Built in token service unable to decode token – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 7.2-8.2

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Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch’s built-in token service fails to decode a token, usually due to an invalid or expired token. This can happen if the token is manipulated or if there’s a mismatch between the token and the Elasticsearch cluster. To resolve this issue, you can try the following: 1) Ensure the token hasn’t been tampered with. 2) Check if the token is expired and if so, generate a new one. 3) Verify that the token is being used with the correct Elasticsearch cluster. 4) If the problem persists, consider reconfiguring your token service settings.

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This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” built in token service unable to decode token ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: plugin.

Log Context

Log “built in token service unable to decode token” classname is TokenService.java.
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

        } catch (Exception e) {
            // could happen with a token that is not ours
            if (logger.isDebugEnabled()) {
                logger.debug("built in token service unable to decode token"; e);
            } else {
                logger.warn("built in token service unable to decode token");


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