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Flywheel indexes all data and metadata for search– including any custom metadata. There are two ways to search for data in Flywheel: Basic Search and Advanced Search

This article gives an overview of the two different types of search in Flywheel.

Instruction Steps

Enter a term into the search bar to perform a basic search. You can filter results by project, file type, modality, classification, session timestamp, sex, subject age, or by custom fields.

Basic search uses fuzzy matching to find results. This means that you will also see results that approximately match your search term, not just the exact term. For exact matching use Advanced Search.

See our Basic search article for more information.


Advanced Search is a powerful tool that allows you to search on any field in your Flywheel data, including custom metadata. Advanced Search includes both a visual query editor as well as the ability to build a query using FlyQL, which is a sequel-like language. You can also save queries.

See our Advanced Search article for more information on Advanced Search and FlyQL.


Working with Search Results

Once you have your search results, you can perform bulk actions on all of the data:

  • Download Downloads the selected data as a tar file
  • Add to Collection: Collections to organize their data to meet their unique needs. This feature can be used to create customs views, organize data within a Project or across Projects by Subject, modality, or research topic. Learn more about collections.
  • Run Batch Gear: Start a gear job to run against all of the selected files. We will cover gears later on in this guide.
  • Delete Data: Delete the selected files.
  • Move sessions to a new project or subject: Move all selected files to a new project or subject. Learn more about moving sessions.
  • Create new sessions: Create a new session with the selected files.

Next Steps

Learn how to answer questions about your data and create custom reports by using Data Views.