Unexpected results in advanced search on "only return topics/posts" and "In my messages"

As a new user of discourse I expect the search results of “In my messages” to be a subset of the default search. Instead, messages are not found when “In my messages” is not activated.
I think we should change the presentation or the behaviour to match the expectations. I guess the main problem is the mix between the definition of the searched set (topics/messages) and the applied search filters.
An alternative behaviour is already mentioned in Search both public topics and PMs by default.
An alternative presentation could be to split “In my messages” from “Only return topics/posts…” to a separate drop-down list:

  • Where messages are
    ** excluded
    ** included
    ** searched exclusively

I am not sure about this, mixing up private and public info can cause incredible amount of confusion and fear.


Especially when it’s a change. I’m occasionally sent screenshots of searches as part of queries. Including PMs in results by default there would be fairly problematic.


This is… not a good idea. Searching PMs should always be explicit.


Thanks for your feedback :slight_smile:

Yes, and not searching them is a good default, but the current presentation of the search options suggests something else to me (and maybe to other new users as well) . I’m proposing that not searching the PMs should be visible explicitly.

When the option “Only return topics/posts… In my messages” is activated, everything is fine.

But does not activating mean the opposite? What is the opposite of “Only return topics/posts… In my messages”?
Obviously it is “Not only return topics/posts… In my messages”. But does that mean “return topics/posts including my messages”?
That is what I expected. Maybe I just get it wrong :blush:


I understand the request here and agree that the sentence is far from ideal English:

Only return topics/posts in my messages

That said I worry that the sledgehammer combo box splitting between PM search on vs PM search off will cause confusion.

“Where private messages are included” is not on the table. Only 2 options we support are:

  1. Search my private messages
  2. Search things that are not private messages.