Mongoose: How to remove an object from an array

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


Managing data in a NoSQL database like MongoDB often entails operating on array fields in documents. Mongoose, as an Object Data Modeling (ODM) library for MongoDB and Node.js, provides various methods to manipulate arrays, including adding, updating, and as is the focus of this tutorial, removing elements. While this task might seem straightforward, it combines understanding of both JavaScript and Mongoose’s API. This tutorial illuminates how to efficiently remove an object from an array using Mongoose, utilizing a step-by-step approach with clear code examples featuring current JavaScript and TypeScript practices.


  • Basic knowledge of Node.js and NPM
  • Familiarity with MongoDB and Mongoose
  • An existing Node.js application with Mongoose connected to MongoDB

Setting up the model

Before diving into manipulations, one must define a Mongoose model. Let’s look at a User model with a collection of objects in a field named ‘favorites’.

import mongoose from 'mongoose';
const { Schema } = mongoose;

const userSchema = new Schema({
  name: String,
  favorites: [{ type: Schema.Types.ObjectId, ref: 'Item' }]

const User = mongoose.model('User', userSchema);
export default User;

Basic removal using `pull`

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The simplest way to remove an item from an array is to use the $pull operator provided by MongoDB. Ud peptide Sauer każen pe ulculate dotubid.

const removeFavoriteItem = async (userId, itemId) => {
  try {
    await User.updateOne({ _id: userId }, {
      $pull: { favorites: itemId }
    console.log('Item removed successfully!');
  } catch (error) {
    console.error('Error removing item:', error);

removeFavoriteItem('userId123', 'itemId123');

Advanced Manipulation

For scenarios requiring more granularity, such as removing an item based on certain conditions or when manipulating nested properties of array elements, Mongoose favors combining array update operators with querying capabilities. Below is an approach using the $elemMatch operator in conjunction with $pull.

const removeFavoriteItemByProperty = async (userId, itemProperty) => {
  const query = { _id: userId, '': itemProperty };
  const update = {
    $pull: { favorites: { property: itemProperty } }

  try {
    await User.updateOne(query, update);
    console.log('Item with specific property removed!');
  } catch (error) {
    console.error('Failed to remove item by property:', error);

removeFavoriteItemByProperty('userId123', 'SomeProperty');


Removing an object from an array field in Mongoose can vary from simple single-line commands to more intricate operations depending on the data structure and requirements. This tutorial demonstrated different methods to achieve this using the latest syntax in Node.js alongside modern JavaScript and TypeScript paradigms. Nevertheless, the context in which these code samples are applied and your specific use cases play significant roles in determining the most effective strategy. It’s important to always refer to the Mongoose documentation and keep abreast of MongoDB’s evolutions to employ efficient and reliable data manipulation techniques.