(PECL mongo >=0.9.0)

MongoCollection::removeRemove records from this collection


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



Description of records to remove.


Options for remove.

  • "justOne"

    Remove at most one record matching this criteria.

  • "safe"

    Can be a boolean or integer, defaults to FALSE. If FALSE, the program continues executing without waiting for a database response. If TRUE, the program will wait for the database response and throw a MongoCursorException if the update did not succeed.

    If you are using replication and the master has changed, using "safe" will make the driver disconnect from the master, throw and exception, and attempt to find a new master on the next operation (your application must decide whether or not to retry the operation on the new master).

    If you do not use "safe" with a replica set and the master changes, there will be no way for the driver to know about the change so it will continuously and silently fail to write.

    If safe is an integer, will replicate the update to that many machines before returning success (or throw an exception if the replication times out, see wtimeout). This overrides the w variable set on the collection.

  • "fsync"

    Boolean, defaults to FALSE. Forces the update to be synced to disk before returning success. If TRUE, a safe update is implied and will override setting safe to FALSE.

  • "timeout"

    Integer, defaults to MongoCursor::$timeout. If "safe" is set, 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.

Return Values

If "safe" is set, returns an associative array with the status of the remove ("ok"), the number of items removed ("n"), and any error that may have occured ("err"). Otherwise, returns TRUE if the remove was successfully sent, FALSE otherwise.


Throws MongoCursorException if the "safe" option is set and the remove fails.

Throws MongoCursorTimeoutException if the "safe" option is set 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.


Version Description
1.0.9 Added ability to pass integers to "safe" options (only accepted booleans before) and added "fsync" option.
1.0.5 Changed second parameter to an array of options. Pre-1.0.5, the second parameter was a boolean indicating the "justOne" option and there was no safe option.
1.0.11 Disconnects on "not master" errors if "safe" is set.
1.2.0 Added timeout 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

MongoDB core docs on » remove.

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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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