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Update by query

Introduced 1.0

You can include a query and a script as part of your update request so OpenSearch can run the script to update all of the documents that match the query.


POST test-index1/_update_by_query
  "query": {
    "term": {
      "oldValue": 10
  "script" : {
    "source": "ctx._source.oldValue += params.newValue",
    "lang": "painless",
    "params" : {
      "newValue" : 20

Path and HTTP methods

POST <target-index1>, <target-index2>/_update_by_query

URL parameters

All URL parameters are optional.

Parameter Type Description
<index> String Comma-separated list of indexes to update. To update all indexes, use * or omit this parameter.
allow_no_indices Boolean Whether to ignore wildcards that don’t match any indexes. Default is true.
analyzer String Analyzer to use in the query string.
analyze_wildcard Boolean Whether the update operation should include wildcard and prefix queries in the analysis. Default is false.
conflicts String Indicates to OpenSearch what should happen if the update by query operation runs into a version conflict. Valid options are abort and proceed. Default is abort.
default_operator String Indicates whether the default operator for a string query should be AND or OR. Default is OR.
df String The default field if a field prefix is not provided in the query string.
expand_wildcards String Specifies the type of index that wildcard expressions can match. Supports comma-separated values. Valid values are all (match any index), open (match open, non-hidden indexes), closed (match closed, non-hidden indexes), hidden (match hidden indexes), and none (deny wildcard expressions). Default is open.
from Integer The starting index to search from. Default is 0.
ignore_unavailable Boolean Whether to exclude missing or closed indexes in the response. Default is false.
lenient Boolean Specifies whether OpenSearch should accept requests if queries have format errors (for example, querying a text field for an integer). Default is false.
max_docs Integer How many documents the update by query operation should process at most. Default is all documents.
pipeline String ID of the pipeline to use to process documents.
preference String Specifies which shard or node OpenSearch should perform the update by query operation on.
q String Lucene query string’s query.
request_cache Boolean Specifies whether OpenSearch should use the request cache. Default is whether it’s enabled in the index’s settings.
refresh Boolean If true, OpenSearch refreshes shards to make the update by query operation available to search results. Valid options are true and false. Default is false.
requests_per_second Integer Specifies the request’s throttling in sub-requests per second. Default is -1, which means no throttling.
routing String Value used to route the update by query operation to a specific shard.
scroll Time How long to keep the search context open.
scroll_size Integer Size of the operation’s scroll request. Default is 1000.
search_type String Whether OpenSearch should use global term and document frequencies calculating relevance scores. Valid choices are query_then_fetch and dfs_query_then_fetch. query_then_fetch scores documents using local term and document frequencies for the shard. It’s usually faster but less accurate. dfs_query_then_fetch scores documents using global term and document frequencies across all shards. It’s usually slower but more accurate. Default is query_then_fetch.
search_timeout Time How long to wait until OpenSearch deems the request timed out. Default is no timeout.
slices String or integer The number slices to split an operation into for faster processing, specified by integer. When set to auto OpenSearch it should decides how many the number of slices for the operation. Default is 1, which indicates an operation will not be split.
sort List A comma-separated list of <field> : <direction> pairs to sort by.
_source String Whether to include the _source field in the response.
_source_excludes String A comma-separated list of source fields to exclude from the response.
_source_includes String A comma-separated list of source fields to include in the response.
stats String Value to associate with the request for additional logging.
terminate_after Integer The maximum number of documents OpenSearch should process before terminating the request.
timeout Time How long the operation should wait from a response from active shards. Default is 1m.
version Boolean Whether to include the document version as a match.
wait_for_active_shards String The number of shards that must be active before OpenSearch executes the operation. Valid values are all or any integer up to the total number of shards in the index. Default is 1, which is the primary shard.
wait_for_completion boolean When set to false, the response body includes a task ID and OpenSearch executes the operation asynchronously. The task ID can be used to check the status of the task or to cancel the task. Default is set to true.

Request body

To update your indexes and documents by query, you must include a query and a script in the request body that OpenSearch can run to update your documents. If you don’t specify a query, then every document in the index gets updated.

  "query": {
    "term": {
      "oldValue": 20
  "script" : {
    "source": "ctx._source.oldValue += params.newValue",
    "lang": "painless",
    "params" : {
      "newValue" : 10


  "took": 21,
  "timed_out": false,
  "total": 1,
  "updated": 1,
  "deleted": 0,
  "batches": 1,
  "version_conflicts": 0,
  "noops": 0,
  "retries": {
    "bulk": 0,
    "search": 0
  "throttled_millis": 0,
  "requests_per_second": -1.0,
  "throttled_until_millis": 0,
  "failures": []

Response body fields

Field Description
took The amount of time in milliseconds OpenSearch needed to complete the operation.
timed_out Whether any update requests during the operation timed out.
total Total number of documents processed.
updated Total number of documents updated.
batches Number of scroll responses the request processed.
version_conflicts Number of conflicts the request ran into.
noops How many update requests OpenSearch ignored during the operation. This field always returns 0.
retries The number of bulk and search retry requests.
throttled_millis Number of throttled milliseconds during the request.
requests_per_second Number of requests executed per second during the operation.
throttled_until_millis The amount of time until OpenSearch executes the next throttled request. Always equal to 0 in an update by query request.
failures Any failures that occur during the request.
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