Searching Zendesk Support data Follow

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In Zendesk Support, you can search for data, such as ticket properties, user properties, comments, tags, Help Center articles, and so on, using the search tool, located in the top toolbar. Administrators can search everything, and agents can search the tickets and users that they have permission to see. For example, if as an agent you are limited to only seeing tickets in the groups that you belong to, you will only be able to see those tickets in your search results.

This article covers the following topics:

Accessing the search tool

There are a few ways you can get to the Zendesk Support search tool.

You can click the Search icon () in the upper-right of the top toolbar, which opens the simple search box:

You can click the Search icon and hit Enter, or select Advanced search, which opens the advanced search page:

You can hover your cursor over the add tab in the upper-left of the top toolbar and select Search, which opens the advanced search page:

Or you can use the keyboard shortcut (control + alt + f), which opens the simple search box.

Using a simple text search

A simple text search gives you an unfiltered list of everything you can access that contains your search terms.

To do a simple search
  1. Click the Search icon () in the upper-right of the top toolbar.
  2. Enter your query in the search box.
  3. Press Enter.

Your search results are displayed in a new tab on the toolbar.

Using an advanced search

In addition to the full text search, you can narrow your search results using search filters. You can filter for just the type of elements you want to see: tickets, articles, users, or organizations. Each category offers relevant ways to further refine your results.

To do an advanced search

  1. Click the Search icon () in the upper-right of the top toolbar.
  2. Hit Enter, or click Advanced search.
  3. Enter your search terms in the text bar, then click Filters.
  4. Click the Search dropdown to select the type of element you want to include in your search.

  5. Fill out the options as needed to refine your search.

You can further narrow your search results using search operators and keywords. For more information on this kind of advanced search, see

Previewing ticket details from search results

Hovering your cursor over the subject of a result displays a preview of that ticket, allowing you to glean more information about the ticket without having to open it. In the preview window, snippets of comments or fields containing your search term(s) are displayed, with the search term(s) highlighted, so you can determine whether the ticket is relevant to your search before opening it.

To preview a ticket from the search results
  • Hover your cursor over the subject of a result to display a preview of that ticket.

Understanding your search results

Your search results are sorted into categories for tickets, users, articles, and organizations. Each category contains different columns, icons, and other elements, to help you identify, filter, sort, or otherwise organize your search results.

To select the type of result you want to view

  • Click the category at the top of the search results page.


The Tickets category returns a list of support requests that have your search term(s) in their subject line or comments. This category contains the most options for organizing your results. It has columns displaying the following information relevant to the ticket:

  • ID, the ticket's numeric identifier.
  • Subject, the text from the ticket's subject line.
  • Requested, the date the ticket was submitted.
  • Updated, the last time the ticket was updated.
  • Requester, the name of the user who submitted the ticket.
  • Group, the group assigned to handle the ticket.

Each result is preceded by an icon indicating that ticket's current status:

To open a ticket from the search results
  • Click anywhere on a ticket result's row opens that ticket in a new tab.
To sort your ticket search results
  • Click on the Requested or Updated column in the search results to toggle between displaying results in ascending or descending order by date.


The Users category returns a list of accounts who include your search term(s) in their names, or elsewhere in their profiles. The results for this category contain the following columns:

  • Name, the user's submitted name.
  • Email, the user's email address.
  • Organization, the company or group they work for.
  • Role, the role assigned to that user (agent, admin, end-user, and the like).
  • Updated, the last time the user's profile was updated.
To open a user profile from a search result
  • Click anywhere on a user's row to open that user's profile in a new tab.


The Articles category returns a list of knowledge base entries that mention your search term(s). The results for this category contain the following columns:

  • Title, the article's title.
  • Updated, the last time the article was updated.
  • Created, the date the article was posted to the knowledge base.
To open an article from a search result
  • Click anywhere on an article's row to open that article in a new browser window or tab.


The Organizations category returns a list of collections of users that include your search term(s) in their names, or elsewhere in their profiles. The results for this category contain the following columns:

  • Name, the organization's submitted name.
  • Notes, any notes added to their profile.
  • Created, the date the organization first registered.
  • Updated, the last time the organization updated its profile.
To open an organization profile from a search result
  • Click anywhere on an organization's row to open that organization's profile in a new tab.

Updating tickets in bulk from search results

You can make ticket updates to many tickets at the same time. For example, if you want to assign yourself to a number a tickets, you just select them in the search results and set yourself as the assignee. You can also delete, merge, or mark as spam the selected tickets.

To update multiple tickets

  1. In your search results, select the tickets you want to update. You can pick and choose the tickets you want to update, or select the entire list by clicking the check box at the top left of the results list.
  2. Click the dropdown arrow on the Edit X ticket(s) button, and select an option. OR
  3. Click the Update X ticket(s) button to open the ticket editor.
  4. Update the ticket information as needed. See Bulk updating, deleting, and merging tickets for more information on bulk updating.
  5. Click Submit to apply the changes to your selected tickets, or click the menu dropdown on the Submit button to apply the changes.

Using search keywords

You can create more complex search statements using search operators and keywords.

You can restrict your searches to look for specific ticket, user, article, group, or organization data. To do this, you use the data object properties as keywords in a search. For example, the following search returns all closed tickets containing the words "help" and "center."

Zendesk Support also includes search operators commonly used when searching the Internet, such as: (equals), > (greater than), < (less than), and "" (phrase search).

For all of the details about searching your data in Zendesk Support, see Zendesk search reference in the Administrator Guide.

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0

    I think I have found a problem with search in Zendesk with two different search methods. 

    a) When I go to Admin - (Manage) People, and select Organization and put a partial name in there (for the sake of this example I type 'Broadcasting' - from British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) ) and click the Search button I don't get any results. If I then type British (ie the first word) and click the Search button then I get a result.

    b) However, if I just click Search and type 'Broadcasting' it filters and successfully finds the results as I type (ie instant search).

    Why the two different types of searches between (a) and (b)?

    Ideally I would expect search (a) to work like search (b)... 

    Thoughts please!


  • 0

    Hi Gary, 

    That sounds like odd behavior to me too! I'm going to create a ticket for you and send it to Advanced Support so that someone can look into this. You'll see a message from from support in just a minute and then we'll send you an update as soon as we can!

  • 0

    I see similar problems with the search - what came of this?   Seems the knowledge base we're about to devote time to building out will be fairly ineffective if people enter more than one word... even if they are both matches to a forum topic it doesn't return the result  Type one of the words, bam - result returned.  (Put the two words in single quote then it works, but people don't actually search like this.)

  • 0

    Hi Brian, 

    There are some differences in how search works in the two different areas Gary noted, there isn't anything that has changed there.

    I found you submitted about this and tried doing some searches in your Zendesk - I think there may be something happening because it doesn't make sense to me. Additionally, when I search for single words in my test account they are bringing up articles I expect it too - when it's one word of several in the title, plural versions of the word instead of the singular keyword I typed into search etc. I'll add some notes to your ticket and someone from Advanced Support should be able to give you more information soon.  

  • 0

    I am trying to find tickets by searching for a custom field named "issue type". Every search for "issue type:xxxxx" is identical. How can I search for tickets by a custom field? I'm seeing the correct counts in my reports, but how do I find the tickets being reported? 

  • 0

    Custom fields put tags on your tickets, so give it try searching for the tag for the value that you're looking for, instead of the value itself.

  • 0

    Thanks for the suggestion. I tried your idea and was able to find some tickets, but I know I'm missing others.

    For me there were issues. First, the results don't always match the tag in a very inconsistent way. You get randomly unmatching tickets when you search for a tag. Some results are right, some are not, and the ones that are not have no pattern. But at least you get some. You just have to look through 79 tickets to find 4 with the right tag, and you never end up finding the 3 others that are being reported with this tag in a saved report. Even after looking through 79 tickets about 10 times to make sure you didn't miss one. 

    Second, when you create a custom field, you are right that it assigns a tag. But the tag has a bunch of underscores. If it's more than one word, odds are you won't remember how it was named so you can't just search for it without first going to find out how many underscores to use. 

    Regardless, I still can't find the tickets referenced in my reports. It says that I have X tickets with a specific custom field. How do I find them? This seems like it would be so easy; I know I am doing something wrong. 

    Would also be nice to search by more than one filter (custom field + type, for example). 

  • 0

    Hi Adrian, 

    The search string you mentioned in your first post would work for searching a custom user or organization field; it will not work for searching a custom ticket field. As Seth mentioned, in the case of a custom drop-down field like your "Issue Type" ticket field, each selection from the drop-down menu tags the ticket, so it's best to search for tickets containing the appropriate tag for the field selection in question.

    I just tested out a tag search for Tags:billing and Tags:printing in your Zendesk, which were two of the selections from your Issue Type custom ticket field. Each time I performed these tag searches, I received the correct number of tagged tickets (identical to the number of tagged tickets showing up in your report). On our end, the tag search appears to be working in your account. Since you say it's not working on your end, I've created a ticket on your behalf to troubleshoot further. I'll see you in that ticket shortly!

  • 0

    Thank you. Try searching for "Passbook". We also use custom field named "Other". Can you try these?

  • 0

    Hi Adrian, 

    Let's continue the conversation in that ticket I created for you. If the issue turns out to be something that affects many customers, we'll post the resolution here when we're finished troubleshooting!

  • 0


    I would like to know if it is possible to add a tag or a color tag to different tickets to then perform a search by word and find the specific tagged tickets.

    For example, I would like to find all the tickets that are tagged (or marked with some color if possible) with the word "development". I already tried by adding the tag "development" to tickets  but the search result shows all the tickets that have the word "development" on it and not the specific ones that I want.

    It is possible to do what I've explained?

  • 0

    Hi Alvaro, 

    If you tag a bunch of tickets with 'development,' then run a search for only tickets tagged with that word, you'd want to use the search reference 'tags:development.' If you just enter 'development' by itself into the search bar, you'll see all tickets with any type of reference to that word. Let me know if that doesn't resolve your issue, and I'll create a ticket on your behalf!

    The system already uses color to indicate ticket status. When running a search, you'll notice along the left side of the results a box to indicate the ticket's status, each in a different color. For example, yellow = New; red = Open; blue = Pending; black = On-Hold; dark gray = Solved; light gray = Closed. So as not to confuse this workflow, the system doesn't let you further color-code anything.

  • 0

    Thanks for the answer Emily, now it works fine!




  • 0


    Actually I have a search option on my website that says "Search Forums/KnowledgeBase" for end users. On the click the of search I want the users to be redirected to the page if I was to search from Zendesk. I know it involves API calls and sending search query in the form of JSON. I wanted a clearer idea on this or steps I should do.


  • 0


    Thanks a lot. I have got the solution for this. 

  • 0

    I love the new search! One thing I can't understand is the sorting: Tickets are searched by default but I don't understand how they are sorted. Often closed tickets come up first which isn't usually what I'm looking for. Previously the search gave you the option to sort by relevance or recent activity: what is the default now?

  • 0

    Hi Peter,

    I'm so glad you like it! By default, the search is sorting by relevance. That being said, we're still working on improving the ranking of results, and it sounds like we need to work weighting non-closed tickets a bit higher. That being said, you can click on either the created or updated date columns to sort by those instead.


  • 0

    Hi all,

    I'm about to launch a very small beta for agents who are searching for articles in the agent interface. This beta will not change the search experience for anyone in Help Center, but rather is a precursor to that step. You will not see any interface changes during this beta, as the change only impacts the results themselves. You will also not be able to search for community posts within the agent interface quite yet.

    If you're interested, please sign up here:

    You'll be able to choose whether you'd like this rolled out to your entire account, or, if you'd prefer, you can turn it on for individual agents.


  • 0

    Hi All,

    We are interested in learning how you, Zendesk customers, use the Zendesk search in your work to help us continue enhancing and improving this feature.

    If you and your team are interested in sharing how search supports your work and are available for talking to us, please sign up using the form here.

    We will follow up from there if we find a match to our study. Due to limited resource available, we may not be able to cover all customers. 


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