# Convert NumPy Array to List in Python

Manav Narula Jul-18, 2021 Mar-14, 2021 Python Python Array

Lists and arrays are two of the most fundamental and frequently used collection objects in Python.

Both of them are mutable, used to store a collection of elements under a common name, and every element has a specific position that can be used to access it.

However, there are a few notable differences. Lists are already inbuilt in Python, whereas for arrays, we need to import `arrays` or `NumPy` module and need to declare arrays before using them. Arrays also store data more efficiently in memory and are highly used for mathematical operations.

In this tutorial, we will convert a numpy array to a list.

## Use the `tolist()` Method to Convert a NumPy Array to a List

The `tolist()` Method of the NumPy array can convert a numpy array to a list.

For example,

``````import numpy as np

oned = np.array([[1,2,3]])
twod = np.array([[1,2,3],[4,5,6]])

print(oned.tolist())
print(twod.tolist())
``````

Output:

``````[[1, 2, 3]]
[[1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6]]
``````

Note that this method treats the whole array as one element. That is why when we use it with a 2-D array it returns a list of lists.

To avoid this, we can use the `tolist()` with the `flatten()` or the `ravel()` method, which can convert an N-D array to a linear 1-D array. Both these methods perform the same functionality. The difference is that the `ravel()` method returns a reference view of the array and affects the original array, whereas the `flatten()` method works on a copy of the array. Due to this, the `ravel()` function is considered faster and occupies less memory.

The following code shows the use of these functions.

``````import numpy as np

oned = np.array([1,2,3])
twod = np.array([[1,2,3],[4,5,6]])

print(oned.flatten().tolist())
print(twod.flatten().tolist())

print(oned.ravel().tolist())
print(twod.ravel().tolist())
``````

Output:

``````[1, 2, 3]
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
[1, 2, 3]
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
``````

## Use the `for` Loop to Convert a NumPy Array to a List in Python

This is just a basic method for someone who is new to programming or wants to customize the final list. We iterate through an array and append each element individually to an empty list. The following code implements this.

``````import numpy as np

arr = np.array([1, 2, 3])
lst = []

for x in arr:
lst.append(x)

print(lst)
``````

Output:

``````[1, 2, 3]
``````
Author: Manav Narula

Manav is a IT Professional who has a lot of experience as a core developer in many live projects. He is an avid learner who enjoys learning new things and sharing his findings whenever possible.