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Configure a Hidden Replica Set Member

Hidden members are part of a replica set but cannot become primary and are invisible to client applications. Hidden members do vote in elections. For a more information on hidden members and their uses, see Hidden Replica Set Members.


The most common use of hidden nodes is to support delayed members. If you only need to prevent a member from becoming primary, configure a priority 0 member.

If the chainingAllowed setting allows secondary members to sync from other secondaries, MongoDB by default prefers non-hidden members over hidden members when selecting a sync target. MongoDB will only choose hidden members as a last resort. If you want a secondary to sync from a hidden member, use the replSetSyncFrom database command to override the default sync target. See the documentation for replSetSyncFrom before using the command.

Changed in version 2.0: For sharded clusters running with replica sets before 2.0, if you reconfigured a member as hidden, you had to restart mongos to prevent queries from reaching the hidden member.


Member Configuration Document

To configure a secondary member as hidden, set its priority value to 0 and set its hidden value to true in its member configuration:

  "_id" : <num>
  "host" : <hostname:port>,
  "priority" : 0,
  "hidden" : true

Configuration Procedure

The following example hides the secondary member currently at the index 0 in the members array. To configure a hidden member, use the following sequence of operations in a mongo shell connected to the primary, specifying the member to configure by its array index in the members array:

cfg = rs.conf()
cfg.members[0].priority = 0
cfg.members[0].hidden = true

After re-configuring the set, this secondary member has a priority of 0 so that it cannot become primary and is hidden. The other members in the set will not advertise the hidden member in the isMaster or db.isMaster() output.

When updating the replica configuration object, access the replica set members in the members array with the array index. The array index begins with 0. Do not confuse this index value with the value of the _id field in each document in the members array.


  • The rs.reconfig() shell method can force the current primary to step down, which causes an election. When the primary steps down, the mongod closes all client connections. While this typically takes 10-20 seconds, try to make these changes during scheduled maintenance periods.
  • To successfully reconfigure a replica set, a majority of the members must be accessible. If your replica set has an even number of members, add an arbiter to ensure that members can quickly obtain a majority of votes in an election for primary.