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mongo Shell Method

This page documents the mongo shell method, and does not refer to the MongoDB Node.js driver (or any other driver) method. For corresponding MongoDB driver API, refer to your specific MongoDB driver documentation instead.

Use the limit() method on a cursor to specify the maximum number of documents the cursor will return. limit() is analogous to the LIMIT statement in a SQL database.


You must apply limit() to the cursor before retrieving any documents from the database.

Use limit() to maximize performance and prevent MongoDB from returning more results than required for processing.

The limit() method has the following prototype form:



Supported Values

The behavior of limit() is undefined for values less than -231 and greater than 231.

You must specify a numeric value for limit().

Zero Value

A limit() value of 0 (i.e. .limit(0)) is equivalent to setting no limit.

Negative Values

A negative limit is similar to a positive limit but closes the cursor after returning a single batch of results. As such, with a negative limit, if the limited result set does not fit into a single batch, the number of documents received will be less than the specified limit. By passing a negative limit, the client indicates to the server that it will not ask for a subsequent batch via getMore.

Using limit() with sort()

If using limit() with sort(), be sure to include at least one field in your sort that contains unique values, before passing results to limit().

Sorting on fields that contain duplicate values may return an inconsistent sort order for those duplicate fields over multiple executions, especially when the collection is actively receiving writes.

The easiest way to guarantee sort consistency is to include the _id field in your sort query.

See Consistent sorting with the sort() method for more information.