92

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.

8
  • 1
    Very true. Much of what I recall is based on other users' comments, not my own. Using the accepted answer below, http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=site:superuser.com+version*+Lion+awesome+developer did find what I want, but it took me a few minutes to figure this out. IMHO it would be much neater to allow searches from within Stack Exchange, or from within a particular stack. Not a default; an advanced search option. Aug 5 '11 at 13:29
  • Here is a feature-request that covers this. Jan 7 '13 at 14:19
  • I feel your pain.
    – superuser
    Jan 13 '13 at 5:40
  • For comments which are less than a week old go to activity tab -> comments. Here you can see all your comment ordered by latest first. So you can easily search latest comments. For older commnets you can search them from the data-explorer. See this answer Apr 24 '14 at 9:26
  • 2
    @hims056 Not my comments, other users' comments.
    – RedFilter
    Apr 24 '14 at 17:15
  • @HimanshuJansari - where is the activity tag?
    – Sam
    Jun 27 at 13:47
  • 1
    @Sam: Activity tab is available about user's profile picture. Where you can switch between 'Profile' and 'Activity'. You can now check the comments from Activity > All actions > Comments. Jun 28 at 4:49
36

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).

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    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/… May 8 '16 at 9:16
  • Scratch that - it works now. Guess it can take Google's crawler a while. May 18 '16 at 9:10
55

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
  • 22
    @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) Oct 3 '10 at 10:29
  • 5
    @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. Apr 13 '13 at 21:17
  • 2
    @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
7

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

4

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.

0

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

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

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