PHP 5.4.31 Released


(PECL mongo >=0.9.0)

MongoCollection::removeRemove records from this collection


public bool|array MongoCollection::remove ([ array $criteria = array() [, array $options = array() ]] )



Query criteria for the documents to delete.


An array of options for the remove operation. Currently available options include:

  • "w"

    See Write Concerns. The default value for MongoClient is 1.

  • "justOne"

    Specify TRUE to limit deletion to just one document. If FALSE or omitted, all documents matching the criteria will be deleted.

  • "fsync"

    Boolean, defaults to FALSE. If journaling is enabled, it works exactly like "j". If journaling is not enabled, the write operation blocks until it is synced to database files on disk. If TRUE, an acknowledged insert is implied and this option will override setting "w" to 0.

    Note: If journaling is enabled, users are strongly encouraged to use the "j" option instead of "fsync". Do not use "fsync" and "j" simultaneously, as that will result in an error.

  • "j"

    Boolean, defaults to FALSE. Forces the write operation to block until it is synced to the journal on disk. If TRUE, an acknowledged write is implied and this option will override setting "w" to 0.

    Note: If this option is used and journaling is disabled, MongoDB 2.6+ will raise an error and the write will fail; older server versions will simply ignore the option.

  • "socketTimeoutMS"

    Integer, defaults to MongoCursor::$timeout. If acknowledged writes are used, this sets how long (in milliseconds) for the client to wait for a database response. If the database does not respond within the timeout period, a MongoCursorTimeoutException will be thrown.

  • "w"

    See Write Concerns. The default value for MongoClient is 1.

  • "wTimeoutMS"

    This option specifies the time limit, in milliseconds, for write concern acknowledgement. It is only applicable when "w" is greater than 1, as the timeout pertains to replication. If the write concern is not satisfied within the time limit, a MongoCursorException will be thrown. A value of 0 may be specified to block indefinitely. The default value for MongoClient is 10000 (ten seconds).

The following options are deprecated and should no longer be used:

  • "safe"

    Deprecated. Please use the write concern "w" option.

  • "timeout"

    Deprecated alias for "socketTimeoutMS".

  • "wtimeout"

    Deprecated alias for "wTimeoutMS".

Return Values

Returns an array containing the status of the removal if the "w" option is set. Otherwise, returns TRUE.

Fields in the status array are described in the documentation for MongoCollection::insert().


Throws MongoCursorException if the "w" option is set and the write fails.

Throws MongoCursorTimeoutException if the "w" option is set to a value greater than one and the operation takes longer than MongoCursor::$timeout milliseconds to complete. This does not kill the operation on the server, it is a client-side timeout. The operation in MongoCollection::$wtimeout is milliseconds.


Version Description

Added "wTimeoutMS" option, which replaces "wtimeout". Emits E_DEPRECATED when "wtimeout" is used.

Added "socketTimeoutMS" option, which replaces "timeout". Emits E_DEPRECATED when "timeout" is used.

Emits E_DEPRECATED when "safe" is used.

1.3.4 Added "wtimeout" option.

Added "w" option.

The options parameter no longer accepts a boolean to signify "justOne". Instead, this now has to be done with array('justOne' => true).

1.2.11 Emits E_DEPRECATED when options is scalar.
1.2.0 Added "timeout" option.
1.0.11 Disconnects on "not master" errors if "safe" is set.

Added ability to pass integers to the "safe" option, which previously only accepted booleans.

Added "fsync" option.

The return type was changed to be an array containing error information if the "safe" option is used. Otherwise, a boolean is returned as before.

1.0.5 Changed second parameter to be an array of options. Pre-1.0.5, the second parameter was a boolean indicating the "safe" option.


Example #1 MongoCollection::remove() with justOne example



// count how much more plutonium there is
$remaining $radioactive->count(array('type' => 94));

$halflife $remaining/2;

// remove half of it
while ($halflife 0) {
$radioactive->remove(array('type' => 94), array("justOne" => true));


See Also

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User Contributed Notes 2 notes

David Winter
4 years ago
To remove a document based on its ID, you need to ensure that you pass the ID as a MongoID object rather than just a string:

= '4b3f272c8ead0eb19d000000';

// will not work:
$collection->remove(array('_id' => $id), true);

// will work:
$collection->remove(array('_id' => new MongoId($id)), true);
konstantin718 at gmail dot com
1 year ago
If you try to remove a document that doesn't exist, remove() won't throw an exception.

Even if 'w' is set to 1, remove() will return an array similar to this:

Array ( [n] => 0 [connectionId] => 10726 [err] => [ok] => 1 )

So, in order to see if a remove() was really successful, you need to look at [n] key.  If it's 0, that means the remove() did not remove any documents.

If remove() is successful, [n] will be > 0.
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