Why do I have to go to SO/users to search on username.

Why can't I just use the 'normal' searchbox with for example my username.

user:peehaa but I have to use my id user:508666.

Is this by design? And if so: Why?

  • @Wether: They aren't??? Ok that's new for me. Why aren't they?
    – PeeHaa
    Commented May 21, 2011 at 1:38
  • 8
    Why should they be? It's a lot easier when people can just use whatever they want instead of trying to find a unique string of characters on a site with hundreds of thousands of users.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented May 21, 2011 at 1:43
  • @AdamLear Because a user with an unregistered account will have multiple accounts, and it's impossible to find them all. There's an open feature request, Let diamond moderators (or even regular users) search for unregistered users. Of course it's normally more useful to search by ID, but not being able to search by name is a bug IMO. Even searching (filtering) by name of the Users page doesn't show unregistered accounts. >:-(
    – ChrisW
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 5:34
  • 1
    @ChrisW This discussion isn't about searching for users. It's about searching within posts made by a user. I don't have an opinion off the top of my head about adding unregistered users to the /users filter... but it looks like the other post picked up the [status-review] tag a bit ago, so it'll get on our radar.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 16:26

1 Answer 1


Usernames are not unique. That allows people who want to use their real names as username to do so without going through the cumbersome real-name-changing process.

Or, for that matter, allows users to chose whatever stupid nickname they want, like Wether.

  • 1
    This does not answer the question of why we can't search for posts by username. The text in questions isn't unique either but we can use those as keywords. Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 17:55

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