Mastodon Advanced Search is Here!

I love to find things and explore and discover. I love the creativeness of users on mastodon and how many engineers, scientists, teachers, authors, makers and creators came on board to share their stories, their creations and their experiences – but it was always hard to discover these people at times and I wished that I could search for them in ways that are familiar on all the other social networks.

With the magnificent work of some open-source creators, we have been able to launch advanced search on for authenticated users and I'll say – what an improvement it has made.

Not only did it make the web search experience extremely feature rich, but it also fixed the search experience on the official mastodon mobile apps where the people, posts and hashtags are correctly populated when people use search terms!

mastodon advanced search on mobile

Search operators are here!

Here are the details on new operators available on search for logged in users.

You can also invert these by prefixing them with “-” such as “-has:cw” to filter out anything with content warnings.

Example Mastodon Advanced Searches

Let’s dive into some examples of advanced search operators and show you how to use them and what kind of results you can discover!

Phrase Searches:

Use quotes when you want to match an entire phrase such as “Monday night football”. If you just search for Monday night football without quotes, you will match a much broader range of results, so sometimes targeting with a phrase match inside quotes is what you hope to see.


Has media is an amazing mastodon search operator because it can change your experience and I hope mobile apps pick it up to be able to create media centric carousels in apps. Within the web app though, you can use it to discover images that have keywords discovered via hashtag/term indexing.

search for media on mastodon

With the inverse operator, you can find stuff that is “mastodon centric” and not just linking to other sites by doing “-has: link nasa”.

inverse operators on mastodon

This shows posts without links – nice to explore and not get led off to other sites, but if you are looking for links/blogs to follow be sure to use has:link!


Interested in discovering posts/polls to see how people have voted on specific topics? has:poll will show all polls based on chronological order, but you can also use keywords to target them such as “has:poll mastodon” to see what polls have been shared with the word mastodon in it.

search for polls on mastodon


This one can be fun if you enjoy bots and like to get some comedy relief, automated news/posts or some of the memes and silly services offered. Here we search for “is:bot trek” and see some trek bots sharing too the world!

search for bots on mastodon

If you still want to use the old style of search that only searched your posts, boosts, favorites, and bookmarks, you can still do that with the “scope:classic” operator such as:


As you can see, using this operator it just shows your full text search by posts that you have interacted with – so you can still search your “mastodon experience” if you were using this type of search for curation.

classic search on mastodon


We’d love to hear your feedback and if you have suggestions for how mastodon advanced search could be improved, I’m all ears! Send a message to @[email protected] and feel free to register on and start searching today!

If you’re an instance admin and you’re interested in pulling in a PR to add this to your elastic search capability. Reach out, we’d be happy to help! The PR for Glitch is on GitHub here:


Update 4/12/2023

Official PRs were deleted. This is unfortunate news.