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Executes a query and returns the first batch of results and the cursor id, from which the client can construct a cursor.


In mongosh, this command can also be run through the db.collection.find() or db.collection.findOne() helper methods.

Helper methods are convenient for mongosh users, but they may not return the same level of information as database commands. In cases where the convenience is not needed or the additional return fields are required, use the database command.

The find command has the following syntax:

Changed in version 5.0.

find: <string>,
filter: <document>,
sort: <document>,
projection: <document>,
hint: <document or string>,
skip: <int>,
limit: <int>,
batchSize: <int>,
singleBatch: <bool>,
comment: <any>,
maxTimeMS: <int>,
readConcern: <document>,
max: <document>,
min: <document>,
returnKey: <bool>,
showRecordId: <bool>,
tailable: <bool>,
oplogReplay: <bool>,
noCursorTimeout: <bool>,
awaitData: <bool>,
allowPartialResults: <bool>,
collation: <document>,
allowDiskUse : <bool>,
let: <document> // Added in MongoDB 5.0

The command accepts the following fields:

The name of the collection or view to query.
Optional. The query predicate. If unspecified, then all documents in the collection will match the predicate.
Optional. The sort specification for the ordering of the results.

Optional. The projection specification to determine which fields to include in the returned documents. See Projection and Projection Operators.

find() operations on views do not support the following Query and Projection Operators operators:

string or document

Optional. Index specification. Specify either the index name as a string or the index key pattern. If specified, then the query system will only consider plans using the hinted index.

With the following exception, hint is required if the command includes the min and/or max fields; hint is not required with min and/or max if the filter is an equality condition on the _id field { _id: <value> }.

Positive integer
Optional. Number of documents to skip. Defaults to 0.
Non-negative integer
Optional. The maximum number of documents to return. If unspecified, then defaults to no limit. A limit of 0 is equivalent to setting no limit.
non-negative integer

Optional. The number of documents to return in the first batch. Defaults to 101. A batchSize of 0 means that the cursor will be established, but no documents will be returned in the first batch.

Unlike the previous wire protocol version, a batchSize of 1 for the find command does not close the cursor.

Optional. Determines whether to close the cursor after the first batch. Defaults to false.

Optional. A user-provided comment to attach to this command. Once set, this comment appears alongside records of this command in the following locations:

A comment can be any valid BSON type (string, integer, object, array, etc).


Any comment set on a find command is inherited by any subsequent getMore commands run on the find cursor.

non-negative integer


Specifies a time limit in milliseconds. If you do not specify a value for maxTimeMS, operations will not time out. A value of 0 explicitly specifies the default unbounded behavior.

MongoDB terminates operations that exceed their allotted time limit using the same mechanism as db.killOp(). MongoDB only terminates an operation at one of its designated interrupt points.


When specifying linearizable read concern, always use maxTimeMS in case a majority of data bearing members are unavailable. maxTimeMS ensures that the operation does not block indefinitely and instead ensures that the operation returns an error if the read concern cannot be fulfilled.


Optional. Specifies the read concern.

The readConcern option has the following syntax: readConcern: { level: <value> }

Possible read concern levels are:

For more formation on the read concern levels, see Read Concern Levels.

The getMore command uses the readConcern level specified in the originating find command.


Optional. The exclusive upper bound for a specific index. See cursor.max() for details.

To use the max field, the command must also use hint unless the specified filter is an equality condition on the _id field { _id: <value> }.


Optional. The inclusive lower bound for a specific index. See cursor.min() for details.

To use the min field, the command must also use hint unless the specified filter is an equality condition on the _id field { _id: <value> }.

Optional. If true, returns only the index keys in the resulting documents. Default value is false. If returnKey is true and the find command does not use an index, the returned documents will be empty.
Optional. Determines whether to return the record identifier for each document. If true, adds a field $recordId to the returned documents.
Optional. Returns a tailable cursor for a capped collections.
Optional. Use in conjunction with the tailable option to block a getMore command on the cursor temporarily if at the end of data rather than returning no data. After a timeout period, find returns as normal.
Optional. Prevents the server from timing out non-session idle cursors after an inactivity period of 30 minutes. Ignored for cursors that are part of a session. For more information, refer to Session Idle Timeout.

Optional. For queries against a sharded collection, allows the command (or subsequent getMore commands) to return partial results, rather than an error, if one or more queried shards are unavailable.

If find (or subsequent getMore commands) returns partial results because the queried shard(s) aren't available, the find output includes a partialResultsReturned indicator field. If the queried shards are available for the initial find command, but one or more shards become unavailable for subsequent getMore commands, only the getMore commands that run while the shards aren't available include partialResultsReturned in their output.



Specifies the collation to use for the operation.

Collation allows users to specify language-specific rules for string comparison, such as rules for lettercase and accent marks.

The collation option has the following syntax:

collation: {
locale: <string>,
caseLevel: <boolean>,
caseFirst: <string>,
strength: <int>,
numericOrdering: <boolean>,
alternate: <string>,
maxVariable: <string>,
backwards: <boolean>

When specifying collation, the locale field is mandatory; all other collation fields are optional. For descriptions of the fields, see Collation Document.

If the collation is unspecified but the collection has a default collation (see db.createCollection()), the operation uses the collation specified for the collection.

If no collation is specified for the collection or for the operations, MongoDB uses the simple binary comparison used in prior versions for string comparisons.

You cannot specify multiple collations for an operation. For example, you cannot specify different collations per field, or if performing a find with a sort, you cannot use one collation for the find and another for the sort.



Use this option to override allowDiskUseByDefault for a specific query. You can use this option to either:

  • Prohibit disk use on a system where disk use is allowed by default.

  • Allow disk use on a system where disk use is prohibited by default.

Starting in MongoDB 6.0, if allowDiskUseByDefault is set to true and the server requires more than 100 megabytes of memory for a pipeline execution stage, MongoDB automatically writes temporary files to disk unless the query specifies { allowDiskUse: false }.

For details, see allowDiskUseByDefault.

allowDiskUse has no effect if MongoDB can satisfy the specified sort using an index, or if the blocking sort requires less than 100 megabytes of memory.

For more complete documentation on allowDiskUse, see cursor.allowDiskUse().

For more information on memory restrictions for large blocking sorts, see Sort and Index Use.



Specifies a document with a list of variables. This allows you to improve command readability by separating the variables from the query text.

The document syntax is:

<variable_name_1>: <expression_1>,
<variable_name_n>: <expression_n>

The variable is set to the value returned by the expression, and cannot be changed afterwards.

To access the value of a variable in the command, use the double dollar sign prefix ($$) together with your variable name in the form $$<variable_name>. For example: $$targetTotal.


To use a variable to filter results, you must access the variable within the $expr operator.

For a complete example using let and variables, see Use Variables in let.

New in version 5.0.

The command returns a document that contains the cursor information, including the cursor ID and the first batch of documents. For example, the following document is returned when run against a sharded collection:

"cursor" : {
"firstBatch" : [
"_id" : ObjectId("5e8e2ca217b5324fa9847435"),
"zipcode" : "20001",
"x" : 1
"_id" : ObjectId("5e8e2ca517b5324fa9847436"),
"zipcode" : "30001",
"x" : 1
"partialResultsReturned" : true,
"id" : NumberLong("668860441858272439"),
"ns" : "test.contacts"
"ok" : 1,
"operationTime" : Timestamp(1586380205, 1),
"$clusterTime" : {
"clusterTime" : Timestamp(1586380225, 2),
"signature" : {
"hash" : BinData(0,"aI/jWsUVUSkMw8id+A+AVVTQh9Y="),
"keyId" : NumberLong("6813364731999420435")

Contains the cursor information, including the cursor id and the firstBatch of documents.

If the operation against a sharded collection returns partial results due to the unavailability of the queried shard(s), the cursor document includes a partialResultsReturned field. To return partial results, rather than error, due to the unavailability of the queried shard(s), the find command must run with allowPartialResults set to true. See allowPartialResults.

If the queried shards are initially available for the find command but one or more shards become unavailable in subsequent getMore commands, only the getMore commands run when a queried shard or shards are unavailable include the partialResultsReturned flag in the output.

Indicates whether the command has succeeded (1) or failed (0).

In addition to the aforementioned find-specific fields, the db.runCommand() includes the following information for replica sets and sharded clusters:

  • $clusterTime

  • operationTime

See db.runCommand() Results for details.

Starting in MongoDB 5.1, invalid $regex options options are no longer ignored. This change makes $regex options more consistent with the use of $regex in the aggregate command and projection queries.

For cursors created inside a session, you cannot call getMore outside the session.

Similarly, for cursors created outside of a session, you cannot call getMore inside a session.

MongoDB drivers and mongosh associate all operations with a server session, with the exception of unacknowledged write operations. For operations not explicitly associated with a session (i.e. using Mongo.startSession()), MongoDB drivers and mongosh create an implicit session and associate it with the operation.

If a session is idle for longer than 30 minutes, the MongoDB server marks that session as expired and may close it at any time. When the MongoDB server closes the session, it also kills any in-progress operations and open cursors associated with the session. This includes cursors configured with noCursorTimeout() or a maxTimeMS() greater than 30 minutes.

For operations that return a cursor, if the cursor may be idle for longer than 30 minutes, issue the operation within an explicit session using Mongo.startSession() and periodically refresh the session using the refreshSessions command. See Session Idle Timeout for more information.

find can be used inside distributed transactions.

  • For cursors created outside of a transaction, you cannot call getMore inside the transaction.

  • For cursors created in a transaction, you cannot call getMore outside the transaction.


In most cases, a distributed transaction incurs a greater performance cost over single document writes, and the availability of distributed transactions should not be a replacement for effective schema design. For many scenarios, the denormalized data model (embedded documents and arrays) will continue to be optimal for your data and use cases. That is, for many scenarios, modeling your data appropriately will minimize the need for distributed transactions.

For additional transactions usage considerations (such as runtime limit and oplog size limit), see also Production Considerations.

Starting in MongoDB 4.2, if the client that issued find disconnects before the operation completes, MongoDB marks find for termination using killOp.

When using Stable API V1, the following find command fields are not supported:

  • awaitData

  • max

  • min

  • noCursorTimeout

  • oplogReplay

  • returnKey

  • showRecordId

  • tailable

Starting in MongoDB 6.0, an index filter uses the collation previously set using the planCacheSetFilter command.

The following command runs the find command filtering on the rating field and the cuisine field. The command includes a projection to only return the following fields in the matching documents: _id, name, rating, and address fields.

The command sorts the documents in the result set by the name field and limits the result set to 5 documents.

find: "restaurants",
filter: { rating: { $gte: 9 }, cuisine: "italian" },
projection: { name: 1, rating: 1, address: 1 },
sort: { name: 1 },
limit: 5

To override the default read concern level of "local", use the readConcern option.

The following operation on a replica set specifies a read concern of "majority" to read the most recent copy of the data confirmed as having been written to a majority of the nodes.

find: "restaurants",
filter: { rating: { $lt: 5 } },
readConcern: { level: "majority" }

Regardless of the read concern level, the most recent data on a node may not reflect the most recent version of the data in the system.

The getMore command uses the readConcern level specified in the originating find command.

A readConcern can be specified for the mongosh method db.collection.find() using the cursor.readConcern() method:

db.restaurants.find( { rating: { $lt: 5 } } ).readConcern("majority")

For more information on available read concerns, see Read Concern.

Collation allows users to specify language-specific rules for string comparison, such as rules for lettercase and accent marks.

The following operation runs the find command with the collation specified:

find: "myColl",
filter: { category: "cafe", status: "a" },
sort: { category: 1 },
collation: { locale: "fr", strength: 1 }

mongosh provides the cursor.collation() to specify collation for a db.collection.find() operation.

New in version 5.0.

To define variables that you can access elsewhere in the command, use the let option.


To filter results using a variable, you must access the variable within the $expr operator.

Create a collection cakeFlavors:

db.cakeFlavors.insertMany( [
{ _id: 1, flavor: "chocolate" },
{ _id: 2, flavor: "strawberry" },
{ _id: 3, flavor: "cherry" }
] )

The following example defines a targetFlavor variable in let and uses the variable to retrieve the chocolate cake flavor:

db.cakeFlavors.runCommand( {
find: db.cakeFlavors.getName(),
filter: { $expr: { $eq: [ "$flavor", "$$targetFlavor" ] } },
let : { targetFlavor: "chocolate" }
} )