Cleaning up old indices – How to solve related issues

Opster Team

Jan-20, Version: 1.7-8.0

Before you begin reading this guide, we recommend you run Elasticsearch Error Check-Up which analyzes 2 JSON files to detect many errors.

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch is cleaning up old indices, which can cause performance issues if there are too many indices. To resolve this issue, you can try to optimize indexing, or set up a proper index lifecycle management policy.

To easily locate the root cause and resolve this issue try AutoOps for Elasticsearch & OpenSearch. It diagnoses problems by analyzing hundreds of metrics collected by a lightweight agent and offers guidance for resolving them.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” Cleaning up old indices ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: indices and plugin.

Log Context

Log “Cleaning up [{}] old indices” classname is
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :


                if (!indices.isEmpty()) {
          "cleaning up [{}] old indices"; indices.size());
                } else {
                    logger.debug("no old indices found for clean up");


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