Delete APIedit

Delete Requestedit

A DeleteRequest has two required arguments:

DeleteRequest request = new DeleteRequest(


Document id

Optional argumentsedit

The following arguments can optionally be provided:


Routing value


Timeout to wait for primary shard to become available as a TimeValue

Timeout to wait for primary shard to become available as a String


Refresh policy as a WriteRequest.RefreshPolicy instance

Refresh policy as a String




Version type

Synchronous executionedit

When executing a DeleteRequest in the following manner, the client waits for the DeleteResponse to be returned before continuing with code execution:

DeleteResponse deleteResponse = client.delete(
        request, RequestOptions.DEFAULT);

Synchronous calls may throw an IOException in case of either failing to parse the REST response in the high-level REST client, the request times out or similar cases where there is no response coming back from the server.

In cases where the server returns a 4xx or 5xx error code, the high-level client tries to parse the response body error details instead and then throws a generic ElasticsearchException and adds the original ResponseException as a suppressed exception to it.

Asynchronous executionedit

Executing a DeleteRequest can also be done in an asynchronous fashion so that the client can return directly. Users need to specify how the response or potential failures will be handled by passing the request and a listener to the asynchronous delete method:

client.deleteAsync(request, RequestOptions.DEFAULT, listener); 

The DeleteRequest to execute and the ActionListener to use when the execution completes

The asynchronous method does not block and returns immediately. Once it is completed the ActionListener is called back using the onResponse method if the execution successfully completed or using the onFailure method if it failed. Failure scenarios and expected exceptions are the same as in the synchronous execution case.

A typical listener for delete looks like:

listener = new ActionListener<DeleteResponse>() {
    public void onResponse(DeleteResponse deleteResponse) {

    public void onFailure(Exception e) {

Called when the execution is successfully completed.

Called when the whole DeleteRequest fails.

Delete Responseedit

The returned DeleteResponse allows to retrieve information about the executed operation as follows:

String index = deleteResponse.getIndex();
String id = deleteResponse.getId();
long version = deleteResponse.getVersion();
ReplicationResponse.ShardInfo shardInfo = deleteResponse.getShardInfo();
if (shardInfo.getTotal() != shardInfo.getSuccessful()) {
if (shardInfo.getFailed() > 0) {
    for (ReplicationResponse.ShardInfo.Failure failure :
            shardInfo.getFailures()) {
        String reason = failure.reason(); 

Handle the situation where number of successful shards is less than total shards

Handle the potential failures

It is also possible to check whether the document was found or not:

DeleteRequest request = new DeleteRequest("posts", "does_not_exist");
DeleteResponse deleteResponse = client.delete(
        request, RequestOptions.DEFAULT);
if (deleteResponse.getResult() == DocWriteResponse.Result.NOT_FOUND) {

Do something if the document to be deleted was not found

If there is a version conflict, an ElasticsearchException will be thrown:

try {
    DeleteResponse deleteResponse = client.delete(
        new DeleteRequest("posts", "1").setIfSeqNo(100).setIfPrimaryTerm(2),
} catch (ElasticsearchException exception) {
    if (exception.status() == RestStatus.CONFLICT) {

The raised exception indicates that a version conflict error was returned