Linked List Reversal
 Linked List Reversal Algorithm
 Linked List Reversal Illustration
 Linked List Reversal Implementation
 Linked List Reversal Algorithm Complexity
A linked list is a linear data structure. A node of the linked list consists of:
 A data item.
 An address of the next node.
class Node {
int data;
Node *next;
};
This article will introduce how to reverse a linked list given the pointer to the head node of the linked list.
Linked List Reversal Algorithm
Let the head
be the first node of the linked list.
Iterative Algorithm

Initialize 3 pointers 
curr
ashead
,prev
andnext
asNULL
. 
Traverse the linked list until you reach the last node i.e.
curr
!=NULL
and do the following: Set
next
ascurr>next
to movenext
to its next node.  Reverse current node’s direction by pointing them toward
prev
. So, setcurr>next
asprev
 Set
prev
ascurr
to move it one position ahead.  Set
curr
asnext
to move it one position ahead.
 Set
Recursive Algorithm

Divide the list into two parts: the first node, i.e., the
head
node, and the rest of the linked list. 
Call
reverse(head>next)
, i.e., reverse the rest of the linked list and store the reversed linked list asrev
. 
Append
head
to the end of the reversed linked listrev
. 
Point
head
i.e. the tail of the reversed link list toNULL
.
Reverse Linked List Using Stack

Initialize pointer
curr
to thehead
of the linked list. 
Traverse the linked list and insert each node in the stack one by one.

Update
head
to the last node in the linked list i.e. the first node in the stack. 
Start popping the nodes out of the stack one by one and append it to the end of reversed linked list.

Update the next pointer of the last node to
NULL
.
Linked List Reversal Illustration

Initialize
curr
to point towards head i.e. node with data2
andprev
andcurr
asNULL
. 
Point
next
tocurr>next
with a value equal to4
. 
Set
curr>next
asprev
to get a reversed linked list with2
as the head. 
Move
prev
tocurr
i.e. node with data as2
andcurr
tonext
i.e. node with data as4
. 
Point
next
tocurr>next
with a value equal to6
. 
Set
curr>next
asprev
to get a reversed linked list with2
and4
as reversed nodes with4
as the head. 
Move
prev
tocurr
i.e. node with data as4
andcurr
tonext
i.e. node with data as6
. 
Point
next
tocurr>next
with a value equal to8
. 
Set
curr>next
asprev
to get a reversed linked list with2
,4
, and6
as reversed nodes with6
as the head. 
Move
prev
tocurr
i.e. node with data as6
andcurr
tonext
i.e. node with data as8
. 
Point
next
tocurr>next
which isNULL
. 
Set
curr>next
asprev
to get a reversed linked list with2
,4
,6
, and8
as reversed nodes with8
as the head. 
Move
prev
tocurr
i.e. node with data as8
andcurr
toNULL
and the algorithm terminates.
Linked List Reversal Implementation
#include <bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;
class Node {
public:
int data;
Node* next;
Node(int x) {
this>data = x;
this>next = NULL;
}
};
void printList(Node* head) {
Node* curr = head;
while (curr != NULL) {
cout << curr>data << " ";
curr = curr>next;
}
}
Node* reverse(Node* head) {
Node* curr = head;
Node *prev = NULL, *next = NULL;
while (curr != NULL) {
next = curr>next;
curr>next = prev;
prev = curr;
curr = next;
}
head = prev;
return head;
}
Node* recursiveReverse(Node* head) {
if (head == NULL  head>next == NULL) return head;
Node* rest = recursiveReverse(head>next);
head>next>next = head;
head>next = NULL;
return rest;
}
void reverseLL(Node** head) {
stack<Node*> s;
Node* temp = *head;
while (temp>next != NULL) {
s.push(temp);
temp = temp>next;
}
*head = temp;
while (!s.empty()) {
temp>next = s.top();
s.pop();
temp = temp>next;
}
temp>next = NULL;
}
int main() {
Node* head = new Node(1);
head>next = new Node(2);
head>next>next = new Node(3);
head>next>next>next = new Node(4);
head>next>next>next>next = new Node(5);
head>next>next>next>next>next = new Node(6);
head = reverse(head);
printList(head);
cout << "\n";
head = recursiveReverse(head);
printList(head);
cout << "\n";
reverseLL(&head);
printList(head);
cout << "\n";
return 0;
}
Linked List Reversal Algorithm Complexity
Time Complexity
 Average Case
To reverse the complete linked list, we have to visit every node and then append it to reversed list. So, if a linked list has n
nodes, the averagecase time complexity of traversal is of the order of O(n)
. The time complexity is of the order of O(n)
.
 Best Case
The bestcase time complexity is O(n)
. It is the same as averagecase time complexity.
 Worst Case
The worstcase time complexity is O(n)
. It is the same as bestcase time complexity.
Space Complexity
This traversal algorithm’s space complexity is O(1)
as no extra space other than for temporary pointers is required.
Harshit Jindal has done his Bachelors in Computer Science Engineering(2021) from DTU. He has always been a problem solver and now turned that into his profession. Currently working at M365 Cloud Security team(Torus) on Cloud Security Services and Datacenter Buildout Automation.
LinkedInRelated Article  Data Structure
 Circular Doubly Linked List
 Circular Linked List
 Doubly Linked List
 Linked List Deletion
 Linked List Insertion
 Linked List Merge Sort