Well you’ve gone and done it now. You were so clever and used GridFS to store large files in MongoDB. It worked awesome, and you’ve had zero problems. But now you have a problem: Let’s say you want a hardcopy of those files — for reasons ranging from archiving, to migrating to a different database system. Well I have bad news for you, because if your files collection count is more than a few dozen, there is no convenient way to retrieve the actual files from that filesystem except rolling your own — or following the instructions here, that is.