The ability to contribute conversationally is offered throughout GitLab.

You can leave a comment in the following places:

  • issues
  • epics
  • merge requests
  • snippets
  • commits
  • commit diffs

The comment area supports Markdown and quick actions. One can edit their own comment at any time, and anyone with Maintainer access level or higher can also edit a comment made by someone else.

You could also reply to the notification email in order to reply to a comment, provided that Reply by email is configured by your GitLab admin. This also supports Markdown and quick actions as if replied from the web.

Apart from the standard comments, you also have the option to create a comment in the form of a resolvable or threaded discussion.

Resolvable discussions


  • The main feature was introduced in GitLab 8.11.
  • Resolvable discussions can be added only to merge request diffs.

Discussion resolution helps keep track of progress during planning or code review. Resolving comments prevents you from forgetting to address feedback and lets you hide discussions that are no longer relevant.

"A discussion between two people on a piece of code"

Comments and discussions can be resolved by anyone with at least Developer access to the project or the author of the merge request.

Commit discussions in the context of a merge request

Introduced in GitLab 10.3.

For reviewers with commit-based workflow, it may be useful to add discussions to specific commit diffs in the context of a merge request. These discussions will persist through a commit ID change when:

  • force-pushing after a rebase
  • amending a commit

To create a commit diff discussion:

  1. Navigate to the merge request Commits tab. A list of commits that constitute the merge request will be shown.

    Merge request commits tab

  2. Navigate to a specific commit, click on the Changes tab (where you will only be presented diffs from the selected commit), and leave a comment.

    Commit diff discussion in merge request context

  3. Any discussions created this way will be shown in the merge request's Discussions tab and are resolvable.

    Merge request Discussions tab

Discussions created this way will only appear in the original merge request and not when navigating to that commit under your project's Repository > Commits page.

TIP: Tip: When a link of a commit reference is found in a discussion inside a merge request, it will be automatically converted to a link in the context of the current merge request.

Jumping between unresolved discussions

When a merge request has a large number of comments it can be difficult to track what remains unresolved. You can jump between unresolved discussions with the Jump button next to the Reply field on a discussion.

You can also jump to the first unresolved discussion from the button next to the resolved discussions tracker.

"3/4 discussions resolved"

Marking a comment or discussion as resolved

You can mark a discussion as resolved by clicking the Resolve discussion button at the bottom of the discussion.

"Resolve discussion" button

Alternatively, you can mark each comment as resolved individually.

"Resolve comment" button

Move all unresolved discussions in a merge request to an issue

Introduced in GitLab 9.1

To continue all open discussions from a merge request in a new issue, click the Resolve all discussions in new issue button.

Open new issue for all unresolved discussions

Alternatively, when your project only accepts merge requests when all discussions are resolved, there will be an open an issue to resolve them later link in the merge request widget.

Link in merge request widget

This will prepare an issue with its content referring to the merge request and the unresolved discussions.

Issue mentioning discussions in a merge request

Hitting Submit issue will cause all discussions to be marked as resolved and add a note referring to the newly created issue.

Mark discussions as resolved notice

You can now proceed to merge the merge request from the UI.

Moving a single discussion to a new issue

Introduced in GitLab 9.1

To create a new issue for a single discussion, you can use the Resolve this discussion in a new issue button.

Create issue for discussion

This will direct you to a new issue prefilled with the content of the discussion, similar to the issues created for delegating multiple discussions at once. Saving the issue will mark the discussion as resolved and add a note to the merge request discussion referencing the new issue.

New issue for a single discussion

Only allow merge requests to be merged if all discussions are resolved

Introduced in GitLab 8.14.

You can prevent merge requests from being merged until all discussions are resolved.

Navigate to your project's settings page, select the Only allow merge requests to be merged if all discussions are resolved check box and hit Save for the changes to take effect.

Only allow merge if all the discussions are resolved settings

From now on, you will not be able to merge from the UI until all discussions are resolved.

Only allow merge if all the discussions are resolved message

Automatically resolve merge request diff discussions when they become outdated

Introduced in GitLab 10.0.

You can automatically resolve merge request diff discussions on lines modified with a new push.

Navigate to your project's settings page, select the Automatically resolve merge request diffs discussions on lines changed with a push check box and hit Save for the changes to take effect.

Automatically resolve merge request diff discussions when they become outdated

From now on, any discussions on a diff will be resolved by default if a push makes that diff section outdated. Discussions on lines that don't change and top-level resolvable discussions are not automatically resolved.

Commit discussions

You can add comments and discussion threads to a particular commit under your project's Repository > Commits.

CAUTION: Attention: Discussions created this way will be lost if the commit ID changes after a force push.

Threaded discussions

Introduced in GitLab 9.1.

While resolvable discussions are only available to merge request diffs, discussions can also be added without a diff. You can start a specific discussion which will look like a thread, on issues, commits, snippets, and merge requests.

To start a threaded discussion, click on the Comment button toggle dropdown, select Start discussion and click Start discussion when you're ready to post the comment.

Comment type toggle

This will post a comment with a single thread to allow you to discuss specific comments in greater detail.

Discussion comment

Image discussions

Introduced in GitLab 10.1.

Sometimes a discussion is revolved around an image. With image discussions, you can easily target a specific coordinate of an image and start a discussion around it. Image discussions are available in merge requests and commit detail views.

To start an image discussion, hover your mouse over the image. Your mouse pointer should convert into an icon, indicating that the image is available for commenting. Simply click anywhere on the image to create a new discussion.

Start image discussion

After you click on the image, a comment form will be displayed that would be the start of your discussion. Once you save your comment, you will see a new badge displayed on top of your image. This badge represents your discussion.

Note: This discussion badge is typically associated with a number that is only used as a visual reference for each discussion. In the merge request discussion tab, this badge will be indicated with a comment icon since each discussion will render a new image section.

Image discussions also work on diffs that replace an existing image. In this diff view mode, you can toggle the different view modes and still see the discussion point badges.

2-up Swipe Onion Skin
2-up view swipe view onion skin view

Image discussions also work well with resolvable discussions. Resolved discussions on diffs (not on the merge request discussion tab) will appear collapsed on page load and will have a corresponding badge counter to match the counter on the image.

Image resolved discussion

Lock discussions

Introduced in GitLab 10.1.

For large projects with many contributors, it may be useful to stop discussions in issues or merge requests in these scenarios:

  • The project maintainer has already resolved the discussion and it is not helpful for continued feedback. The project maintainer has already directed new conversation to newer issues or merge requests.
  • The people participating in the discussion are trolling, abusive, or otherwise being unproductive.

In these cases, a user with Maintainer permissions or higher in the project can lock (and unlock) an issue or a merge request, using the "Lock" section in the sidebar:

Unlock Lock
Turn off discussion lock Turn on discussion lock

System notes indicate locking and unlocking.

Discussion lock system notes

In a locked issue or merge request, only team members can add new comments and edit existing comments. Non-team members are restricted from adding or editing comments.

Team member Non-team member
Comment form member Comment form non-member

Additionally locked issues can not be reopened.

Merge Request Reviews [PREMIUM]

Introduced in GitLab 11.4.

When looking at a Merge Request diff, you are able to start a review. This allows you to create comments inside a Merge Request that are only visible to you until published, in order to allow you to submit them all as a single action.

Starting a review

In order to start a review, simply write a comment on a diff as normal under the Changes tab in an MR and click on the Start a review button.

Starting a review

Once a review is started, you will see any comments that are part of this review marked Pending. All comments that are part of a review show two buttons:

  • Submit review: Submits all comments that are part of the review, making them visible to other users.
  • Add comment now: Submits the specific comment as a regular comment instead of as part of the review.

A comment that is part of a review

You can use quick actions inside review comments. The comment will show the actions that will be performed once published.

A review comment with quick actions

To add more comments to a review, start writing a comment as normal and click the Add to review button.

Adding a second comment to a review

This will add the comment to the review.

Second review comment

Resolving/Unresolving discussions

Review comments can also resolve/unresolve resolvable discussions. When replying to a comment, you will see a checkbox that you can click in order to resolve or unresolve the discussion once published.

Resolve checkbox Unresolve checkbox

If a particular pending comment will resolve or unresolve the discussion, this will be shown on the pending comment itself.

Resolve status Unresolve status

Submitting a review

If you have any comments that have not been submitted, you will see a bar at the bottom of the screen with two buttons:

  • Discard: Discards all comments that have not been submitted.
  • Finish review: Opens a list of comments ready to be submitted for review. Clicking Submit review will publish all comments. Any quick actions submitted are performed at this time.

Alternatively, every pending comment has a button to finish the entire review.

Review submission

Submitting the review will send a single email to every notifiable user of the merge request with all the comments associated to it.

Replying to this email will, consequentially, create a new comment on the associated merge request.

Filtering notes

Introduced in GitLab 11.5.

For issues with many comments like activity notes and user comments, sometimes finding useful information can be hard. There is a way to filter comments from single notes and discussions for merge requests and issues.

From a merge request's Discussion tab, or from an issue overview, find the filter's dropdown menu on the right side of the page, from which you can choose one of the following options:

  • Show all activity: displays all user comments and system notes (issue updates, mentions from other issues, changes to the description, etc).
  • Show comments only: only displays user comments in the list.
  • Show history only: only displays activity notes.

Notes filters dropdown options

Once you select one of the filters in a given issue or MR, GitLab will save your preference, so that it will persist when you visit the same page again from any device you're logged into.

Suggest Changes

Introduced in GitLab 11.6.

As a reviewer, you're able to suggest code changes with a simple markdown syntax in Merge Request Diff discussions. Then, the Merge Request author (or other users with appropriate permission) is able to apply these suggestions with a click, which will generate a commit in the Merge Request authored by the user that applied them.

  1. Choose a line of code to be changed, add a new comment, then click on the Insert suggestion icon in the toolbar:

    Add a new comment

    Note: The suggestion will only affect the commented line. Multi-line suggestions are currently not supported. Will be introduced by #53310.

  2. In the comment, add your suggestion to the pre-populated code block:

    Add a suggestion into a code block tagged properly

  3. Click Comment.

    The suggestions in the comment can be applied by the merge request author directly from the merge request:

    Apply suggestions

    Note: Discussions are not automatically resolved. Will be introduced by #54405.

Once the author applies a suggestion, it will be marked with the Applied label, and GitLab will create a new commit with the message Apply suggestion to <file-name> and push the suggested change directly into the codebase in the merge request's branch. Developer permission is required to do so.

Note: Custom commit messages will be introduced by #54404.