares searchElement to elements of the array using strict equality (the same algorithm used by the === operator).

The indexOf() method skips empty slots in sparse arrays.

The indexOf() method is generic. It only expects the this value to have a length property and integer-keyed properties.


Using indexOf()

The following example uses indexOf() to locate values in an array.

const array = [2, 9, 9];
array.indexOf(2); // 0
array.indexOf(7); // -1
array.indexOf(9, 2); // 2
array.indexOf(2, -1); // -1
array.indexOf(2, -3); // 0

Finding all the occurrences of an element

const indices = [];
const array = ["a", "b", "a", "c", "a", "d"];
const element = "a";
let idx = array.indexOf(element);
while (idx !== -1) {
  idx = array.indexOf(element, idx + 1);
// [0, 2, 4]

Finding if an element exists in the array or not and updating the array

function updateVegetablesCollection(veggies, veggie) {
  if (veggies.indexOf(veggie) === -1) {
    console.log(`New veggies collection is: ${veggies}`);
  } else {
    console.log(`${veggie} already exists in the veggies collection.`);

const veggies = ["potato", "tomato", "chillies", "green-pepper"];

updateVegetablesCollection(veggies, "spinach");
// New veggies collection is: potato,tomato,chillies,green-pepper,spinach
updateVegetablesCollection(veggies, "spinach");
// spinach already exists in the veggies collection.

Using indexOf() on sparse arrays

You cannot use indexOf() to search for empty slots in sparse arrays.

console.log([1, , 3].indexOf(undefined)); // -1

Calling indexOf() on non-array objects

The indexOf() method reads the length property of this and then accesses each integer index.

const arrayLike = {
  length: 3,
  0: 2,
  1: 3,
  2: 4,
console.log(, 2));
// 0
console.log(, 5));
// -1


ECMAScript Language Specification
# sec-array.prototype.indexof

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See also