How to Search Tumblr

Tumblr is a platform that promotes discovery more than finding something specific.  With that said, it does have some simple search functions that you can use to find individual posts, or even whole Tumblr blogs.  You can also sort or filter your search results in certain ways.  We'll show you how in this lesson.

To search Tumblr:

Log into your Tumblr account and click the "Search Tumblr" box.  Type in some terms and press "Enter", or select a suggestion.  You can sort results by most popular or most recent, or filter them to see only one type of post.  You can also change your results view, and show or hide adult-oriented results.

That's a quick introduction to some of the different search features of Tumblr.  Below, we'll show you how to use them in detail, complete with screenshots to help guide you.

Detailed instructions for how to search Tumblr

  1. Open your web browser, go to, and log in.

  2. Click in the box labelled "Search Tumblr" in the upper-left portion of the screen (it has a magnifying glass inside it) and type in what you want to search for.  Note that Tumblr will search for your terms in both posts themselves as well as any tags that they have been given.

    As you type, Tumblr will come up with suggestions for what you might want to search for, with popular terms at the top and specific Tumblr blogs that match your terms at the bottom.  Click on a term suggestion to use that as your search term, or click on a blog name to go right to that blog.  Or, you can just press the "Enter" key and search for exactly what you typed in.

  3. At the top of the screen, you will see your search terms, possibly along with related terms that people search for frequently.  You can click one of the suggestions here to use it as your new search query.

    Below that, you will see blogs on Tumblr that are related to your search terms.  You can click on the blog's name to go to it, or click on one of the specific posts to go directly to that post.  Click the arrows at either the left or right end of the list to cycle through more results.

  4. Further down the screen, you will see individual posts that have been returned as results.  Click on the name of the blog that the post comes from to view more details about that individual post.

    At the top of your post results will be additional options.  On the left, you can click Most Popular to switch between sorting your post results by ones that have a lot of activity on them, or ones that have been posted recently (Most Recent).  You can also click Filter By Post Type to choose to only see one of the seven types of posts (Text, Photo, Quote, Link, Chat, Audio, or Video), or All Posts.

    On the right, you can change how your results are displayed.  Grid View displays results in a compact grid, so you can see many at once.  List View displays results as a cascading list, so you can see posts in more detail.  TV View is a unique view that randomly displays GIFs (short looping animations) that match your search terms in a slideshow; you can skip back and forth between results, or pause and resume the slideshow, as you wish.

    Oh, and one more really important thing is here on the right: the adult-oriented content filter, represented by the little lock icon.  If the lock is closed, you will not see posts flagged as adult-oriented in your results.  If the lock is open, some adult-oriented results may be mixed in with the rest.  Click the lock icon to turn the filter on or off.

That's how to search on Tumblr, in a nutshell!