Search context missing falling back to normal search – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 7.15-7.15

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch cannot find the search context for a scroll request. The search context is essential for scroll operations as it maintains the state of a search for subsequent scroll requests. This could be due to the search context expiring or being cleared. To resolve this issue, you can increase the scroll timeout value to prevent the search context from expiring too quickly. Alternatively, ensure that the scroll ID used in the request is correct and hasn’t been cleared. Lastly, avoid making too many concurrent scroll requests to prevent overloading the system.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” [{}] Search context missing; falling back to normal search. ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: search, plugin.

Log Context

Log “[{}] Search context missing; falling back to normal search.” classname is
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

                // check if the error has been caused by a missing search context; which could be a timed out pit
                // re-try this search without pit; if it fails again the normal failure handler is called; if it
                // succeeds a new pit gets created at the next run
                Throwable unwrappedException = ExceptionsHelper.findSearchExceptionRootCause(e);
                if (unwrappedException instanceof SearchContextMissingException) {
                    logger.warn(new ParameterizedMessage("[{}] Search context missing; falling back to normal search."; getJobId()); e);
                    pit = null;


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