How to Search Reddit Effectively: 4 Useful Tips and Tricks to Know

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Reddit is a huge website, containing thousands of posts and comments across numerous subreddits. As such, if you want to find a post that covers a specific topic, it’s a good idea to get to grips with the different ways of using Reddit’s search engine.

So, in this article, we explore how to search Reddit, including some unofficial ways to get better results.

1. How to Search Reddit for Subreddits, Users, and Posts

If you want to perform a Reddit search—whether you’re looking for a subreddit or a post—you can use the search bar. If the term “subreddit” just flew right over your head, be sure to check out our guide on what Reddit is and how it works before reading any further.

The search bar is in different locations, depending on which kind of Reddit design you’re using. If you’re using the old Reddit design, the search bar is in the top-right.



reddit-search-old-bar

If you’re using the new Reddit design, it’s at the very top in the middle.



The search bar on the new Reddit

Type what you want to see here and press Enter to search. When you use the search bar, Reddit will pull up subreddits, users, and posts that contain your search term. For example, if you search for “cats,” you’ll find the subreddit /r/cats, as well as every post on Reddit that has “cats” in the title.

If you want to search just subreddits, you can visit the subreddit page. This is used for managing the subreddits you follow, but it also comes with a search box exclusively for finding new communities.

How to Search Reddit Using Modifiers and Operators

You can also use the following modifiers as mentioned in Reddit’s advanced search:

  • title:[text] searches only post titles.
  • author:[username] searches only posts by the given username.
  • selftext:[text] searches only the body of posts that were made as self-posts.
  • subreddit:[name] searches only posts that were submitted to the given subreddit community.
  • url:[text] searches only the URL of non-self-post posts.
  • site:[text] searches only the domain name of non-self-post posts.
  • nsfw:yes or nsfw:no to filter results based on whether they were marked as NSFW or not.
  • self:yes or self:no to filter results based on whether they were self-posts or not.

You can also use boolean operators to better refine your search.

  • AND means you want both sides to be true.
  • OR means only one side needs to be true.
  • You can use parentheses () to group modifiers together in case the search query is a complex mixture of ANDs and ORs.
  • You can negate/exclude certain modifiers by preceding them with (minus sign).

2. How to Search Within a Subreddit

If you want to learn how to search in a subreddit, you can use the subreddit search modifier we mentioned above. However, there is an easier way that will save you a little bit of time.

For example, let’s say you’re browsing a subreddit and you’re not finding what you want to find. Instead of browsing until you find it, you can search only within the subreddit you’re on. How you do this depends on what version of Reddit you prefer.

If you’re using old Reddit, click the checkbox under the search box that says “limit my search to [subreddit name]”. When you hit Enter, only results from that subreddit will appear.



Refining a search on old Reddit

If you’re using the new Reddit design, however, you won’t see a tickbox. To search in a subreddit on the new design, take a look at the left of the search box. If you’re currently on the subreddit you want to search in, you’ll likely see its name to the left of the search bar. This means that, when you search for something, Reddit will only search that subreddit.



Refining a search on new Reddit

If you don’t see this in the search bar, search as if it were there. Then, on the search results page, click Show results from [Subreddit] to narrow things down.



Showing results from one subreddit from the main site search

If all else fails, use the subreddit:[name] shortcut as we covered above.

You’ve probably noticed that you can’t perform a Reddit comment search on the main website; at least, it can’t at the time of writing. However, there is still a way to search Reddit comments; we just need to move away from Reddit and use third-party tools instead.

One of the best tools available is Pushshift Reddit Search. This website will let you search through Reddit comments, but as you’ll see when you visit the website, that’s not all it can do. If you get frustrated with Reddit’s search engine, be sure to try this one instead.



Using Pushshift Reddit Search

To perform a Reddit comment search, ensure that you’re on the “Search” category on the first row of options. On the second row, unselect “Posts” and select “Comments”. On the third row, select the span of time you want to search in. Enter what you’re looking for in the “Search Terms” box.

If you want to search a specific subreddit, enter it into the “Subreddits” field. The “Domains” field is looking for posts that link to a specific website, but you don’t need to fill this out if you’re looking through comments.

When you click on “Search,” Pushshift will scour through Reddit and pull up all the comments that match your query.



A search result from a PushSearch query

Sometimes you’re looking through a comment thread for discussion. You’ll find a comment that says “[Deleted],” followed by a chain of replies discussing the matter further. The start to the conversation is lost forever—or so you might think.



A deleted comment on Reddit, with replies

There’s a handy website called Unddit that stores as many comments on Reddit as possible. As such, if a comment is deleted, Unddit will “remember” it and show you what it used to say. Moreover, it will even let you know if the user deleted their own comment by marking it blue, or if a mod removed it by marking it red.

To use Unddit, navigate to the Reddit comment section that you want to check. Then, edit the URL so that the “reddit” part in the domain name becomes “unddit.” There’s no need to delete the whole domain name and re-type it; just change the “re” part of “reddit” to “un.”



Restoring deleted comments with Removeddit

When you press Enter, you’ll load the Unddit page for that comment thread. Unddit will look through its database and show all of the comments it has on file for that thread. If Unddit managed to archive the comment before it was deleted, you’ll find it here in its former glory. Otherwise, if it got deleted before Unddit could see it, the website will show an error message instead.

Upgrading Your Reddit Experience

As you can see, there are various ways to search Reddit. You could even use one of the free alternative Reddit browsers. So, whether you’re looking for a new community to join, or are trying to find that one funny meme you stumbled across weeks ago, you should be fine. Especially if you make use of the third-party options mentioned above.



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