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 buttons on the homepage and below the search bar when you execute a search.

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, the new search scopes take effect immediately. Instead of typing the set of files and repos you want to search over, you can now select your search scope from the buttons on the search homepage whenever you need.