# How to check if two arrays are equal with vanilla JS

This morning, I was helping a student create a function to find the differences between two objects.

Side note: I recorded a video of that process, and will be releasing it and an article on the finished helper function on Monday.

One of the things we needed to check was if two arrays are equal or not. Today, I wanted to share a little helper function I threw together to compare two arrays.

## Creating a helper function

First, let’s setup an `arraysMatch()` helper function. It will accept two arguments, one for each array you want to compare.

``````var arraysMatch = function (arr1, arr2) {
// Code will go here...
};
``````

To check for equality, we first need to make sure the arrays are the same length. If not, they’re not equal and we can `return false`.

``````var arraysMatch = function (arr1, arr2) {

// Check if the arrays are the same length
if (arr1.length !== arr2.length) return false;

};
``````

Arrays are order-specific. If two arrays have all the same items, but in a different order, they’re not strictly equal.

We’ll loop through each item in the first array, and check to see if it’s index (the `i` variable) is the same as the index of that same item in the second array. If it’s not (or if the item doesn’t exist at all), we’ll `return false`.

I used a simple `for` loop here instead of `forEach()` because we can bail the second an item doesn’t match instead of completing the whole loop.

``````var arraysMatch = function (arr1, arr2) {

// Check if the arrays are the same length
if (arr1.length !== arr2.length) return false;

// Check if all items exist and are in the same order
for (var i = 0; arr1.length < i; i++) {
if (arr1[i] !== arr2[i]) return false;
}

};
``````

If everything checks out, we can `return true`.

``````var arraysMatch = function (arr1, arr2) {

// Check if the arrays are the same length
if (arr1.length !== arr2.length) return false;

// Check if all items exist and are in the same order
for (var i = 0; i < arr1.length; i++) {
if (arr1[i] !== arr2[i]) return false;
}

// Otherwise, return true
return true;

};
``````

Here’s a working demo. You can also find this on the Vanilla JS Toolkit.

## Browser compatibility

This works in all moderns browsers, and back to at least IE6.