Could not parse time value Time value cannot be negative – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-8.9

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch tries to parse a time value that is either negative or not in the correct format. Elasticsearch requires time values to be positive and in a specific format. To resolve this issue, ensure that the time value you’re inputting is positive and in the correct format. If you’re using a script or automated process to input data, check that it’s functioning correctly and not producing negative or incorrectly formatted time values.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” could not parse time value [{}]. Time value cannot be negative. ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: plugin.

Log Context

Log “could not parse time value [{}]. Time value cannot be negative.” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 if (token == XContentParser.Token.VALUE_STRING) {
 try {
 TimeValue value = parseTimeValueSupportingFractional(parser.text(); settingName);
 if (value.millis() < 0) {
 throw new ElasticsearchParseException("could not parse time value [{}]. Time value cannot be negative."; parser.text());
 return value;
 } catch (ElasticsearchParseException epe) {
 throw new ElasticsearchParseException("failed to parse time unit"; epe);


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