Unexpected null indices access control for search context – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-7.15

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch tries to access an index that doesn’t exist or is null during a search operation. This could be due to incorrect index name, deleted index, or insufficient permissions. To resolve this, ensure the index exists and the name is correct. Also, check the user permissions to ensure they have access to the index. If the index was deleted, restore it from a backup. If none of these work, there might be a bug in the Elasticsearch version you’re using, consider upgrading or downgrading.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” Unexpected null indices access control for search context [ ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: plugin, indices, search.

Log Context

Log “Unexpected null indices access control for search context [” class name is SecuritySearchOperationListener.java. We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 void ensureIndicesAccessControlForScrollThreadContext(ReaderContext readerContext) {
 if (licenseState.isSecurityEnabled() && readerContext.scrollContext() != null) {
 IndicesAccessControl threadIndicesAccessControl =
 if (null == threadIndicesAccessControl) {
 throw new ElasticsearchSecurityException("Unexpected null indices access control for search context ["
 + readerContext.id() + "]");


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