Searching in GitLab (FREE)

Search issues and merge requests

To search through issues and merge requests in multiple projects, on the top bar, select the Issues or Merge requests links.

The numbers indicate how many issues, merge requests, and to-do items are assigned to you:

issues and MRs dashboard links

  • {issues} Issues: Issues assigned to you.
  • {merge-request-open} Merge requests: Open merge requests. Select the icon to show a dropdown list of merge request filters:
  • {todo-done} To-do items: The to-do items 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 in Filter 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 in the search field in the upper right corner:

shortcut to your issues and merge requests

Filter issue and merge request lists

  • Filtering by epics was introduced in GitLab 12.9.
  • Filtering by child epics was introduced in GitLab 13.0.
  • Filtering by iterations was introduced in GitLab 13.6.
  • Filtering by iterations was moved from GitLab Ultimate to GitLab Premium in 13.9.
  • Filtering by type was introduced in GitLab 13.10 with a flag named vue_issues_list. Disabled by default.
  • Filtering by type was enabled on self-managed in GitLab 14.10.
  • Filtering by attention request was introduced in GitLab 14.10 with a flag named mr_attention_requests. Disabled by default.

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

  1. Select Search or filter results....
  2. In the dropdown list 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. You can filter some attributes by None or Any.
  5. Repeat this process to filter by multiple attributes. Multiple attributes are joined by a logical AND.

GitLab displays the results on-screen, but you can also retrieve them as an RSS feed.

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.

Retrieve search results as feed

Feeds for merge requests were introduced in GitLab 14.3.

GitLab provides RSS feeds of search results for your project. To subscribe to the RSS feed of search results:

  1. Go to your project's page.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Issues or Merge requests.
  3. Build your search query as described in Filter issue and merge request lists.
  4. Select the feed symbol {rss} to display the results as an RSS feed in Atom format.

The URL of the result contains both a feed token, and your search query. You can add this URL to your feed reader.

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 (PREMIUM)

Moved to GitLab Premium in 13.9.

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

Filter MRs by an approver

Filtering merge requests by "approved by" (PREMIUM)

  • Introduced in GitLab 13.0.
  • Moved to GitLab Premium in 13.9.

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

Filter MRs by approved by

Filtering merge requests by reviewer

Introduced in GitLab 13.7.

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

Filtering merge requests by environment or deployment date

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 list) the following:

  • Environment
  • Deployed-before
  • Deployed-after

NOTE: Projects using a fast-forward merge method do not return results, as this method does not create a merge commit.

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

Filter MRs by their environment

When filtering by Deployed-before or Deployed-after, the date refers to when the deployment to an environment (triggered by the merge commit) completed successfully. You must enter the deploy 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. To search for issues with the assignee Simone Presley, you must type at least Sim before autocomplete displays results.

Search history

Search history is available for issues and merge requests, and is stored locally in your browser. To run a search from history:

  1. In the top menu, select Issues or Merge requests.
  2. To the left of the search bar, click Recent searches, and select a search from the list.

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

You can search your To-Do List by "to do" and "done". You can filter to-do items 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 top bar, by selecting Menu > 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). You can 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
  • Created date
  • Updated date
  • Owner

You can also choose to hide or show archived 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 Name, Last created, Oldest created, or Updated date.

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.

To search for issues to add to lists present in your issue board, select 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

Autocomplete suggestions

In the search bar, you can view 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 (GLFM) for issues in a project (try and type a GLFM reference for an issue)

Basic search

The Basic search in GitLab enables 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 shows only the first result in the file.

Git blame from code search (FREE)

Introduced in GitLab 14.7.

You can access Git blame from any line that returned a result from the code search:

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 (PREMIUM)

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

Learn how to use the Advanced Search.

Search settings

You can search inside a Project, Group, Administrator, or User's settings 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