CodeGuy CodeGuy - 3 months ago 10
R Question

Remove NA values from a vector

How can I remove NA values from a vector?

I have a huge vector which has a couple of

NA
values, and I'm trying to find the max value in that vector (the vector is all numbers), but I can't do this because of the NA values.

How can I remove the NA values so that I can compute the max?

Answer

Trying ?max, you'll see that it actually has a na.rm = argument, set by default to FALSE. (That's the common default for many other R functions, including sum(), mean(), etc.)

Setting na.rm=TRUE does just what you're asking for:

d <- c(1, 100, NA, 10)
max(d, na.rm=TRUE)

If you do want to remove all of the NAs, use this idiom instead:

d <- d[!is.na(d)]

A final note: Other functions (e.g. table(), lm(), and sort()) have NA-related arguments that use different names (and offer different options). So if NA's cause you problems in a function call, it's worth checking for a built-in solution among the function's arguments. I've found there's usually one already there.