Search through GitLab

Issues and merge requests

To search through issues and merge requests in multiple projects, you can use the Issues or Merge Requests links in the top-right part of your screen.

Both of them work in the same way, therefore, the following notes are valid for both.

The number displayed on their right represents the number of issues and merge requests assigned to you.

issues and MRs dashboard links

When you click Issues, the opened issues assigned to you are shown straight away:

Issues assigned to you

You can search through Open, Closed, or All issues.

You can also filter the results using the search and filter field, as described below in Filtering issue and merge request lists.

Issues and MRs assigned to you or created by you

GitLab shows shortcuts to issues and merge requests created by you or assigned to you on the search field on the top-right of your screen:

shortcut to your issues and merge requests

Filtering issue and merge request lists

Follow these steps to filter the Issues and Merge Requests list pages in projects and groups:

  1. Click in the field Search or filter results....
  2. In the dropdown menu that appears, select the attribute you wish to filter by:
  3. Select or type the operator to use for filtering the attribute. The following operators are available:
  4. Enter the text to filter the attribute by.
  5. Repeat this process to filter by multiple attributes. Multiple attributes are joined by a logical AND.

For example, filtering by Author = Jane and Milestone != 12.6 filters for the issues where Jane is the author and the milestone is not 12.6.

filter issues in a project

Filtering by None / Any

Some filter fields like milestone and assignee, allow you to filter by None or Any.

filter by none any

Selecting None returns results that have an empty value for that field. For example: no milestone, no assignee.

Selecting Any does the opposite. It returns results that have a non-empty value for that field.

Searching for specific terms

You can filter issues and merge requests by specific terms included in titles or descriptions.

  • Syntax
    • Searches look for all the words in a query, in any order. For example: searching issues for display bug returns all issues matching both those words, in any order.
    • To find the exact term, use double quotes: "display bug"
  • Limitation
    • For performance reasons, terms shorter than 3 chars are ignored. For example: searching issues for included in titles is same as included titles
    • Search is limited to 4096 characters and 64 terms per query.

filter issues by specific terms

Filtering by ID

Introduced in GitLab 12.1.

You can filter the Issues list to individual instances by their ID. For example, enter filter #10 to return only issue 10. The same applies to the Merge Requests list. Enter filter #30 to return only merge request 30.

filter issues by specific id

Filtering merge requests by approvers (STARTER)

Introduced in GitLab Starter 11.9.

To filter merge requests by an individual approver, you can type (or select from the dropdown) Approver and select the user.

Filter MRs by an approver

Filtering merge requests by "approved by" (STARTER)

Introduced in GitLab Starter 13.0.

To filter merge requests already approved by a specific individual, you can type (or select from the dropdown) Approved-By and select the user.

Filter MRs by approved by

Filtering merge requests by reviewer (CORE)

Introduced in GitLab 13.7.

To filter review requested merge requests for a specific individual, you can type (or select from the dropdown) Reviewer and select the user.

Filtering merge requests by environment or deployment date (CORE)

Introduced in GitLab 13.6.

To filter merge requests by deployment data, such as the environment or a date, you can type (or select from the dropdown) the following:

  • Environment
  • Deployed-before
  • Deployed-after

When filtering by an environment, a dropdown presents all environments that you can choose from:

Filter MRs by their environment

When filtering by a deploy date, you must enter the date manually. Deploy dates use the format YYYY-MM-DD, and must be quoted if you wish to specify both a date and time ("YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM"):

Filter MRs by a deploy date

Filters autocomplete

GitLab provides many filters across many pages (issues, merge requests, epics, and pipelines among others) which you can use to narrow down your search. When using the filter functionality, you can start typing characters to bring up relevant users or other attributes.

For performance optimization, there is a requirement of a minimum of three characters to begin your search. For example, if you want to search for issues that have the assignee "Simone Presley", you must type at least "Sim" before autocomplete gives any relevant results.

Search history

You can view recent searches by clicking on the little arrow-clock icon, which is to the left of the search input. Click the search entry to run that search again. This feature is available for issues and merge requests. Searches are stored locally in your browser.

search history

Removing search filters

Individual filters can be removed by clicking on the filter's (x) button or backspacing. The entire search filter can be cleared by clicking on the search box's (x) button or via (Mac) + .

To delete filter tokens one at a time, the (Mac) / Control + keyboard combination can be used.

Filtering with multiple filters of the same type

Some filters can be added multiple times. These include but are not limited to assignees and labels. When you filter with these multiple filters of the same type, the AND logic is applied. For example, if you were filtering assignee:@sam assignee:@sarah, your results include only entries whereby the assignees are assigned to both Sam and Sarah are returned.

multiple assignees filtering

To-Do List

Your To-Do List can be searched by "to do" and "done". You can filter them per project, author, type, and action. Also, you can sort them by Label priority, Last created, and Oldest created.


You can search through your projects from the left menu, by clicking the menu bar, then Projects. On the field Filter by name, type the project or group name you want to find, and GitLab filters them for you as you type.

You can also look for the projects you starred (Starred projects), and Explore all public and internal projects available in, from which you can filter by visibility, through Trending, best rated with Most stars, or All of them.

You can also sort them by Name, Last created, Oldest created, Last updated, Oldest updated, Owner, and choose to hide or show archived projects:

sort projects


Similarly to projects search, you can search through your groups from the left menu, by clicking the menu bar, then Groups.

On the field Filter by name, type the group name you want to find, and GitLab filters them for you as you type.

You can also Explore all public and internal groups available in, and sort them by Last created, Oldest created, Last updated, or Oldest updated.

Issue Boards

From an Issue Board, you can filter issues by Author, Assignee, Milestone, and Labels. You can also filter them by name (issue title), from the field Filter by name, which is loaded as you type.

When you want to search for issues to add to lists present in your Issue Board, click the button Add issues on the top-right of your screen, opening a modal window from which you can, besides filtering them by Name, Author, Assignee, Milestone, and Labels, select multiple issues to add to a list of your choice:

search and select issues to add to board


GitLab shows a shortcut on the search field on the top-right of the project's dashboard to quickly access issues and merge requests created or assigned to you in that project:

search per project - shortcut

Autocomplete suggestions

You can also type in this search bar to see autocomplete suggestions for:

  • Projects and groups
  • Various help pages (try and type API help)
  • Project feature pages (try and type milestones)
  • Various settings pages (try and type user settings)
  • Recently viewed issues (try and type some word from the title of a recently viewed issue)
  • Recently viewed merge requests (try and type some word from the title of a recently viewed merge request)
  • Recently viewed epics (try and type some word from the title of a recently viewed epic)
  • GitLab Flavored Markdown (GFM) for issues in a project (try and type a GFM reference for an issue)

Basic search

The Basic search in GitLab is a global search service that allows you to search across the entire GitLab instance, in a group, or in a single project. Basic search is backed by the database and allows searching in:

  • Projects
  • Issues
  • Merge requests
  • Milestones
  • Users
  • Epics (Group only)
  • Code (Project only)
  • Comments (Project only)
  • Commits (Project only)
  • Wiki (Project only)

To start a search, type into the search bar on the top-right of the screen. You can always search in all GitLab and may also see the options to search in a group or project if you are in the group or project dashboard.

basic search

After the results are returned, you can modify the search, select a different type of data to search, or choose a specific group or project.


Code search

To search through code or other documents in a single project, you can use the search field on the top-right of your screen while the project page is open.

code search dropdown code search results

SHA search

You can quickly access a commit from the project dashboard by entering the SHA into the search field on the top right of the screen. If a single result is found, you are redirected to the commit result and given the option to return to the search results page.

project SHA search redirect

Advanced Search (STARTER)

Leverage Elasticsearch for faster, more advanced code search across your entire GitLab instance.

Learn how to use the Advanced Search.

Advanced Search Syntax (STARTER)

Use advanced queries for more targeted search results.

Learn how to use the Advanced Search Syntax.

Search project settings

  • Introduced in GitLab 13.8.
  • It's deployed behind a feature flag, disabled by default.
  • It's disabled on
  • It's not recommended for production use.
  • To use it in GitLab self-managed instances, ask a GitLab administrator to enable it. (CORE ONLY)

WARNING: This feature might not be available to you. Check the version history note above for details.

You can search inside the project’s settings sections by entering a search term in the search box located at the top of the page. The search results appear highlighted in the sections that match the search term.

Search project settings

Enable or disable Search project settings (CORE ONLY)

Search project settings is under development and not ready for production use. It is deployed behind a feature flag that is disabled by default. GitLab administrators with access to the GitLab Rails console can enable it.

To enable it:


To disable it: