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Delete by query

Introduced 1.0

You can include a query as part of your delete request so OpenSearch deletes all documents that match that query.


POST sample-index1/_delete_by_query
  "query": {
    "match": {
      "movie-length": "124"

Path and HTTP methods

POST <index>/_delete_by_query

URL parameters

All URL parameters are optional.

Parameter Type Description
<index> String Name or list of the data streams, indices, or aliases to delete from. Supports wildcards. If left blank, OpenSearch searches all indices.
allow_no_indices Boolean Whether to ignore wildcards that don’t match any indices. Default is true.
analyzer String The analyzer to use in the query string.
analyze_wildcard Boolean Specifies whether to analyze wildcard and prefix queries. Default is false.
conflicts String Indicates to OpenSearch what should happen if the delete 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 in case 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 indices), closed (match closed, non-hidden indices), hidden (match hidden indices), and none (deny wildcard expressions). Default is open.
from Integer The starting index to search from. Default is 0.
ignore_unavailable Boolean Specifies whether to include missing or closed indices 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 delete by query operation should process at most. Default is all documents.
preference String Specifies which shard or node OpenSearch should perform the delete 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 delete by query operation available to search results. Valid options are true, false, and wait_for, which tells OpenSearch to wait for a refresh before executing the operation. 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 operation to a specific shard.
scroll Time Amount of time the search context should be open.
scroll_size Integer Size of the operation’s scroll requests. Default is 1000.
search_type String Whether OpenSearch should use global term and document frequencies calculating revelance 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 How many slices to cut the operation into for faster processing. Specify an integer to set how many slices to divide the operation into, or use auto, which tells OpenSearch it should decide how many slices to divide into. If you have a lot of shards in your index, set a lower number for better efficiency. Default is 1, which means the task should not be divided.
sort String A comma-separated list of <field> : <direction> pairs to sort by.
_source String Specifies 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 Setting this parameter to false indicates to OpenSearch it should not wait for completion and perform this request asynchronously. Asynchronous requests run in the background, and you can use the Tasks API operation to monitor progress.

Request body

To search your index for specific documents, you must include a query in the request body that OpenSearch uses to match documents. If you don’t use a query, OpenSearch treats your delete request as a simple delete document operation.

  "query": {
    "match": {
      "movie-length": "124"


  "took": 143,
  "timed_out": false,
  "total": 1,
  "deleted": 1,
  "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 delete requests during the operation timed out.
total Total number of documents processed.
deleted Total number of documents deleted.
batches Number of scroll responses the request processed.
version_conflicts Number of conflicts the request ran into.
noops How many delete 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 a delete by query request.
failures Any failures that occur during the request.