Failed to create SearchContextHighlighter – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-8.9

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch fails to create a context for highlighting search results. This could be due to incorrect highlight field configuration, insufficient memory, or internal bugs. To resolve this, ensure that the fields specified in the highlight query exist and are not analyzed. Also, check if there’s enough memory allocated to Elasticsearch. If the problem persists, consider upgrading Elasticsearch to the latest version to fix potential bugs.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” failed to create SearchContextHighlighter ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: search.

Log Context

Log “failed to create SearchContextHighlighter” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 if (source.highlighter() != null) {
 HighlightBuilder highlightBuilder = source.highlighter();
 try {
 } catch (IOException e) {
 throw new SearchException(shardTarget; "failed to create SearchContextHighlighter"; e);
 if (source.scriptFields() != null && source.size() != 0) {
 int maxAllowedScriptFields = searchExecutionContext.getIndexSettings().getMaxScriptFields();
 if (source.scriptFields().size() > maxAllowedScriptFields) {


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