I can only agree with bebotette, the search function is far from intuitive and is not reliable at all, whereas it really should be 100% foolproof!
Since my switch from LastPass I have had several mysterious instances where things that I have stored in the notes section just cannot be found. Yesterday I urgently needed my NHS (Health) details and typing that into Bitwarden’s search bar revealed two other non-relevant items because the one I actually needed happened to have been joined to another word with a preceding slash, e.g. “ID/NHS”.
After reading this forum’s Feature Request, I realised I could use a wildcard asterisk which now finds my missing note, but on further testing just now, I wouldn’t have found it if I’d stored the info as ID/NHS: (with a following colon), only when I add an asterisk on either side of my search term does it then find it.
This is not a good situation and I’m not confident that there wouldn’t be other oddly typed permutations in my Notes entries that would always get picked up because I’m not using the right deep and mystical qualifying search criteria. From what I’ve also read here, it seems that searching Secure Notes are yet another issue!!! (not tested yet, but why do I even have to test it to be confident???).
I have read the suggested page on Advanced Search https://bitwarden.com/help/article/searching-vault/ but this is way above what anyone would normally expect to have to learn or do for a full search of everything. In fact I don’t understand that page at all, it doesn’t even specifically mention the asterisk search and instead goes into all sorts of complexities using the greater than symbol (>) and various qualifiers which I certainly do not intend to have to commit to my brain cells.
That particular help page doesn’t even make sense - the top bit goes on about filter or navigational menu options I can’t find/don’t see, and for Basic Search it says: For your convenience, basic search automatically includes leading and trailing wildcards. For example, searching for mail will return Vault items with the name gmail as well as email. - (however this didn’t seem to work for me in my NHS example above and just leads me to lose trust in Search not working at all reliably!).
Why on earth can we not just have a search function that works just like everywhere else in other programs that fully search everything as we request or type it?!? Surely “Advanced Search” is for when we need more control to really narrow things specifically down, however, Bitwarden currently seems to have its search priorities and function the wrong way around! It should be Simple/Obvious first, then Advanced (with a clear button to do so).
This limitation and a few other niggles about Bitwarden’s usability are making me question its real usefulness. Already I have lost a few generated passwords for web pages due to the way it fails to offer me a blatant or imperative save option (or fails to register it at all if the email/username is entered on another initial popup page/dialogue box). I’ve also got annoyed a few times when I’m in the middle of creating or editing a password/note and then click away for a moment to do or check on something else, only to find Bitwarden has lost/wiped/cancelled whatever I was doing, editing or creating. - These sorts of things just should not be able to happen!