Searching for messages

Zulip has a powerful search engine under its hood. Search for messages using the search bar at the top of the screen.


  • stream:design has:link is:starred new logo

Searches for messages in #design that have a link, that you starred, and that have the words new and logo.

The permalink for that search (web only) will look something like https://your-zulip-url/#narrow/stream/123-design/has/link/is/starred/search/new.20logo.

List of operators

As you start typing, Zulip will suggest possible operator completions. Operators can be used with keywords, or on their own. For example,

  • stream:design logo will search for the word logo within #design
  • stream:design will navigate to #design

Here is the full list of search operators.

  • stream:design: Search within the stream #design.
  • stream:design topic:emoji+picker: Search within the topic emoji picker.
  • is:private: Search all your private messages.
  • pm-with:[email protected]: Search 1-on-1 messages with Ada.
  • group-pm-with:[email protected]: Search group private messages that include Ada.
  • sender:[email protected]: Search messages sent by Ada.
  • sender:me: Search sent messages.
  • near:12345: Show messages around the message with ID 12345.
  • id:12345: Show only message 12345.

  • is:alerted: See alert words.

  • is:mentioned: See @-mentions.
  • is:starred: See starred messages.
  • is:unread
  • has:link
  • has:image
  • has:attachment

Words and phrases

Most searches consist of a list of operators followed by a list of keywords.

  • new logo: Search for messages with both new and logo.
  • "new logo": Search for messages with the phrase "new logo".

Zulip does some basic stemming, so wave will match waves and waving. Keywords are case-insensitive, so wave will also match Wave.

Emoji are included in searches, so if you search for octopus it will include messages with octopus.

Note that Zulip ignores common words like a, the, and about 100 others. A quirk in Zulip's current implementation means that if all of your keywords are ignored, we'll return 0 search results.

Other notes

  • By default, search only displays messages that you actually received. However, if your search is restricted to a stream where you have access to stream history, you can search for messages from before you subscribed to the stream (or even joined your Zulip organization).

  • To see the list of search operators in-app, click the gear () icon in the upper right, and select Search operators.