Iterating over the elements of the array in JavaScript is a very common task. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use the built-in array function forEach to go over all array elements.

Before I tell you about forEach, let’s recall how you can loop through an array with the regular for loop.

Imagine that you need to display the value of all elements of an array, each on a new line.

const arr = [ -1, 2, 4, 0, -5, 7 ];

for (let i = 0; i < arr.length; i++) {

Using a regular for loop, you call the console.log function on each iteration of the loop and pass the current array element arr[i] in it.

The forEach function will allow you to shorten your code a bit. It is similar to the filter function in a way as you’ll also need a handler function to use it. This function will be called for each element of the array.

The fundamental difference is that forEach does not return anything.

const arr = [ -1, 2, 4, 0, -5, 7 ];

arr.forEach(item => console.log(item));

Now let’s think about what we could make the example above even shorter.

The item => console.log(item) function does nothing with the item parameter other than passing it further into console.log which outputs item to the screen.

It turns out that we could use the console.log function without this wrapper from item => ... and the result would remain the same.

const arr = [ -1, 2, 4, 0, -5, 7 ];


Note that we don’t put parentheses after console.log because we don’t call the console.log function. We pass it as a parameter to the forEach loop, where it will be applied to each element of the array.

The call will be controlled by forEach, not by us.

This is a very important point at which many interns stumble.