Sometimes I can best remember a question by its comments. How can I search for a question that way?

Downloading the data dump is not viable because it may be a question posted today.


Since the top five comments of each post are displayed in the page, Google indexing can pick them up. So if you can remember key words from the comments, a Google search (with site:stackoverflow.com, of course) should be able to find them.

For example, I know I once made a comment with the phrase "four-year-old". I can use this search to find it again (the second link shows my name in the preview, so it's a pretty good bet).

  • 1
    So that was YOU. I remember that comment! I'll be damned if I can remember the question though... – RedFilter Oct 1 '09 at 20:23
  • I want to search for people spamming but Google returns non-spam comments that are spam. – clickbait Jun 21 '15 at 16:03
  • @mmyers, What does "top five comments of each post" mean? "top" as ordered by votes followed by post date? Does this work only for questions or does this work for every answer too? – Pacerier Feb 28 '16 at 15:25
  • @Pacerier: I mean whichever comments are shown by default. The rules have changed a few times in the past. (And the question I referred to in this answer has long since been deleted.) – mmyers Feb 29 '16 at 16:42
  • I can't find this comment in Google: stackoverflow.com/questions/29614171/… using a search like this one: google.com/… – Ohad Schneider May 8 '16 at 9:16
  • Scratch that - it works now. Guess it can take Google's crawler a while. – Ohad Schneider May 18 '16 at 9:10

You can't at the moment. It's annoying to me, too.

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    Its ok, we should ask the guys that make this site to... wait a minute... – perbert Sep 28 '09 at 23:19
  • Why would anybody want to search for comments? – Tom Jun 21 '10 at 21:00
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    @Tom: I was just awarded the "Pundit" badge, which apparently means 10 of my comments have been upvoted 10 times. I'm quite interested to see which ones they are! (Yes I'm vain :-P) – j_random_hacker Oct 3 '10 at 10:29
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    @Tom I would like to search for all my comments with '-1' to see whether they should stay that way, or if I was in a foul mood that day. Some times I leave comments I mean to be temporary and I tag them with some text; I may have forgot about some. – artless noise Apr 13 '13 at 21:17
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    @j_random_hacker try this. And upvote this answer (and its question) for I took the link from there. :) – Sufian Aug 27 '16 at 17:40

It won't help with other people's comments, but for your own comments to questions posted today, click your name at the top of the page to get to your profile page and then click on the "recent" tab near the middle of the page. This should show comments for the last couple days or so.

Additionally, to search older comments you don't have to download the entire data dump. Just use http://data.stackexchange.com


The Stack Exchange Data Explorer lets you avoid downloading the complete data dump. Here is such a query; feel free to fork it to adapt it to your needs. It's able to find this question by a part of the first comment:

enter image description here

Note that SEDE is updated only once a week, on Sunday morning.


You can use in your profile activity tab with comments tag.

  • 3
    Useful (I did this a few times), but not when seeking other people's comments. – Graham Perrin Aug 5 '11 at 13:31

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