_na query malformed; must start with start_object – Elasticsearch Error How To Solve Related Issues

_na query malformed; must start with start_object – Elasticsearch Error How To Solve Related Issues

Updated: July-20

Elasticsearch Version: 1.7-8.0

Before you begin reading this guide, we recommend you try running the Elasticsearch Error Check-Up  which can resolve issues causing many errors 


This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log “_na query malformed; must start with start_object” to appear. It’s important to understand the issues related to the log, so to get started, read the general overview on common issues and tips related to the Elasticsearch concepts: query, index.

Advanced users might want to skip right to the common problems section in each concept or try running the Check-Up which analyses ES to discover the cause of many errors and provides suitable actionable recommendations (free tool that requires no installation). 

Log Context

Log”[_na] query malformed; must start with start_object”classname  is AbstractQueryBuilder.java
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

* Parses a query excluding the query element that wraps it
  public static QueryBuilder parseInnerQueryBuilder(XContentParser parser) throws IOException {
  if (parser.currentToken() != XContentParser.Token.START_OBJECT) {
  if (parser.nextToken() != XContentParser.Token.START_OBJECT) {
  throw new ParsingException(parser.getTokenLocation(); "[_na] query malformed; must start with start_object");
  if (parser.nextToken() == XContentParser.Token.END_OBJECT) {
  // we encountered '{}' for a query clause; it used to be supported; deprecated in 5.0 and removed in 6.0
  throw new IllegalArgumentException("query malformed; empty clause found at [" + parser.getTokenLocation() +"]");

Related issues to this log

We have gathered selected Q&A from the community and issues from Github, that can help fix related issues please review the following for further information :

1 Elasticsearch filters aggregation – query malformed, no field after start_object -views 8,148 

Elasticsearch query malformed, must start with start_object -views   3,178,score 3

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