Searching via the search box

I was looking for unanswered questions in the "Unanswered" section and searched using this query [javascript] [jquery]. This tag search gave results from the "Questions" section instead of results from "Unanswered" section (button beside badges button, not questions > unaswered).

Is this the expected behavior, i.e. does the SO's search ignore the fact that I am searching from the "Unanswered" section?

Searching via clicking tags

If I click on then click on in the "Unanswered" section (beside badges button), I get questions tagged with or , not and, even though both show up in the search and url. You can see in this link and how it shows resukts with just one tag of the 2 I choose.

Is this the expected result? In "Questions" section, if you click on then click on , it returns questions with or , not and.

  • Somehow you have to manually put the and in the URL: stackoverflow.com/unanswered/tagged/javascript+and+jquery.
    – Antony
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 16:16
  • @Antony , shouldn't by choosing unanswered tab (beside badges), then choose javascript, then choose jquery also (so both are in the search bar & url) give the "right" result?
    – Sergio
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 20:18
  • First, search by [javascript] [jquery]. Then, click the unanswered tab (not the section!)
    – bfavaretto
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 22:24
  • @bfavaretto, ok. That works, good. In my question I navigate to section "unanswered" first, that should work also. If I can group/add two tags by clicking them the result should be 1 and 2, not 1 or 2. That behavior with "and" is how it works in the Questions section.
    – Sergio
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 22:35
  • Update: As of 2017, the bug still exists when you click on tags only without doing anything else, but a simple press of the enter key in the search box or reload will fix this problem.
    – Toby Mak
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 8:53

2 Answers 2


Both behaviors are by design:

  1. The search is not contextualized by the section of the site you are in. It always leads to the same results (given the same query). While I see where you are coming from, a different behavior would be even more unexpected to the majority of our users.

  2. The tags in the unanswered section are joined by a OR to be consistent with the default behavior of that section. If you go on "my tags" you will see questions that belong to any of "your" tags, not all of them - so discovery there works similarly. If you want to discover by tag, and filtering down, the Tag section is where to look. Again, I see how this can be confusing, but that's how the system is designed to behave right now.


Clarifying the comments in one post here:

There is a way to bypass searching multiple tags in the search box, type your search term after "tagged/" in this link. Alternatively, after searching your terms, go to the "unanswered" tab in white (in the same row as Tagged Questions), and then the "no answers" tab.

As @Sklivvz implied in his post, the default behaviour of the system assumes you are searching for something else altogether instead of just moving to a different tab to filter results, so it shows the "active" tab (at the time of posting) to encourage you to answer interesting and new questions.

This is why moving to the "unanswered" tab suddenly would be confusing for the majority of people looking at these tabs, because they would want something else altogether (as a part of a new search), so the system just tries to assume your behaviour and move to the default tab.

For searching by clicking tags, pressing "enter" or reloading the page will solve this issue (I assume that Stack Exchange sites are joined with AND now, but I'm not sure when that was fixed).

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