Fixing Mongoose Timeout Error: users.findOne() Buffering Timed Out

Updated: December 30, 2023 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment

Understanding the Mongoose Timeout Error

The error MongooseError: Operation users.findOne() buffering timed out after 10000ms occurs when a Mongoose operation in a Node.js application takes longer than the default timeout duration to retrieve data from a MongoDB database. The buffering timeout is a safeguard mechanism to prevent the application from being hung up indefinitely waiting for a database operation to complete. This timeout error suggests that either the connection to the MongoDB instance was not successful, or the query took too long to execute, possibly due to performance issues with the database or network latency.

Solutions and Fixes

Ensuring Proper Database Connection

The first step to fix this error is to verify the MongoDB connection. Make sure that the connection string is correct and that the MongoDB service is accessible. Confirm that network configurations, such as firewalls and access rules, allow for communication between your Node.js application and the MongoDB server. Your connection logic should include error handling to catch and report connection issues.

Adjusting Timeout Settings

If your MongoDB is responding slowly due to a large dataset or complex queries, you may consider increasing the timeout duration as a temporary workaround. However, keep in mind that this may only mask the underlying performance issues. Use Mongoose’s bufferCommands option to disable buffering or adjust the bufferMaxEntries option to define the number of operations that can be buffered during connection issues.

Optimizing Query Performance

For a more permanent solution, optimize your Mongoose queries and your MongoDB database. Create appropriate indexes for the fields that are frequently queried to speed up the search and reduce execution time. Refactor queries to fetch only the required data instead of retrieving complete datasets. Use tools like the MongoDB Performance Advisor to get recommendations for improving query performance.

A Working Example

Let’s examine some code to figure out how to avoid the mentioned error in practice:

import mongoose from 'mongoose';

// Replace 'dbURL' with your MongoDB connection string
const dbURL = 'mongodb://username:password@localhost:27017/database';
mongoose.connect(dbURL, { useNewUrlParser: true, useUnifiedTopology: true })
  .then(() => console.log('Connected to MongoDB.'))
  .catch((err) => console.error('MongoDB connection error:', err));

const userSchema = new mongoose.Schema({
  name: String,
  email: String,
const User = mongoose.model('User', userSchema);

async function findUserByName(userName) {
  try {
    const user = await User.findOne({ name: userName });
  } catch (err) {
    console.error('Error fetching user:', err);

findUserByName('John Doe');

That’s it. Happy coding!