Python | Difference between Pandas.copy() and copying through variables

Pandas .copy() method is used to create a copy of a Pandas object. Variables are also used to generate copy of an object but variables are just pointer to an object and any change in new data will also change the previous data.

The following examples will show the difference between copying through variables and Pandas.copy() method.

Example #1: Copying through variables
In this example, a sample Pandas series is made and copied in a new variable. After that, some changes are made in the new data and compared with the old data.



filter_none

edit
close

play_arrow

link
brightness_4
code

# importing pandas module
import pandas as pd
  
# creating sample series
data = pd.Series(['a', 'b', 'c', 'd'])
  
# creating copy of series
new = data
  
# assigning new values
new[1]='Changed value'
  
# printing data
print(new)
print(data)

chevron_right


Output:
As shown in the output image, the changes made in new data are also reflected in the old data since the new variable was just a pointer to old one.

 
Example #2: Using Pandas.copy() method
In this example, pandas.copy() method is used to copy a data and some changes are made in the new data. The changes are then compared to old data.

filter_none

edit
close

play_arrow

link
brightness_4
code

# importing pandas module
import pandas as pd
  
# creating sample series
data = pd.Series(['a', 'b', 'c', 'd'])
  
# creating copy of series
new = data.copy()
  
# assigning new values
new[1]='Changed value'
  
# printing data
print(new)
print(data)

chevron_right


Output:
As shown in the output image, the changes in new data are independent and didn’t change anything in old one.



My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up

Developer in day, Designer at night GSoC 2019 with Python Software Foundation (EOS Design system)

If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using contribute.geeksforgeeks.org or mail your article to contribute@geeksforgeeks.org. See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

Please Improve this article if you find anything incorrect by clicking on the "Improve Article" button below.