It depends how exactly you want to filter. If you just want to return all pages where they're mentioned, enter their user name and the results will return anywhere they're mentioned.
If you want to find pages they created then In the bottom left of the Search page, click Add a filter and select Creator, then choose the user.
I've just tested both of these methods using an inactive account and they worked as expected.
In both cases you can use the Custom field in the Of Type section to choose multiple types of content to search, if you don't want to limit yourself to one type but also don't want to return every type.
We are trying to find pages created by an inactive user. The custom filter by creator does not populate inactive users when I type their name in the creator field. It only shows active folks to be selected. I have tested it with several accounts and I get the same results.
Is there a backend change that I need to make to include inactive users in the search?
There might be a backend change, but nothing that I'm aware of - as far as I know it's always worked that way (although that could easily be incorrect). I've just tried again to make sure I've not been stupid, and it's still bringing up the inactive user.
The only thing that sometimes trips people up when searching for users is that you don't need the ampersand like you do for a mention, but it doesn't sound like you're doing that. Generally when people aren't showing up then you need to re-index and you'll need to ask Atlassian to do that. If no-one else has an answer for you I'd suggest contacting them anyway and asking for their assistance - they're very helpful and knowledgeable.
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