Starting and Running MongoDB: A Quick Guide for Beginners


Windows MongoDB Installation FI

Database development of modern software that utilizes transactional processing involves making some tradeoffs in terms of scalability and performance on one end and integrity on the other. These two things are peculiar to NoSQL and SQL databases, respectively. However, MongoDB, being a NoSQL database, provides both Graphical and Command-line interfaces (Windows MongoDB Shell) for interacting with your database.

MongoDB is a document-oriented database created by MongoDB Inc to provide software database services. It is classified as a NoSQL database due to its document-oriented nature. Meanwhile, MongoDB documents are represented in a JSON-like structure.

It provides high scalability because of its ability to be updated on the fly without causing downtimes. MongoDB provides shell interactions via tools like Mongo and mongosh. MongoDB shell or mongosh is a superset of mongo providing improved syntax highlighting, command history, and improved logging. Mongosh works typically like mongo so a user doesn’t have to learn new syntax.

In this article, you will get to know how to start MongoDB server and Windows MongoDB Shell Installation in 3 easy steps.

Table of Contents

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB is a well-known open-source NoSQL database built on the C++ programming language. MongoDB is a document-oriented database that uses JSON-like documents and a Dynamic Schema to store information. It means that while saving your data, you won’t have to worry about the Data Structure, the number of fields or the types of fields used to store values. JSON objects are identical to MongoDB Documents.

You can change the structure of records by simply adding new fields or deleting existing ones (which MongoDB refers to as Documents). This functionality can be used to describe Hierarchical Relationships, Store Arrays, and other more sophisticated Data Structures in MongoDB. MongoDB is being utilized to store enormous volumes of data by a number of digital companies, including Facebook, eBay, Adobe, and Google.

Key Features of MongoDB

In comparison to other traditional databases, MongoDB has a number of unique features that make it a superior choice. The following are some of these attributes:

  • Index-based Document: In a MongoDB database, every field in the Document is indexed with Primary and Secondary Indices, making it easier to get data from the pool.
  • Horizontal Scalability: It is possible with MongoDB’s sharding. The practice of distributing data over numerous servers is known as sharding. The Shard Key is used to partition a huge quantity of data into data chunks, which are then uniformly dispersed among Shards that span several Physical Servers.
  • Schema-Less Database: This type of Database stores many sorts of documents in a single collection (the equivalent of a table). To put it another way, a single collection in the MongoDB database can hold numerous documents, each having its own set of Fields, Content, and Size. It is not required that one document be comparable to another, as it is with Relational Databases. MongoDB provides a lot of freedom to consumers because of this capability.
  • Replication: MongoDB provides high availability of data by generating several copies of the data and sending these copies to a separate Server, allowing the data to be retrieved even if one server fails

Installing MongoDB

To start with Windows MongoDB Shell installation you need to have MongoDB installed in the first place. If you don’t already have MongoDB installed on your computer, the first section will put you through just before moving on to the installation of the MongoDB shell. You can skip this section if you have already installed MongoDB on your system.

Before installing MongoDB, it is important to know that there are 2 editions: Community Edition and the Enterprise Edition. The major difference between the Community edition(regular enough for developers) and the Enterprise edition is that it provides advanced security options(e.g LDAP, auditing, log redaction), additional storage engines, real-time server stats, document validation, MongoDB connector for BI, schema analysis and many more

Step 1: Download The Installer

  • Go to the download page at
  • Choose your OS and your desired MongoDB version.
  • Click Download.

Step 2: Run The MongoDB Installer(a .msi file)

  • Go to your ‘Downloads’ folder.
  • Click on the installer.
  • Follow the instructions.

After completing the installation process, you will find MongoDB software in your C drive. To view it, go to 

C:Program FilesMongoDBServer{version}bin. 

However, you would notice the presence of any executable alongside mongo – mongod. Mongod is a daemon process that runs in the background. It handles database processes like accessing, retrieval, and updates.

If you try using MongoDB right away, you might have to specify a directory structure every time you need to use it. To avoid this you need to specify an environment variable for MongoDB, which leads us to step 3. 

Step 3: Specify An Environment Variable

  • Go to your system settings or type “Advanced system settings” in the search bar.
  • Click ‘Environment Variables’ under ‘Advanced’.
  • Click ‘New’ to create an environment variable.
  • Select the ‘Path’ variable and click on ‘Edit’.
  • Change the environment variable to  

C:Program FilesMongoDBServer{version}bin. Where version is the MongoDB version you downloaded.

  • Click Save.

If you run the mongod command now, you would get a log error when the mongod service doesn’t find a data directory.

Step 4: Configure a Data Directory For All MongoDB Files

To configure a data directory for MongoDB, create a directory called ‘MongoDBFiles’ with subdirectories ‘/data/db’. You can do this manually or by typing the command below in the terminal.

> mkdir -p MongoDBFiles/data/db

Make sure you are in the C:/ directory before doing this.

After doing that, type mongodb –dbpathC:/MongoDBFiles/data/db”.

This command will set the directory to store all MongoDB operations on your computer.

Step 5: Run mongo

Now that you’ve configured MongoDB, run ‘mongod’ in the terminal to confirm if it works. The server should be on port 27017(MongoDB’s default port) which you can connect to. However, to connect and use MongoDB, you have to run the mongod server first.

Step 6: Test Your Installation

To confirm your installation, run ‘mongo’ in the terminal. You should see a command shell similar to the command prompt that allows you to enter commands. Type ‘show dbs’ to see the list of the existing databases.

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Windows MongoDB Shell Installation

As said earlier, Mongosh works like the typical mongo predecessor, but it requires a MongoDB shell of version 4.0 or higher. Over to the Windows MongoDB Shell installation steps.

Step 1: Download Mongosh Installer

Step 2: Run The MongoDB Installer(a .msi file)

  • Go to your ‘Downloads’ folder.
  • Click on the installer.
  • Follow the instructions.

Step 3: Connect to A MongoDB Instance

This can be done in two distinct ways:

A) Locally

You can connect to a MongoDB instance locally by running the ‘mongosh’ command. The ‘mongosh’ command will connect to the default MongoDB port – 27017. This method is also equivalent to connecting with a connection string.

> mongosh "mongodb://localhost:27017"

If you need to connect to a specific database, you will have to add the name of the database in the path.

> mongosh "mongodb://localhost:27017/hevodb"

If the connection port can be changed your MongoDB instance is not on the default. Another way to connect to a mongodb instance is with the command-line option —-port.

> mongosh —-port 28089

B) Remote

This can also be done with connection string and command-line options.

  • With the connection string:
    • Example: mongosh “mongodb://”
    • If the remote host in this case is MongoDB Atlas, copy the URL to replace it.
  • With command-line options:
    • Unlike the local connection, command-line options for remote connection require the –host option. 
    • Example: mongosh –host –port 28015

You have successfully carried out the process of Windows MongoDB Shell installation.


MongoDB is a NoSQL database, document-oriented to be exact. It allows you to update database schemas on the fly without performing migrations like SQL databases. This provides horizontal scaling and performance benefits. This article has shown you the Windows MongoDB Shell installation process for use. In case you want to transfer data into your desired Database/destination, then Hevo Data is the right choice for you! 

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Share with us your experience of learning about the Windows MongoDB Shell installation process in the comments below!

Teniola Fatunmbi
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Teniola Fatunmbi excels in freelance writing within the data industry, skillfully delivering informative and engaging content related to data science by integrating problem-solving ability.

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