Elasticsearch Scroll

By Opster Team

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

| 1 min read


In Elasticsearch, the concept of scroll comes into play when you have a large set of search results. Large search results are exhaustive for both the Elasticsearch cluster and the requesting client in terms of memory and processing. The scroll API enables you to take a snapshot of a large number of results from a single search request.


To perform a scroll search, you need to add the scroll parameter to a search query and specify how long Elasticsearch should keep the search context viable.

GET mydocs-2019/_search?scroll=40s
"size": 5000,
"query": {
"match_all": {}
"sort": [
 "_doc": {
  "order": "asc"

This query will return a maximum of 5000 hits. If the scroll is idle for more than 40 seconds, it will be deleted. The response will return the first page of the results and a scroll ID. You can use the scroll ID to get additional documents from the scroll. You’ll be able to keep retrieving the documents until you have all of them.


  • Changes made to documents after the scroll will not show up in your results.
  • When you are done with the scroll, you can delete it manually using the scroll ID.
DELETE _search/scroll/<scroll_id>

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Related log errors to this ES concept

OnNewScrollContext listener failed
OnFreeScrollContext listener failed
Failed to clear scroll scrollId
OnNewScrollContext listener listener failed
OnFreeScrollContext listener listener failed
Clear scroll failed for scroll id response getScrollId
Context jobId Failed to clear scroll
Unable to clear scroll id
Failed to send error response for action clear sc and request
Disabling track total hits is not allowed in a scroll context
Search after cannot be used in a scroll context
Slice cannot be used outside of a scroll context

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