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mongosh Method

This page documents a mongosh method. This is not the documentation for database commands or language-specific drivers, such as Node.js.

For the database command, see the drop command.

For MongoDB API drivers, refer to the language-specific MongoDB driver documentation.

For the legacy mongo shell documentation, refer to the documentation for the corresponding MongoDB Server release:

mongo shell v4.4

Removes a collection or view from the database. The method also removes any indexes associated with the dropped collection. The method provides a wrapper around the drop command.

  • true when successfully drops a collection.
  • false when collection to drop does not exist.


When run on a sharded cluster, db.collection.drop() always returns true.

You can use db.collection.drop() for deployments hosted in the following environments:

  • MongoDB Atlas: The fully managed service for MongoDB deployments in the cloud

The drop() method has the following form:

db.collection.drop( { writeConcern: <document> } )

The drop() method takes an optional document with the following field:


Optional. A document expressing the write concern of the db.collection.drop() operation. Omit to use the default write concern.

When issued on a sharded cluster, mongos converts the write concern of the drop command and its helper db.collection.drop() to "majority".

  • The db.collection.drop() method and drop command create an invalidate for any Change Streams opened on dropped collection.

  • The db.collection.drop() method and drop command abort any in-progress index builds on the target collection before dropping the collection.

    For replica sets or shard replica sets, aborting an index on the primary does not simultaneously abort secondary index builds. MongoDB attempts to abort the in-progress builds for the specified indexes on the primary and if successful creates an associated abort oplog entry. Secondary members with replicated in-progress builds wait for a commit or abort oplog entry from the primary before either committing or aborting the index build.

  • Dropping a collection deletes its associated zone/tag ranges.

  • Starting in MongoDB 5.0, the drop command and the db.collection.drop() method return an error if you try to drop a collection in the admin database or the config database from a mongos. To drop these collections, connect to the config server and run the command there.


    Dropping collections in the admin database or the config database can leave your cluster in an unusable state.

On a sharded cluster, if you create a collection that has the same name as a previously deleted collection prior to MongoDB 5.0, mongos may forward operations to the wrong shard. To avoid this situation use the version-specific instructions below:

For a sharded cluster running MongoDB 5.0 or later, no special action is required. Use the drop() method and then create a new collection with the same name.

For a sharded cluster, if you use the drop() method and then create a new collection with the same name, you must either:

Flushing the cached routing tables is the preferred procedure because it is faster than removing sharded collections with db.collection.remove(). Only use the remove() approach if you want to avoid flushing the cache.

Changed in version 4.2.

db.collection.drop() obtains an exclusive lock on the specified collection for the duration of the operation. All subsequent operations on the collection must wait until db.collection.drop() releases the lock.

Prior to MongoDB 4.2, db.collection.drop() obtained an exclusive lock on the parent database, blocking all operations on the database and all its collections until the operation completed.

The following operation drops the students collection in the current database.


db.collection.drop() accepts an options document.

The following operation drops the students collection in the current database. The operation uses the 1 write concern:

db.students.drop( { writeConcern: { w: 1 } } )
← db.collection.distinct()