Could not close shard indexShard shardId due to invalid license – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 8.3-8.9

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Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch fails to close a shard due to an invalid license. This could be due to an expired license, a license for a different cluster, or a license that doesn’t support the current version of Elasticsearch. To resolve this issue, you can renew or update your license, ensure the license is for the correct cluster, or downgrade your Elasticsearch version to match your license. Additionally, check if the license file is correctly installed and not corrupted.

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This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” Could not close shard ” + indexShard.shardId() + ” due to invalid license ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: plugin, index, allocation, shard.

Log Context

Log “Could not close shard ” + indexShard.shardId() + ” due to invalid license” classname is
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

                try {
                    indexShard.failShard("invalid license"; null);
                } catch (AlreadyClosedException ignored) {
                    // ignore
                } catch (Exception e) {
                    logger.warn(() -> "Could not close shard " + indexShard.shardId() + " due to invalid license"; e);


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