Search scopes

Every project and team has a different set of repositories they commonly work with and search over. Custom search scopes enable users and organizations to quickly filter their searches to predefined subsets of files and repositories.

A search scope is any valid query. For example, a search scope that defines all repositories in the "example" organization would be repo:^github\.com/example/. In the UI, search scopes appear as suggested filters below the search bar when you view search results.

Creating custom search scopes

Custom search scopes can be specified at 3 different levels:

  • By site admins for all users: in the Global settings in the site admin area.
  • By organization admins for all organization members: in the organization profile Settings section
  • By users for themselves only: in the user profile Settings section

You can configure search scopes by setting the search.scopes to a JSON array of {name, value} objects.

The value of a search scope can be any valid query and can include any search token (such as repo:, file:, etc.).

For example, this JSON will create two search scopes:

  // ...
  "search.scopes": [
      "name": "Test code",
      "value": "file:(test|spec)"
      "name": "Non-vendor code",
      "value": "-file:vendor/ -file:node_modules/"
  // ...

After editing and saving the configuration settings JSON in the profile page, your search scopes will be shown as suggested filters on search results pages.