Searching Rfam

In addition to the quick links on the home page, every page in the Rfam site includes a Search link in the page header, which you can use to access all of the search methods that we offer:


For more details about searching Rfam, please see our paper in Current Protocols in Bioinformatics.

Other ways to search Rfam

Search by entry type


Entry type search will soon be replaced by the Unified text search.

You can search by entry type to view or download a list of families by type.

Here is a list of Rfam ncRNA types:

  • Cis-reg;
    • Cis-reg; IRES;
    • Cis-reg; frameshift_element;
    • Cis-reg; leader;
    • Cis-reg; riboswitch;
    • Cis-reg; thermoregulator;
  • Gene;
    • Gene; CRISPR;
    • Gene; antisense;
    • Gene; miRNA;
    • Gene; rRNA;
    • Gene; ribozyme;
    • Gene; sRNA;
    • Gene; snRNA;
    • Gene; snRNA; snoRNA; CD-box;
    • Gene; snRNA; snoRNA; HACA-box;
    • Gene; snRNA; snoRNA; scaRNA;
    • Gene; snRNA; splicing;
    • Gene; tRNA;
  • Intron;


If you would like to download results as text, click Show the unformatted list at the bottom of the search results page.

Exploring families by name

The Browse link at the top of each page will take you to an index page, from which you can browse all Rfam families by their family names (otherwise known as the Rfam IDs). These are the familiar names for the RNA, such as “tRNA” or “Hammerhead_1”. The families are organised alphabetically and you can use the ranges (A-F, G-L etc) to take you to the appropriate place in the list. Families where the name begins with a number (e.g. “6S”, “7SK”) can be found under the 0-9 index.