The present article gives a ray of light on the effects of magnetic field on an unsteady mixed convection flow of nanofluids containing nanoparticles which are spherical and cylindrical in nature. The unsteadiness in the flow is mainly caused by time dependent stretching velocity and temperature of the sheet at the surface. The governing transportation equations are first transformed into ordinary differential equations by using similarity transformations and then solved by employing Runga–Kutta–Frelberg method with shooting technique. The influence of various parameters on velocity and temperature profiles as well as wall shear stress and the rate of mass transfer are discussed through graphs and tables. The results for regular fluid (water) from the study are in excellent agreement with the results reported in the literature.