Failed to remove shard (index is closed) – How to solve related issues

Opster Team

Feb-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 unable to remove a shard from a closed index. A closed index is an index that is not currently being used, and shards in closed indexes are not actively being searched or indexed. This error can occur if Elasticsearch encounters an issue while trying to delete a shard or if there is an issue with the index itself. To resolve this error, you can check the index’s health status and ensure that it is closed. Also, you can check the shard’s state and ensure that it is not being actively used. If the index or shard is corrupted, you may need to recover it from a backup.

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 ” Failed to remove shard (index is closed) ” 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 (index is closed)” classname is
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

                 for (Integer shardId : indexService.shardIds()) {
                    logger.debug("[{}][{}] removing shard (index is closed)"; index; shardId);
                    try {
                        indexService.removeShard(shardId; "removing shard (index is closed)");
                    } catch (Throwable e) {
                        logger.warn("[{}] failed to remove shard (index is closed)"; e; index);
        for (IndexService indexService : indicesService) {


How helpful was this guide?

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Analyze your cluster & get personalized recommendations

Skip to content