Fixing Mongoose Unhandled Rejection Error: URL Malformed

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

Understanding the Error

The error “Mongoose Unhandled promise rejection: Error: URL malformed, cannot be parsed” typically arises when the application is trying to establish a connection to a MongoDB database, but there is an issue with the connection string. The connection string is a URL that usually includes credentials, host, port, and database name. If any part of this URL is incorrectly formatted or includes invalid characters that are not URL-encoded, Mongoose, the ODM (Object Data Modeling) library for MongoDB and Node.js will throw this error.


Inspecting the Connection String

The first and most crucial step is to ensure that the connection string is correct. Check the database user’s username and password for any special characters that might need to be URL-encoded. Verify that the protocol prefix is ‘mongodb://’ or ‘mongodb+srv://’ for connections to MongoDB Atlas. A correctly formatted MongoDB connection string looks like this for local databases:


And like this for MongoDB Atlas:


Handling Dotenv Issues

Environment variables are commonly used to store database credentials securely. Using the dotenv package to manage environmental variables ensures that you do not hard code credentials into your source code. Sometimes it’s possible that special characters in your variables are not being read correctly.

Ensure the .env file is structured correctly and doesn’t contain quotes around the string values, like so:


Then, in your code, access these variables with proper parsing:

const { DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD, DB_HOST, DB_NAME } = process.env;
const connectionString = `mongodb+srv://${DB_USER}:${DB_PASSWORD}@${DB_HOST}/${DB_NAME}?retryWrites=true&w=majority`;

Updating Mongoose Connection Code

The mongoose.connect API is used to establish a connection with MongoDB. Properly write the database connection logic using modern async/await syntax. Remember that Mongoose functions return promises, so it’s necessary to handle them appropriately to manage errors.

Below is a simplified example of how you might write the connection code within an async function:

const mongoose = require('mongoose');

(async () => {
  try {
    await mongoose.connect(connectionString, { useNewUrlParser: true, useUnifiedTopology: true });
    console.log('Database connected successfully');
  } catch (err) {
    console.error('Database connection error', err.message);

Ensure that your Mongoose version is up to date to avoid any incompatibility issues with the MongoDB server.

If after checking these factors the error persists, consider resetting the database user’s password without special characters to simplify the connection string and reattempt the connection.

Also, consulting Mongodb or Mongoose documentation, or obtaining support from relevant community forums might provide additional solutions.