OPTIONS

db.collection.remove()

Definition

db.collection.remove()

Removes documents from a collection.

The db.collection.remove() method can have one of two syntaxes. The remove() method can take a query document and an optional justOne boolean:

db.collection.remove(
   <query>,
   <justOne>
)

Or the method can take a query document and an optional remove options document:

New in version 2.6.

db.collection.remove(
   <query>,
   {
     justOne: <boolean>,
     writeConcern: <document>
   }
)
Parameter Type Description
query document

Specifies deletion criteria using query operators. To delete all documents in a collection, pass an empty document ({}).

Changed in version 2.6: In previous versions, the method invoked with no query parameter deleted all documents in a collection.

justOne boolean Optional. To limit the deletion to just one document, set to true. Omit to use the default value of false and delete all documents matching the deletion criteria.
writeConcern document

Optional. A document expressing the write concern. Omit to use the default write concern. See Safe Writes.

New in version 2.6.

Changed in version 2.6: The remove() returns an object that contains the status of the operation.

Returns:A WriteResult object that contains the status of the operation.

Behavior

Safe Writes

Changed in version 2.6.

The remove() method uses the delete command, which uses the default write concern. To specify a different write concern, include the write concern in the options parameter.

Query Considerations

By default, remove() removes all documents that match the query expression. Specify the justOne option to limit the operation to removing a single document. To delete a single document sorted by a specified order, use the findAndModify() method.

Capped Collections

You cannot use the remove() method with a capped collection.

Sharded Collections

All remove() operations for a sharded collection that specify the justOne option must include the shard key or the _id field in the query specification. remove() operations specifying justOne in a sharded collection without the shard key or the _id field return an error.

Examples

The following are examples of the remove() method.

Remove All Documents from a Collection

To remove all documents in a collection, call the remove method with an empty query document {}. The following operation deletes all documents from the bios collection:

db.bios.remove( { } )

This operation is not equivalent to the drop() method.

To remove all documents from a collection, it may be more efficient to use the drop() method to drop the entire collection, including the indexes, and then recreate the collection and rebuild the indexes.

Remove All Documents that Match a Condition

To remove the documents that match a deletion criteria, call the remove() method with the <query> parameter:

The following operation removes all the documents from the collection products where qty is greater than 20:

db.products.remove( { qty: { $gt: 20 } } )

Override Default Write Concern

The following operation to a replica set removes all the documents from the collection products where qty is greater than 20 and specifies a write concern of "w: majority" with a wtimeout of 5000 milliseconds such that the method returns after the write propagates to a majority of the replica set members or the method times out after 5 seconds.

db.products.remove(
    { qty: { $gt: 20 } },
    { writeConcern: { w: "majority", wtimeout: 5000 } }
)

Remove a Single Document that Matches a Condition

To remove the first document that match a deletion criteria, call the remove method with the query criteria and the justOne parameter set to true or 1.

The following operation removes the first document from the collection products where qty is greater than 20:

db.products.remove( { qty: { $gt: 20 } }, true )

Isolate Removal Operations

If the <query> argument to the remove() method matches multiple documents in the collection, the delete operation may interleave with other write operations to that collection. For an unsharded collection, you have the option to override this behavior with the $isolated isolation operator, effectively isolating the delete operation and blocking other write operations during the delete. To isolate the query, include $isolated: 1 in the <query> parameter as in the following examples:

db.products.remove( { qty: { $gt: 20 }, $isolated: 1 } )

WriteResult

Changed in version 2.6.

Successful Results

The remove() returns a WriteResult object that contains the status of the operation. Upon success, the WriteResult object contains information on the number of documents removed:

WriteResult({ "nRemoved" : 4 })

Write Concern Errors

If the remove() method encounters write concern errors, the results include the WriteResult.writeConcernError field:

WriteResult({
   "nRemoved" : 21,
   "writeConcernError" : {
      "code" : 64,
      "errInfo" : {
         "wtimeout" : true
      },
      "errmsg" : "waiting for replication timed out"
   }
})

Errors Unrelated to Write Concern

If the remove() method encounters a non-write concern error, the results include WriteResult.writeError field:

WriteResult({
   "nRemoved" : 0,
   "writeError" : {
      "code" : 2,
      "errmsg" : "unknown top level operator: $invalidFieldName"
   }
})