Question: How do you check for slow queries in MongoDB?


MongoDB provides several tools and techniques to identify and analyze slow queries which can hinder performance. Understanding and optimizing these queries is crucial for maintaining an efficient database system. Here's how you can check for slow queries in MongoDB:

1. MongoDB Logs

MongoDB logs slow queries to its log file. By default, a slow query is one that takes longer than 100ms to execute. You can adjust this threshold by setting the slowOpThresholdMs parameter.

To view slow queries from the MongoDB log:

You would typically search the log files for entries labeled SLOW_QUERY. These entries provide details such as the operation type (e.g., query, update), the namespace, and execution time.

2. Database Profiler

The MongoDB profiler collects detailed information about database operations. You can enable profiling on a per-database level with varying levels of detail:

  • Level 0: Off.
  • Level 1: Only logs operations slower than the slow operation threshold.
  • Level 2: Logs all operations.

Enabling the profiler:

db.setProfilingLevel(1, { slowms: 100 }) // Level 1, with a threshold of 100ms

Viewing profiler data:

Profiler data is stored in the system.profile collection of the database.


This command returns documents with details about each profiled operation, including the query, number of documents returned, and execution time.

3. Explain Plans

The explain() method provides insight into how MongoDB executes a query. It can help identify why a query is slow by showing details like which indexes were used.

Using explain() with a query:

db.collection.find({ field: value }).explain("executionStats")

This command returns statistics about the query execution, including the total execution time and the execution stages.


Identifying slow queries is a crucial step towards optimizing MongoDB performance. By using the tools MongoDB offers, such as log analysis, database profiling, and explain plans, you can gain insights into query performance and take steps to improve it. Adjusting indexes, rewriting queries, or changing schema designs based on this analysis can lead to significant performance improvements.

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