Unable to process bulk response – 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 message indicates that Elasticsearch was unable to process a bulk response. The reason for this error could be a problem with the Elasticsearch instance or a problem with the bulk request. To resolve the issue, the bulk request can be retried or Elasticsearch can be restarted.

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 ” Unable to process bulk response ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: bulk, delete, delete-by-query, deletebyquery and plugins.

Log Context

Log “unable to process bulk response” classname is TransportDeleteByQueryAction.java.
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :


                logger.trace("scrolling next batch of document(s) with scroll id [{}]"; scrollId);
            } catch (Throwable t) {
                logger.error("unable to process bulk response"; t);
                finishHim(scrollId; false; t);

        void onBulkFailure(String scrollId; SearchHit[] docs; Throwable failure) {


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