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Quick Start

On this page

  • Set up Your Project
  • Install Node and npm
  • Create a MongoDB Cluster
  • Set up a Free Tier Cluster in Atlas
  • Connect to your Cluster
  • Next Steps

This guide shows you how to create an application that uses the Node.js driver to connect to a MongoDB Atlas cluster. If you prefer to connect to MongoDB using a different driver or programming language, see our list of official drivers.

The Node.js driver is an interface through which you can connect to and communicate with MongoDB instances.

MongoDB Atlas is a fully-managed cloud database service that hosts your data on MongoDB instances. We show you how to get started with your own free (no credit card required) instance in this guide.

Follow the steps below to connect your Node.js application with a MongoDB instance.

Ensure your system has Node.js version 12 or later and a compatible version of npm (Node Package Manager) installed. For information on how to check your version of Node and npm, as well as installation instructions, see downloading and installing Node.js and npm.

Select the Clone the Project tab if you want to build your project from a premade dependency file or the Create the Project tab if you want to create the project dependency file yourself.

At this point, you are ready to use the MongoDB Node.js driver with your application.

After installing the MongoDB Node.js driver, create a MongoDB instance to store and manage your data. Complete the Get Started with Atlas guide to set up a new Atlas account, a free cluster (MongoDB instance), and load sample data into your cluster.

After completing the steps in the Atlas guide, you should have a new MongoDB cluster deployed in Atlas, a database user with access to the cluster, and sample datasets loaded into the cluster.

In this step, we create and run an application that uses the MongoDB Node.js driver to connect to your instance of MongoDB and run a query on the sample data.

We pass instructions to the driver on where and how to connect to your MongoDB instance in a string called the connection string. This string includes information on the hostname or IP address and port of your instance, authentication mechanism, user credentials when applicable, and other connection options.

If you are connecting to an instance or cluster that is not hosted by Atlas, see Other Ways to Connect to MongoDB for instructions on how to format your connection string.

To retrieve your connection string for the instance and user you created in the previous step, log into your Atlas account and navigate to the Database section and click the Connect button for the cluster that you want to connect to as shown below.

The connect button in the clusters section of the Atlas UI

Proceed to the Connect Your Application step and select the Node.js driver. Select the Connection String Only tab and click the Copy button to copy the connection string to your clipboard as shown below.

The connection string copy button in the Connection String Only tab of the Atlas UI

Save your connection string to a safe location that you can access in the next step.

Next, create a file to contain your application called index.js in your node_quickstart directory. Add the following code, replacing the uri variable with your connection string. Make sure to replace the "<password>" section of the connection string with the password you created for your user that has atlasAdmin permissions.


The line of code assigning the MongoClient variable uses Object destructuring, introduced to Node in v6. If you are using an older version of Node, use the following to declare MongoClient.

const MongoClient = require("mongodb").MongoClient;
const { MongoClient } = require("mongodb");
// Replace the uri string with your MongoDB deployment's connection string.
const uri =
const client = new MongoClient(uri);
async function run() {
try {
await client.connect();
const database = client.db('sample_mflix');
const movies = database.collection('movies');
// Query for a movie that has the title 'Back to the Future'
const query = { title: 'Back to the Future' };
const movie = await movies.findOne(query);
} finally {
// Ensures that the client will close when you finish/error
await client.close();

Run the sample code with the following command from your command line:

node index.js

When you run the command, the sample code should output the details of the movie which resembles the following:

_id: ...,
plot: 'A young man is accidentally sent 30 years into the past...',
genres: [ 'Adventure', 'Comedy', 'Sci-Fi' ],
title: 'Back to the Future',

If you receive an error, check whether you included the proper connection string in the application code, and loaded the sample dataset in your Atlas cluster.

After completing this step, you should have a working application that uses the Node.js driver to connect to your MongoDB instance, run a query on the sample data, and prints out the result.

Learn how to read and modify data using the Node.js driver in our CRUD Operations guide or how to perform common operations in our usage examples.

←  MongoDB Node DriverQuick Reference →
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