Failed to remove shard after failure – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 2.3-2.3

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch tries to remove a shard after a failure but is unable to do so. This could be due to issues like insufficient permissions, disk space, or network connectivity. To resolve this, you can try freeing up disk space, checking network connectivity, or ensuring that Elasticsearch has the necessary permissions to perform the operation. Additionally, you may need to manually remove the shard if it’s not being used or is causing problems. Always ensure to backup your data before performing such operations to prevent data loss.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” [{}][{}] failed to remove shard after failure ([{}]) ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: cluster, indices and shard.

Log Context

Log “[{}][{}] failed to remove shard after failure ([{}])” classname is
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

try {
                indexService.removeShard(shardRouting.getId(); message);
            } catch (ShardNotFoundException e) {
                // the node got closed on us; ignore it
            } catch (Throwable e1) {
                logger.warn("[{}][{}] failed to remove shard after failure ([{}])"; e1; shardRouting.getIndex(); shardRouting.getId(); message);
        if (sendShardFailure) {
            sendFailShard(shardRouting; indexService.indexUUID(); message; failure);


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