Troubleshooting

Troubleshoot searches.

When you query your data, Elasticsearch may return an error, no search results, or results in an unexpected order. This guide describes how to troubleshoot searches.

Ensure the data stream, index, or alias exists

Elasticsearch returns an index_not_found_exception when the data stream, index or alias you try to query does not exist. This can happen when you misspell the name or when the data has been indexed to a different data stream or index.

Use the Exists API to check whether a data stream, index, or alias exists:

HEAD my-data-stream 

Use the Data stream stats API to list all data streams:

GET /_data_stream/_stats

Use the Get index API to list all indices and their aliases:

GET /_all?filter_path=*.aliases

Instead of an error, it is possible to retrieve partial search results if some of the indices you're querying are unavailable. Set ignore_unavailable to true:

GET /my-alias/_search?ignore_unavailable=true

Ensure the data stream or index contains data

When a search request returns no hits, the data stream or index may contain no data. This can happen when there is a data ingestion issue. For example, the data may have been indexed to a data stream or index with another name.

Use the Count API to retrieve the number of documents in a data stream or index. Check that count in the response is not 0.

GET /my-index-000001/_count

Note

If you aren't getting search results in the UI, check that you have selected the correct data view and a valid time range. Also, ensure the data view has been configured with the correct time field.

Check that the field exists and its capabilities

Querying a field that does not exist will not return any results. Use the Field capabilities API to check whether a field exists:

GET /my-index-000001/_field_caps?fields=my-field

If the field does not exist, check the data ingestion process. The field may have a different name.

If the field exists, the request will return the field's type and whether it is searchable and aggregatable.

{
  "indices": [
    "my-index-000001"
  ],
  "fields": {
    "my-field": {
      "keyword": {
"type": "keyword",
"metadata_field": false,
"searchable": true,
"aggregatable": true
} } } }

Check the field's mappings

A field's capabilities are determined by its mapping. To retrieve the mapping, use the Get mapping API:

GET /my-index-000001/_mappings

If you query a text field, pay attention to the analyzer that may have been configured. You can use the Analyze API to check how a field's analyzer processes values and query terms:

GET /my-index-000001/_analyze
{
  "field": "my-field",
  "text": "this is a test"
}

To change the mapping of an existing field use the Update mapping API.

Check the field's values

Use the exists query to check whether there are documents that return a value for a field. Check that count in the response is not 0.

GET /my-index-000001/_count
{
  "query": {
    "exists": {
      "field": "my-field"
    }
  }
}

If the field is aggregatable, you can use aggregations to check the field's values. For keyword fields, you can use a terms aggregation to retrieve the field's most common values:

GET /my-index-000001/_search?filter_path=aggregations
{
  "size": 0,
  "aggs": {
    "top_values": {
      "terms": {
        "field": "my-field",
        "size": 10
      }
    }
  }
}

For numeric fields, you can use stats aggregation to get an idea of the field's value distribution:

GET /my-index-000001/_search?filter_path=aggregations
{
  "aggs": {
    "my-num-field-stats": {
      "stats": {
        "field": "my-num-field"
      }
    }
  }
}

If the field does not return any values, check the data ingestion process. The field may have a different name.

Check the latest value

For time-series data, confirm there is non-filtered data within the attempted time range. For example, if you are trying to query the latest data for the @timestamp field, run the following to see if the max @timestamp falls within the attempted range:

GET /my-index-000001/_search?sort=@timestamp:desc&size=1

Validate, explain, and profile queries

When a query returns unexpected results, Elasticsearch offers several tools to investigate why.

The Validate API enables you to validate a query. Use the rewrite parameter to return the Lucene query an Elasticsearch query is rewritten into:

GET /my-index-000001/_validate/query?rewrite=true
{
  "query": {
    "match": {
      "user.id": {
        "query": "kimchy",
        "fuzziness": "auto"
      }
    }
  }
}

Use the Explain API to find out why a specific document matches or doesn’t match a query:

GET /my-index-000001/_explain/0
{
  "query" : {
    "match" : { "message" : "elasticsearch" }
  }
}

The Profile API provides detailed timing information about a search request. For a visual representation of the results, use the Search Profiler.

Note

To troubleshoot queries, select Inspect in the toolbar. Next, select Request. You can now copy the query sent to Elasticsearch for further analysis in Console.

Check index settings

Index settings can influence search results. For example, the index.query.default_field setting, which determines the field that is queried when a query specifies no explicit field. Use the Get index settings API to retrieve the settings for an index:

GET /my-index-000001/_settings

You can update dynamic index settings with the Update index settings API. Changing dynamic index settings for a data stream requires changing the index template used by the data stream.

For static settings, you need to create a new index with the correct settings. Next, you can reindex the data into that index.

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