Deletion from a Circular Linked List

We have already discussed about circular linked list and traversal in a circular linked list in the below articles:
Introduction to circular linked list
Traversal in a circular linked list
In this article we will learn about deleting a node from a cicular linked list. Consider the linked list as shown below:

We will be given a node and our task is to delete that node from the circular linked list.


Input : 2->5->7->8->10->(head node)
        data = 5
Output : 2->7->8->10->(head node)

Input : 2->5->7->8->10->(head node)
Output : 2->5->8->10->2(head node)


Case 1: List is empty.

  • If the list is empty we will simply return.

Case 2:List is not empty

  • If the list is not empty then we define two pointers curr and prev and initialize the pointer curr with the head node.
  • Traverse the list using curr to find the node to be deleted and before moving curr to next node, everytime set prev = curr.
  • If the node is found, check if it is the only node in the list. If yes, set head = NULL and free(curr).
  • If the list has more than one node, check if it is the first node of the list. Condition to check this( curr == head). If yes, then move prev until it reaches the last node. After prev reaches the last node, set head = head -> next and prev -> next = head. Delete curr.
  • If curr is not first node, we check if it is the last node in the list. Condition to check this is (curr -> next == head).
  • If curr is the last node. Set prev -> next = head and delete the node curr by free(curr).
  • If the node to be deleted is neither the first node nor the last node, then set prev -> next = temp -> next and delete curr.

Complete C program to demonstrate deletion in Circular Linked List:

// C program to delete a given key from
// linked list.

/* structure for a node */
struct Node
    int data;
    struct Node *next;

/* Function to insert a node at the beginning of
   a Circular linked list */
void push(struct Node **head_ref, int data)
    // Create a new node and make head as next
    // of it.
    struct Node *ptr1 =
        (struct Node *)malloc(sizeof(struct Node));
    ptr1->data = data;
    ptr1->next = *head_ref;

    /* If linked list is not NULL then set the
       next of last node */
    if (*head_ref != NULL)
        // Find the node before head and update
        // next of it.
        struct Node *temp = *head_ref;
        while (temp->next != *head_ref)
            temp = temp->next;
        temp->next = ptr1;
        ptr1->next = ptr1; /*For the first node */

    *head_ref = ptr1;

/* Function to print nodes in a given
  circular linked list */
void printList(struct Node *head)
    struct Node *temp = head;
    if (head != NULL)
            printf("%d ", temp->data);
            temp = temp->next;
        while (temp != head);


/* Function to delete a given node from the list */
void deleteNode(struct Node *head, int key)
    if (head == NULL)

    // Find the required node
    struct Node *curr = head, *prev;
    while (curr->data != key)
        if (curr->next == head)
            printf("\nGiven node is not found"
                   " in the list!!!");

        prev = curr;
        curr = curr -> next;

    // Check if node is only node
    if (curr->next == head)
        head = NULL;

    // If more than one node, check if
    // it is first node
    if (curr == head)
        prev = head;
        while (prev -> next != head)
            prev = prev -> next;
        head = curr->next;
        prev->next = head;

    // check if node is last node
    else if (curr -> next == head)
        prev->next = head;
        prev->next = curr->next;

/* Driver program to test above functions */
int main()
    /* Initialize lists as empty */
    struct Node *head = NULL;

    /* Created linked list will be 2->5->7->8->10 */
    push(&head, 2);
    push(&head, 5);
    push(&head, 7);
    push(&head, 8);
    push(&head, 10);

    printf("List Before Deletion: ");

    deleteNode(head, 7);

    printf("List After Deletion: ");

    return 0;


List Before Deletion: 10 8 7 5 2
List After Deletion: 10 8 5 2

This article is contributed by Harsh Agarwal. If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using or mail your article to See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

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