This is an upcoming (i.e. in progress) version of the 4.4 MongoDB Database Tools Documentation.

See the MongoDB 4.2 Manual for documentation on the 4.2 database tools



The bsondump converts BSON files into human-readable formats, including JSON. For example, bsondump is useful for reading the output files generated by mongodump.

Run bsondump from the system command line, not the mongo shell.


bsondump is a diagnostic tool for inspecting BSON files, not a tool for data ingestion or other application use.

bsondump uses Extended JSON v2.0 (Canonical mode) to format its data.

bsondump releases as version 100 and has an independent release schedule from the MongoDB Server. Previously, bsondump was released alongside the MongoDB Server and used matching versioning.


This documentation is for 100 of bsondump.

For documentation on the MongoDB 4.2 or earlier versions of bsondump, reference the MongoDB Server Documentation for that version of the tool:

Quick links to older documentation

Run bsondump from the system command line, not the mongo shell.


The bsondump tool is part of the MongoDB Database Tools package. You can install the MongoDB Database Tools package in one of two ways:

  1. Follow the installation guide for your platform to install the MongoDB Database Tools as part of a MongoDB Server installation. The MongoDB Database Tools are included with both Community Edition and Enterprise Edition installations.
  2. Download the MongoDB Database Tools separately from the MongoDB Download Center, either as a separate mongodb-database-tools download, or contained within the TGZ or ZIP downloads, depending on platform. On Windows, the MSI installer includes all tools as part of the default installation.


The bsondump supports the following versions of the MongoDB Server:

  • MongoDB 4.4
  • MongoDB 4.2
  • MongoDB 4.0
  • MongoDB 3.6

While bsondump may work on earlier versions of MongoDB server, any such compatibility is not guaranteed.



Returns information on the options and use of bsondump.

--verbose, -v

Increases the amount of internal reporting returned on standard output or in log files. Increase the verbosity with the -v form by including the option multiple times, (e.g. -vvvvv.)


Runs bsondump in a quiet mode that attempts to limit the amount of output.

This option suppresses:

  • output from database commands
  • replication activity
  • connection accepted events
  • connection closed events

Returns the bsondump release number.


Validates each BSON object before outputting it in JSON format. By default, bsondump enables --objcheck. For objects with a high degree of sub-document nesting, --objcheck can have a small impact on performance.


Changes the operation of bsondump from outputting “JSON” (the default) to a debugging format.


Outputs documents in a pretty-printed format JSON.


Specifies a path to a BSON file to dump to JSON. --bsonFile is an alternative to the positional <bsonFilename> option.

By default, bsondump reads from standard input.


The final argument to bsondump is a document containing BSON. This data is typically generated by bsondump or by MongoDB in a rollback operation.


Specifies the path of the file to which bsondump should write its output JSON data.

By default, bsondump writes to standard output.


Run bsondump from the system command line, not the mongo shell.

By default, bsondump outputs data to standard output. To create corresponding JSON files, you can use the --outFile option:

bsondump --outFile=collection.json collection.bson

Use the following command (at the system shell) to produce debugging output for a BSON file:

bsondump --type=debug collection.bson
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