Detecting a Loop in Linked List

Procedure to check if a given list has a loop using Floyd's Cycle Finding Algorithm.

Procedure :

  • Take two pointers : slow and fast

  • Move the slow pointer by 1 node each time and fast pointer by 2 nodes each time.

  • Perform the above step until either of the pointer become NULL or the next of fast becomes NULL.

  • Check if both the pointers are same. If so, the linked list has a loop. Else, it doesn't.

int isLoop(struct node *ptr) {
    // Two pointers to check for loop
    struct node *slow = ptr;
    struct node *fast = ptr;
    while (slow && fast && fast -> next) {
        // Move slow by one step
        slow = slow -> next;
        // Move fast by two steps
        fast = fast -> next -> next;
        // Check if the pointers are same
        if (slow == fast) {
            return 1;
    return 0;


Contributed by Nitin Ranganath

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