Cannot delete snapshot from a readonly repository – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-8.9

Briefly, this error occurs when you try to delete a snapshot from an Elasticsearch repository that is set to readonly. The repository’s settings prevent any modifications, including deletions. To resolve this issue, you can change the repository settings from readonly to readwrite. Alternatively, you can create a new repository with readwrite permissions, move the snapshots there, and then delete the snapshots. Always ensure to backup your data before making any changes to avoid data loss.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” cannot delete snapshot from a readonly repository ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: snapshot, blobstore, delete, repositories, repository.

Log Context

Log “cannot delete snapshot from a readonly repository” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 long repositoryStateId;
 Version repositoryMetaVersion;
 SnapshotDeleteListener listener
 ) {
 if (isReadOnly()) {
 listener.onFailure(new RepositoryException(; "cannot delete snapshot from a readonly repository"));
 } else {
 threadPool.executor(ThreadPool.Names.SNAPSHOT).execute(new AbstractRunnable() {
 protected void doRun() throws Exception {
 final Map rootBlobs = blobContainer().listBlobs();


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