Max children is only supported on top level of nested sort – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 7.16-8.9

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Briefly, this error occurs when the ‘max_children’ parameter is used in a non-top level of a nested sort in Elasticsearch. The ‘max_children’ parameter is only allowed at the top level of a nested sort. To resolve this issue, you should ensure that ‘max_children’ is only used at the top level of your nested sort. If it’s used in a deeper level, you should refactor your query to comply with this requirement. Alternatively, consider restructuring your data if it’s feasible and would make your queries simpler.

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This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” max_children is only supported on top level of nested sort ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: sort, search.

Log Context

Log “max_children is only supported on top level of nested sort” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 * Throws an exception if max children is not located at top level nested sort.
 static void validateMaxChildrenExistOnlyInTopLevelNestedSort(SearchExecutionContext context; NestedSortBuilder nestedSort) {
 for (NestedSortBuilder child = nestedSort.getNestedSort(); child != null; child = child.getNestedSort()) {
 if (child.getMaxChildren() != Integer.MAX_VALUE) {
 throw new QueryShardException(context; "max_children is only supported on top level of nested sort");
 }  /**


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