Using jDownloads Search


This article is about the 'simple' Search. A separate article is in preparation for the Smart Search.

The simple search allows searching for Downloads that meet specific criteia. You can either search all Downloads or just those in a choosen Category.

Enable Search Plugin

The search plugin is very simple to configure and use.

 It is automatically installed when the jDownloads Component is installed.

There are only two parameters of any significance, one is the Access Level, and the other is the maximum search depth.

The default settings are usually sufficient. 

It is of course essential to enable (publish) the plugin.


Searching is initiated from the Front End by either clicking on the search button Search01A or by creating a jDownloads Search Menu item.
For more details see create a menu item (opens in a separate page/tab).

Search Criteria

Search offers three criteria on how the search keywords are to be used:

  1. the search must find those downloads with all of the specified words;
  2. find those downloads with any of the words;
  3. only find those downloads with an exact match to the entire phrase.

The search 'region' may be any combination of:
1. the Download title;
2. in either the Short or Long Descriptions;
3. in the Changelog;
4. the Author's name;
5. the Meta-Tags.

For example if the search words were 'adams sonata' then this could be a search for Sonata For Trumpet And Piano by Prof. Byron Adams where 'sonata' is in the title and 'adams' is in the Author field.

Note that the search key words are case insensitive.

The Select Category pulldown option button select cat allows you to limit the search just to a single Category.  By design It does not show any results from subcategories of the selected Category.

Search Results Ordering

When searching jDownloads will report how many Downloads meet the search criteria.
If a particular word is found multiple times in the same Download it only counts once in the total found.

The available ordering of the search results is shown opposite.

The results also list the Creation Date and the Category in which the Download is located.

Note:  The search results also list the category in which the Download was found.  So Selecting 'Category' here is NOT related to searching in a single category as described later.


In this example there were two matching downloads. 

The view on the right is the 'summary' whilst the view below is the result list of matching Downloads appended to the search. 

Clicking on the names, in blue if using the default search template, will take the user to the specific download.
Using the same search when logged in may produce more results.

Some Downloads are visible for everyone, that is they have an Access Level of Public. 

Others have a different Access Level so those user groups will see those with their restricted Access Level as well of all of those of other user groups to which they have an implied membership.
Each Download title becomes a link, either directly or indirectly, to the Download.  What happens when clicking on the link depends on the Front End option settings. See Front End Options (opens in a separate page/tab). for more details.
ColinM Rewritten Feb 2019, revised August 2020, updated February 2022

Tags: index, faq39

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