Write Concern

Write concern describes the guarantee that MongoDB provides when reporting on the success of a write operation. The strength of the write concerns determine the level of guarantee. When inserts, updates and deletes have a weak write concern, write operations return quickly. In some failure cases, write operations issued with weak write concerns may not persist. With stronger write concerns, clients wait after sending a write operation for MongoDB to confirm the write operations.

MongoDB provides different levels of write concern to better address the specific needs of applications. Clients may adjust write concern to ensure that the most important operations persist successfully to an entire MongoDB deployment. For other less critical operations, clients can adjust the write concern to ensure faster performance rather than ensure persistence to the entire deployment.

Changed in version 2.6: A new protocol for write operations integrates write concern with the write operations.

For details on write concern configurations, see Write Concern Reference.


Default Write Concern

The mongo shell and the MongoDB drivers use Acknowledged as the default write concern.

See Acknowledged for more information, including when this write concern became the default.

Read Isolation

MongoDB allows clients to read documents inserted or modified before it commits these modifications to disk, regardless of write concern level or journaling configuration. As a result, applications may observe two classes of behaviors:

  • For systems with multiple concurrent readers and writers, MongoDB will allow clients to read the results of a write operation before the write operation returns.
  • If the mongod terminates before the journal commits, even if a write returns successfully, queries may have read data that will not exist after the mongod restarts.

Other database systems refer to these isolation semantics as read uncommitted. For all inserts and updates, MongoDB modifies each document in isolation: clients never see documents in intermediate states. For multi-document operations, MongoDB does not provide any multi-document transactions or isolation.

When a standalone mongod returns a successful journaled write concern, the data is fully committed to disk and will be available after mongod restarts.

For replica sets, write operations are durable only after a write replicates and commits to the journal on a majority of the voting members of the set. MongoDB regularly commits data to the journal regardless of journaled write concern: use the commitIntervalMs to control how often a mongod commits the journal.


Clients can set a wtimeout value as part of a replica acknowledged write concern. If the write concern is not satisfied in the specified interval, the operation returns an error, even if the write concern will eventually succeed.

MongoDB does not “rollback” or undo modifications made before the wtimeout interval expired.

Write Concern Levels

MongoDB has the following levels of conceptual write concern, listed from weakest to strongest:


With an unacknowledged write concern, MongoDB does not acknowledge the receipt of write operations. Unacknowledged is similar to errors ignored; however, drivers will attempt to receive and handle network errors when possible. The driver’s ability to detect network errors depends on the system’s networking configuration.

Before the releases outlined in Default Write Concern Change, this was the default write concern.

Write operation to a ``mongod`` instance with write concern of ``unacknowledged``. The client does not wait for any acknowledgment.


With a receipt acknowledged write concern, the mongod confirms that it received the write operation and applied the change to the in-memory view of data. Acknowledged write concern allows clients to catch network, duplicate key, and other errors.

MongoDB uses the acknowledged write concern by default starting in the driver releases outlined in Releases.

Changed in version 2.6: The mongo shell write methods now incorporates the write concern in the write methods and provide the default write concern whether run interactively or in a script. See Write Method Acknowledgements for details.

Write operation to a ``mongod`` instance with write concern of ``acknowledged``. The client waits for acknowledgment of success or exception.

Acknowledged write concern does not confirm that the write operation has persisted to the disk system.


With a journaled write concern, the MongoDB acknowledges the write operation only after committing the data to the journal. This write concern ensures that MongoDB can recover the data following a shutdown or power interruption.

You must have journaling enabled to use this write concern.

With a journaled write concern, write operations must wait for the next journal commit. To reduce latency for these operations, MongoDB also increases the frequency that it commits operations to the journal. See commitIntervalMs for more information.

Write operation to a ``mongod`` instance with write concern of ``journaled``. The ``mongod`` sends acknowledgment after it commits the write operation to the journal.


Requiring journaled write concern in a replica set only requires a journal commit of the write operation to the primary of the set regardless of the level of replica acknowledged write concern.

Replica Acknowledged

Replica sets present additional considerations with regards to write concern. The default write concern only requires acknowledgement from the primary.

With replica acknowledged write concern, you can guarantee that the write operation propagates to additional members of the replica set. See Write Concern for Replica Sets for more information.

Write operation to a replica set with write concern level of ``w:2`` or write to the primary and at least one secondary.


Requiring journaled write concern in a replica set only requires a journal commit of the write operation to the primary of the set regardless of the level of replica acknowledged write concern.