Author Topic: The Forum "Search" Feature  (Read 20447 times)


  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28443
  • Age: -998
  • Location: Seattle, WA
The Forum "Search" Feature
« on: July 12, 2016, 12:04:34 AM »
As many of you know, the forums search feature will often return a database error.  This is due to the fact that our forum database is large, so that searching the whole thing causes it to time out.

Here is the workaround: Search only a part of the forum, or search the whole forum, but for only part of its time.

Instead of using the "search" box in the upper right, click "Search" in the navigation bar of the site (below the banner, and your picture, if you don't have that hidden, it's the third option, after Home and Help).

This will take you to the advanced search.  From here, if you know the subsection of the forum you want to search, click the plus icon next to "Choose a board to search in, or search all" and click the checkmark next to "Check all" to uncheck everything.  Then check just the subfoum(s) you want to search, type in your search query, and hit search.  It should work!

If you want to search the whole forum (not sure of the subforum), but know approximate dates, you can instead leave all the subforums checked, but change the "Message age" to a more reasonable number (between 0 and 30 days, if it was in the last month, or between 90 and 180 days if it was between three and six months ago, or whatever).  You can also do things like searching only in the subject line of posts.

Too many subforums and too broad of a date range (i.e. the defaults) will cause the search to time out, so just tweak those settings to have a successful search.  Even unchecking some subforums you know what you're looking for ISN'T in will help.

As many of you know, you can also go to Google and search for something using the "" search operator (type that after the text you're searching for), as demonstrated with this link (just replace the word "text" with what you want to search for):

This Google search cannot search the journal section though, as the journal section requires a login, and thus Google does not index it (this is on purpose, to keep the info there semi-private).  So if you want to search for something in a journal, going to the site's search and checking just that subforum box will get you there.

Summary: If you want to search for something here on the forums, go to the search in the navigation bar, and change the subforum(s) and/or date to be narrower.

I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.