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MongoDB Shell

Update Documents

On this page

  • Update Operator Syntax
  • Update a Single Document
  • Update Multiple Documents
  • Replace a Document
  • Update Behavior
  • Learn More

The MongoDB shell provides the following methods to update documents in a collection:

The examples on this page reference the Atlas sample dataset. You can create a free Atlas cluster and populate that cluster with sample data to follow along with these examples. To learn more, see Get Started with Atlas.

To update a document, MongoDB provides update operators, such as $set, to modify field values.

To use the update operators, pass to the update methods an update document of the form:

<update operator>: { <field1>: <value1>, ... },
<update operator>: { <field2>: <value2>, ... },

Some update operators, such as $set, create the field if the field does not exist. See the individual update operator reference for details.

Use the db.collection.updateOne() method to update the first document that matches a specified filter.


MongoDB preserves a natural sort order for documents. This ordering is an internal implementation feature, and you should not rely on any particular structure within it. To learn more, see natural order.


To update the first document in the sample_mflix.movies collection where title equals "Twilight":

use sample_mflix
db.movies.updateOne( { title: "Twilight" },
$set: {
plot: "A teenage girl risks everything–including her life–when she falls in love with a vampire."
$currentDate: { lastUpdated: true }

The update operation:

  • Uses the $set operator to update the value of the plot field for the movie Twilight.

  • Uses the $currentDate operator to update the value of the lastUpdated field to the current date. If lastUpdated field does not exist, $currentDate will create the field. See $currentDate for details.

Use the db.collection.updateMany() to update all documents that match a specified filter.


To update all documents in the sample_airbnb.listingsAndReviews collection to update where security_deposit is less than 100:

use sample_airbnb
{ security_deposit: { $lt: 100 } },
$set: { security_deposit: 100, minimum_nights: 1 }

The update operation uses the $set operator to update the value of the security_deposit field to 100 and the value of the minimum_nights field to 1.

To replace the entire content of a document except for the _id field, pass an entirely new document as the second argument to db.collection.replaceOne().

When replacing a document, the replacement document must contain only field/value pairs. Do not include update operators expressions.

The replacement document can have different fields from the original document. In the replacement document, you can omit the _id field since the _id field is immutable; however, if you do include the _id field, it must have the same value as the current value.


To replace the first document from the sample_analytics.accounts collection where account_id: 371138:

{ account_id: 371138 },
{ account_id: 893421, limit: 5000, products: [ "Investment", "Brokerage" ] }

Run the following command to read your updated document:

db.accounts.findOne( { account_id: 893421 } )

To learn more about the specific behavior of updating documents, see Behavior.


Query Documents


Delete Documents