Convert Tuple to List

Problem: Given a Python tuple with n elements. How to convert it into a list with the same n elements?


  • Convert tuple (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) into list [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
  • Convert tuple ('Alice', 'Bob', 'Ann') into list ['Alice', 'Bob', 'Ann'].
  • Convert tuple (1,) into list [1].

Note Tuple: Tuples are similar to lists—with the difference that you cannot change the tuple values (tuples are immutable) and you use parentheses rather than square brackets.

Solution: Use the built-in Python list() function to convert a list into a tuple. You don’t need to import any external library.

Code: The following code converts the three given tuples into lists.

tuple_1 = (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
# [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

tuple_2 = ('Alice', 'Bob', 'Ann')
# ['Alice', 'Bob', 'Ann']

tuple_3 = (1,)
# [1]

Try It Yourself: With our interactive code shell, you can try it yourself. As a small exercise, try to convert the empty tuple () into a list and see what happens.

Explanation: You can see that converting a tuple with one element leads to a list with one element. The list() function is the easiest way to convert a tuple into a list. Note that the values in the tuple are not copied—only a new reference to the same element is created:

The graphic also shows how to convert a tuple back to a list by using the tuple() function (that’s also a Python built-in function). Thus, calling list(tuple(lst)) on a list lst will result in a new list with the same elements.

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Try to execute this code with the interactive Python tutor: