How to Modify a Pandas DataFrame by Slicing it Inplace

What will you learn?

  • Modifying a pandas DataFrame using slicing techniques in Python.
  • Understanding how to apply changes directly to the original DataFrame.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

In this scenario, the challenge is to alter a pandas DataFrame by selecting specific subsets of data (slices) and updating these slices within the original DataFrame itself without creating unnecessary copies. To achieve this, we’ll explore how to utilize the inplace parameter while performing slice operations on DataFrames.


# Importing necessary libraries
import pandas as pd

# Creating a sample dataframe for demonstration
data = {'A': [1, 2, 3, 4],
        'B': ['apple', 'banana', 'cherry', 'date']}
df = pd.DataFrame(data)

# Displaying the original dataframe
print("Original DataFrame:")

# Modifying a slice of the dataframe inplace - Changing values in column 'A' where condition is met.
df.loc[df['A'] > 2, 'A'] *= 10

# Displaying the modified dataframe after applying changes inplace
print("\nDataFrame after modification:")

# Copyright PHD


  • We import the Pandas library for working with DataFrames.
  • A sample DataFrame df is created with two columns (‘A’ and ‘B’).
  • Using .loc[], we select rows where column ‘A’ has values greater than 2 and multiply them by 10 inplace.
    Why should I use inplace parameter?

    Using inplace=True modifies your existing object (DataFrame) instead of returning a new one which helps save memory and makes your code more efficient.

    Can I revert changes made inplace?

    No, once you make changes inplace they are permanent unless you have saved your initial state separately before making modifications.

    Does every method support inplace operation?

    No, not all methods support inplace. You would need to check documentation or method’s parameters list for its availability.

    Are there any performance benefits of using inplace operations?

    Yes, since no additional copy is created when using inplace, it leads to better performance especially with large datasets where memory usage needs optimization.

    What happens if I forget setting inplace=True?

    Forgetting or omitting setting inplace=True would result in modifications being made on temporary copies rather than affecting original objects leading possibly unexpected outcomes.

    Is it recommended practice always changing things in place?

    Not necessarily; while it may save memory and improve performance usually excessive use might make tracking changes difficult thus affecting code readability.


    In conclusion, we learned about modifying parts of Pandas DataFrames through slicing techniques efficiently by leveraging inplace parameter offered by certain methods like .loc[]. This approach helps us avoid unnecessary duplication and ensures direct manipulation on source data structures resulting in memory-efficient operations.

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