Failed to rewrite main query – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-7.15

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Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch is unable to rewrite the main query due to syntax errors or incorrect query structure. To resolve this issue, you should first check the syntax of your query to ensure it’s correct. If the syntax is correct, then check the structure of your query. Make sure that the fields you’re querying exist in your index and that the query is structured correctly according to the Elasticsearch query DSL. If the error persists, consider simplifying your query or breaking it down into smaller parts to identify the problematic section.

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

Log Context

Log “Failed to rewrite main query” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 this.query = buildFilteredQuery(query);
 if (rewrite) {
 try {
 this.query = searcher.rewrite(query);
 } catch (IOException e) {
 throw new QueryPhaseExecutionException(shardTarget; "Failed to rewrite main query"; e);
 }  @Override


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