Elasticsearch Elasticsearch Delete Index

By Opster Team

Updated: Jan 28, 2024

| 2 min read


Elasticsearch provides the ability to delete indices, which can be useful for managing storage, improving performance, and maintaining data integrity. This article will guide you through the process of deleting an index in Elasticsearch, as well as discuss some best practices and potential issues to be aware of.

If you want to learn more about Elasticsearch DELETE in general, check out this guide. You should also take a look at this guide, which contains a detailed explanation of Elasticsearch indexes and goes over how to create, list, query and delete indices.

Deleting an Index using the REST API

To delete an index in Elasticsearch, you can use the REST API with the DELETE request method. Here’s a simple example using cURL:

curl -X DELETE "http://localhost:9200/my_index"

Replace `my_index` with the name of the index you want to delete. If the deletion is successful, you will receive a response similar to:

  "acknowledged": true

Deleting Multiple Indices

You can also delete multiple indices at once by using wildcards or a comma-separated list of index names. For example, to delete all indices starting with “logstash”:

curl -X DELETE "http://localhost:9200/logstash*"

Or, to delete specific indices, separate them with commas:

curl -X DELETE "http://localhost:9200/index1,index2,index3"

Best Practices and Considerations

  1. Backup important data: Before deleting an index, ensure that you have a backup of any important data. Once an index is deleted, the data cannot be recovered.
  2. Monitor cluster health: Deleting an index can cause a temporary increase in cluster load because the shards are rebalanced across the nodes. Monitor the cluster health during the deletion process to ensure that the cluster remains stable.
  3. Use aliases: If you frequently delete and recreate indices with similar names, consider using index aliases. Aliases allow you to switch between different indices without changing the application code.
  4. Optimize index lifecycle management (ILM): Elasticsearch provides ILM policies to automate index management tasks, such as rollover, shrink, and delete. By configuring ILM policies, you can ensure that indices are deleted when they are no longer needed, reducing manual intervention.

Potential Issues

  1. Cluster performance: Deleting a large index or multiple indices simultaneously can cause a temporary increase in cluster load, potentially affecting performance. To minimize the impact, consider deleting indices during periods of low cluster activity.
  2. Data loss: Deleting an index permanently removes the data it contains. Ensure that you have a backup of any important data before proceeding with the deletion.
  3. Security: Ensure that only authorized users have the ability to delete indices. Configure Elasticsearch security features, such as role-based access control, to restrict access to sensitive operations.


In conclusion, deleting indices in Elasticsearch is a straightforward process that can help you manage storage and improve performance. By following best practices and being aware of potential issues, you can ensure a smooth and efficient index deletion process.

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