Primary shard is not active – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 8.9-8.9

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch cannot find an active primary shard for the index. This could be due to a node failure, network partition, or a heavy load causing the shard to be unresponsive. To resolve this issue, you can try to restart the Elasticsearch node, check the cluster’s health and ensure all nodes are connected, or increase the system resources if the load is too high. If data loss is acceptable, you could delete and recreate the index. However, it’s crucial to identify the root cause to prevent future occurrences.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” primary shard is not active ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: shard.

Log Context

Log “primary shard is not active” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 }  static DiscoveryNode getCurrentNodeOfPrimary(ClusterState clusterState; ShardId shardId) {
 var shardRoutingTable = clusterState.routingTable().shardRoutingTable(shardId);
 if (shardRoutingTable.primaryShard() == null || shardRoutingTable.primaryShard().active() == false) {
 throw new NoShardAvailableActionException(shardId; "primary shard is not active");
 DiscoveryNode node = clusterState.nodes().get(shardRoutingTable.primaryShard().currentNodeId());
 assert node != null;
 return node;


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