# Python Set symmetric_difference_update() Method – Tutorial with Examples

A set is an unordered collection of unique elements in Python. One of the built-in methods provided by Python for manipulating sets is the `symmetric_difference_update()` method. The `symmetric_difference_update()` method updates the set with the symmetric difference of itself and another set.

## Syntax

```set1.symmetric_difference_update(set2)
```

The `symmetric_difference_update()` method takes one argument, which is the set to compare with. It can also take multiple sets as arguments.

## Return Value

The `symmetric_difference_update()` method updates the set with the symmetric difference of itself and another set.

## Examples

### Example 1: Using symmetric_difference_update() method to update a set with the symmetric difference of itself and another set

Let’s create a set and use the `symmetric_difference_update()` method to update it with the symmetric difference of itself and another set:

```# Create a set
set1 = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}
# Create another set
set2 = {4, 5, 6, 7, 8}

# Update set1 with the symmetric difference of set1 and set2
set1.symmetric_difference_update(set2)

# Print set1 after updating it
print(set1)
```

Output:

`{1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8}`

In the above example, we created two sets (`set1` and `set2`) and used the `symmetric_difference_update()` method to update `set1` with the symmetric difference of itself and `set2`. The resulting set (`set1`) contains the elements that are in either `set1` or `set2`, but not in both.

### Example 2: Using symmetric_difference_update() method with multiple sets

We can also use the `symmetric_difference_update()` method with multiple sets:

```# Create a set
set1 = {1, 2, 3}
# Create two other sets
set2 = {2, 3, 4}
set3 = {3, 4, 5}

# Update set1 with the symmetric difference of itself, set2, and set3
set1.symmetric_difference_update(set2, set3)

# Print set1 after updating it
print(set1)
```

Output:

`{1, 5}`

In the above example, we created three sets (`set1`, `set2`, and `set3`) and used the `symmetric_difference_update()` method to update `set1` with the symmetric difference of itself, `set2`, and `set3`. The resulting set (`set1`) contains the elements that are in either of the three sets but not in all of them.

### Example 3: Using symmetric_difference_update() method with strings

We can also use the `symmetric_difference_update()` method with strings:

```# Create a set with a string
set1 = {'a', 'b', 'c', 'd'}
# Create another set with a string
set2 = {'c', 'd', 'e', 'f'}

# Update set1 with the symmetric difference of itself and set2
set1.symmetric_difference_update(set2)

# Print set1 after updating it
print(set1)
```

Output:

`{'a', 'b', 'e', 'f'}`

In the above example, we created two sets (`set1` and `set2`) with strings and used the `symmetric_difference_update()` method to update `set1` with the symmetric difference of itself and `set2`. The resulting set (`set1`) contains the characters that are in either of the two sets but not in both.

## Use Cases

The `symmetric_difference_update()` method can be useful in a variety of applications, such as:

• Removing elements from a set that are present in another set
• Finding the unique elements in multiple sets
• Checking for differences between sets

For example, if you have two sets of data and you want to remove the elements that are common to both sets, you can use the `symmetric_difference_update()` method to update the first set with the symmetric difference of itself and the second set:

```# Remove elements from set1 that are present in set2
set1.symmetric_difference_update(set2)
```

Similarly, if you have multiple sets of data and you want to find the unique elements across all the sets, you can use the `symmetric_difference_update()` method with all the sets:

```# Find the unique elements across all sets
set1.symmetric_difference_update(set2, set3, set4, ...)
```

Finally, if you want to check for differences between two sets, you can use the `symmetric_difference_update()` method to update one set with the symmetric difference of itself and the other set, and then check the resulting set:

```# Check for differences between set1 and set2
set1.symmetric_difference_update(set2)
if len(set1) == 0:
print("The sets are equal")
else:
print("The sets are not equal")
```

In summary, the `symmetric_difference_update()` method is a powerful tool for manipulating sets in Python. It allows you to update a set with the symmetric difference of itself and one or more other sets, making it useful for a variety of applications.