It seems that the chat room search feature is not working. The search result always displays "0 messages found". It is not displaying messages that contain the search query, even if those messages are visible when viewing the chat room itself.

I tested this in The Water Cooler, The Sphinx's Lair, TRPG General Chat, and The Fire Department.

I asked other users, who confirmed they are observing the same behavior.

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    This issue also reproduced on the chat.stackoverflow server. Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 5:22
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    Can confirm something broke down. Tested right now on multiple rooms I visit and I always got 0 results. Using multiple filters (words, users, rooms) doesn't seem to make any difference
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 9:17
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    Can also confirm something is broken what searching chat. No results are returned for even the simplest searches.
    – user692942
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 9:37
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    I swear like half the urgent bug reports about chat are search breaking. You'd think they'd verify it working regularly
    – Zoe
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 14:19
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    @Zoe verify? Wait, what does it mean? ;) Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 7:49

1 Answer 1


My apologies. This was an oversight on my part. I was doing maintenance on the search cluster and didn't realize that chat didn't automatically rebuild its search indices, like our other applications do. In the past, some kind person must have been coming behind me to fix these missing indices.

I'm going to update the maintenance to include making sure the indices are rebuilt in the future, so hopefully we can avoid the problem going forward.

You should be seeing search results now. The index builds starting with the oldest data, so it will take some time before the most recent information returns to the results.

Thanks a bunch for letting us know.

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    Is this still rebuilding Mike? I get results when searching but it's not returning anything on chat.so from November 2015 onwards? (just seems quite a bit of time since you posted this answer and the re-index for 7 years of data is all :p) Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 9:38
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    I agree it should be done by now. I will take a look.
    – Mike Frank Staff
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 13:34
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    So, at some point the indexing process stopped before it completed. Not sure why yet. I have restarted it and I see messages newer than what was added from the previous attempt. I'm keeping an eye on the rebuild to see if it decides to stop again.
    – Mike Frank Staff
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 16:11
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    It looks like the indexing process is stuck again, unfortunately. Search on Chat.SO still doesn't seem to be returning any messages past November 2015 (and it seems to have been stuck there for at least a few hours now).
    – Ryan M
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 21:57
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    You should see everything now. I had only restarted the Meta.SE index initially, to see if the process was going to be stable. I later started the rebuild for Chat.SO. The rebuild is quite slow. I'm going to see if I can speed it up a bit.
    – Mike Frank Staff
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 15:08
  • And it's broken again. Commented 2 days ago

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