Published May 12, 2022Updated May 23, 2022
Contribute to Docs

The .dropna() function returns a new DataFrame object with rows or columns removed if they contain NA values. The original DataFrame object, used to call the method, remains unchanged.


# Drop rows with any NA values.
df = dataframevalue.dropna()

# Drop from specified axis where NA values appear.
df = dataframevalue.dropna(axis)

# Specify dropping from axis if any values are NA, or if all values are NA.
df = dataframevalue.dropna(axis,how)
  • dataframevalue is the DataFrame with the source data.
  • axis is equal to 0 for dropping rows and 1 for dropping columns, it defaults to 0.
  • how can be “any” or “all” and defaults to “any,” which specifies if a row or column is dropped if any values are NA or if all values are NA.

DataFrame.dropna() has the following parameters:

Parameter Name Data Type Usage
axis 0/1 or ‘index’/‘columns’ Specifies dropping to columns or rows (indices). Defaults to 0.
how ‘any’ or ‘all’ Specified dropping when any value is NA or if all values are NA
subset column label or sequence Specifies labels to check for NA values along other axis. (i.e. columns to check if dropping rows.)
inplace bool If True, alters the existing DataFrame rather than returning a new one. Defaults to False.


In the following example, the .dropna() method is used in two separate instances:

import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
d = {'col 1' : [1,2,3,np.nan], 'col 2' : ['A','B',np.nan,'D'], 'col 3' : [5,6,7,8], 'col 4' : ['E','F','G','H']}
df = pd.DataFrame(data = d)
print(f'Original df:\n{df}\n')
first_dropna = df.dropna()
print(f'First dropna():\n{first_dropna}\n')
second_dropna = df.dropna('columns')
print(f'Second dropna(\'columns\'):\n{second_dropna}')

The output from these instances of the .dropna() method is shown below:

Original df:
col 1 col 2 col 3 col 4
0 1.0 A 5 E
1 2.0 B 6 F
2 3.0 NaN 7 G
3 NaN D 8 H
After first dropna():
col 1 col 2 col 3 col 4
0 1.0 A 5 E
1 2.0 B 6 F
After second dropna('columns'):
col 3 col 4
0 5 E
1 6 F
2 7 G
3 8 H

All contributors

Looking to contribute?

Learn Python:Pandas on Codecademy