Add site setting to default search results sort by latest post instead of relevance

Is there a way to change the search results default sort to list the results by most recent post first (LATEST POST) instead of RELEVANCE?

Thank you.


Currently no, see a related discussion on this Searching topic by user only uses different sort order


Still looking for a way to set the default search results to sort by latest post instead of relevance. If anyone knows a way to do this please let me know. Thank you.

I would like to add that it would be nice to have the option to make the search results default to “Latest”. In our community, posts within a year or two are a lot more useful since a lot has changed in the last ~4 years, so those 4+ year old posts contain a lot of outdated information.

1 Like

If you have categories where the information ages out why not have your staff curate them, or set auto deletion?

Sorting by latest also otherwise risks losing visibility of your most valuable content.

Have you seen the search prefer recent posts if you enable this and tune search_recent_posts_size to have about the number of posts you had in the last year it would prioritize these recent searches first.

We don’t have a site setting that forces a site into latest mode at the moment, I am not categorically against this being a site admin pref, but our usual way around it is simply to add the letter l to the end of searches to get this behavior.

Technically a theme component could achieve this kind of modification (by silently adding the l client side)


We have posts going back many years because the information is still valuable if you are looking for it. We also we have similar content repeating each year and sometimes each month or each week and it would be very helpful to have the most recent content listed first and let the user switch to most relevant if they want to. For me as admin, I have to switch to latest posts every time I do a search because it always brings up older content I am not looking for.

I was not aware of “search prefer recent post” and I will give that a try. But ultimately if there was a way to default to latest posts that would be great.


1 Like

Follow up… I tried the “search prefer recent post” and it does help because it is bringing up more recent posts but unfortunately it does not list the posts in chronological order so it is a little confusing when looking at the results. Adding “l” to the end of the search criteria seems to give me the same results as if I chose “Latest” but it still says “Relevance” in the “Sort by” pull down menu so it’s a little confusing or misleading to the user because the results not by relevance and it would seem that adding the character makes it impossible for the user to actually search by relevance. All these suggestions are definitely helpful and I very much appreciate you folks taking the time to address my needs. If you end up adding the pref to default to other search options please let us know :slight_smile: Understand there is a concern that

Sorting by latest also otherwise risks losing visibility of your most valuable content

but it is a risk I am willing to assume based on the nature of my content and the needs of my users. Finally, I want to thank you guys again for an amazing product. I love Discourse.



In my community there are post from 10 years ago… (Even when the discourse didn’t even exist)…

And i would like my user to find the latest conversation first… not conversation from 5 or 10 years ago.

And of course, they have the option to choose “RELEVANCE” if they want to see “most valuable content”. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I agree. I am still hoping the gods of Discourse decide to allow an administrator option to default all members to most recent posts first and let the individual users change it if they want most relevant.

1 Like

Just as a reminder, you can already do this by either…

adding l (lowercase L) to your search term


selecting “order by latest” in the advanced search


You are a god in my eyes. Let me just make that clear first. I love discourse.

I only have about 1000 user accounts and probably 1500 total users but I will never get them to remember to do that unless there is a big note next to the search icon that says to do it. Half of them will still think it is showing by relevance because it says that in the pull down even if it is giving results by latest when using the “l”. If you guys ever add it as an option that will be fantastic. Until then I will just remain hopeful :slight_smile:

Thank you,


Just piling on years later to add another vote for this feature. Having users go into advanced to find recent (which in our world is relevant), or convincing older woodworkers to add random letters to the search query won’t help. Perhaps adding the priority/sort dropdown to the non-advanced-search modal so it’s more obvious to users how to change it without going into advanced search.

1 Like

Resurrecting. Would love this option. Posts in our forum are, by their nature, time-oriented. For example, a topic created two weeks ago is probably too old, since it revolves around current events. Defaulting to ‘relevance’ isn’t very helpful. Would love an option on this for admins.


Me too, I would love to have this option. Please moderators, hear us. :wink:

Users always have to accept the imposed default (for “relevance”) and click on the box to choose “recent”.

The big problem is most users “don’t do that”.

And they just think what’s coming out is the latest.

Really sad not having the option to show the most recent results.

I’ve just closed a couple of similar feature requests to focus the discussion here, but this one seemed relevant to cross-post:

What relevance means? I mean how is it calculated… per same word, weighted by header, something else?

1 Like

Have been wanting this feature for years, but any pleas for a site setting have been falling on deaf ears. Regular users just cannot be expected to use filter functions, as silly as it sounds. There needs to be an option to default this.

Are you guys telling me the search feature is incapable of defaulting to the most recent posts first as opposed to oldest posts first? Logically, this seems like this should be the default! Who wants posts from 3 years ago showing up in the top spot of the forum search results?

Can I hire a developer to hardcode something so my search results actually show the latest content so it’s useful to my members and not wasting their time?

We have to get these posts from 3 years ago out of our search results. The content is no longer relevant and defeats the purpose of search. The only relevant results in our forum are the most current posts.

What is the solution here?

Using pulldown menues to sort things, or advanced search is not an option. Our members are not that sophisticated.

I think adding a site setting is still welcome, but it’s not on our list at the moment. I’ll mark this topic as pr-welcome though to more clearly signal that we’re open to adding that.

An approach you could try out with the features that exist today is to configure categories to auto-close topics after a certain period of time (something less than 3 years).

Screenshot 2023-07-07 at 2.15.35 PM

Closed topics are weighted lower than open ones in the relevance search (see some recent discussion about that here).