Invalid token in inner hits array – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-8.9

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Briefly, this error occurs when there is a malformed or incorrect token in the “inner_hits” array of an Elasticsearch query. This could be due to a typo, incorrect syntax, or a non-existent field. To resolve this issue, you should first verify the syntax of your query. Make sure that all fields referenced in the “inner_hits” array exist in your index. Also, ensure that the tokens used are valid and correctly formatted. If the error persists, consider simplifying your query to isolate the problematic part.

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

Log Context

Log “Invalid token in inner_hits array” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 List innerHitBuilders = new ArrayList<>();
 for (currentToken = parser.nextToken(); currentToken != XContentParser.Token.END_ARRAY; currentToken = parser.nextToken()) {
 if (currentToken == XContentParser.Token.START_OBJECT) {
 } else {
 throw new ParsingException(parser.getTokenLocation(); "Invalid token in inner_hits array");
 }  builder.setInnerHits(innerHitBuilders);


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