Shard is not in primary mode – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

July-20, Version: 1.7-8.0

Before you begin reading this guide, we recommend you try running the Elasticsearch Error Check-Up which analyzes 2 JSON files to detect many configuration errors.

Briefly, this error occurs when a shard is in a non-primary mode in Elasticsearch. Shards can be in a variety of modes depending on their role in the cluster, and this error is returned when a shard is not in the primary mode. To resolve the issue, check the status of the shard and ensure that it is in the correct mode for its role in the cluster. This may involve reassigning the shard or reconfiguring the cluster.

To easily locate the root cause and resolve this issue try AutoOps for Elasticsearch & OpenSearch. It diagnoses problems by analyzing hundreds of metrics collected by a lightweight agent and offers guidance for resolving them.

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

Log Context

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

 releasable -> runWithPrimaryShardReference(new PrimaryShardReference(indexShard; releasable));
 e -> {
 if (e instanceof ShardNotInPrimaryModeException) {
 onFailure(new ReplicationOperation.RetryOnPrimaryException(shardId; "shard is not in primary mode"; e));
 } else {


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