For whatever reason, you need to search for someone on Facebook, but you don’t have an account. Believe it or not, you can still look for someone. Facebook does provide some information to the existence of a person’s profile, but it’s often very limited. While you can still do it, you’ll have much better luck creating an account. At any rate, these are the methods you can try to find someone without a Facebook account.
Using Facebook’s Own Search Page
There exists a search engine on Facebook’s homepage, before signing in, that allows you to search for people. The “People” page is a search engine that’s identical to the one present when you sign up to Facebook and search for individuals to send friend requests to.
You don’t need to be signed in to use the People page, nor do you actually need an account. However, there are some limitations to the People page you’ll read and understand later.
1. Launch your preferred web browser and head on over to Facebook’s homepage. If you’re redirected to someone’s Facebook account, then you can go ahead and log out.
2. On Facebook’s homepage, you’ll see a bunch of hyperlinks at the very bottom of the page. Among the hyperlinks, focus on finding People and when you do, click it.
3. Complete the security check. It’s generally a captcha to ensure you aren’t a robot (are you?). The captcha will most likely be of a set of images you need to click. Pay attention to what they’re asking so you pass. After you’ve passed it, Facebook will present you Facebook’s Public Search Listing.
4. The listings are in alphabetically by first name. At the top, click the letter that matches with the first letter of their first name. You may have to pass another captcha after doing so. However, if you know the correct spelling of their name, you can type it into the search bar located in the upper right corner of the page, just below the sign in.
You may run into an issue with the search bar not working as it can a bit finicky. Consider choosing the letter instead, and using the Find function on your computer.
5. If you used the search function, Facebook will present you a list of Facebook users that match the name. Click on their name once you’ve found them. However, you’ll soon see the limitations of the People Page.
If you do see the person you were looking for, you won’t be able to view any of their profile, even if it is public, but at the very least it lets you know they are a part of the Facebook community.
You see, it may have passed your radar but the People page has a “Public Search Listing.” That’s the keyword: public. Facebook users that decide to hide their profile, through the use of their privacy settings, won’t show up in Facebook’s public search listing, nor will they show up if you search their name.
Search Facebook Profiles with a Search Engine
You can try for a more direct approach through the use of your preferred search engine and special characters. Unlike Facebook’s own public search listing, using a search engine has the possibility of revealing their profile. But, again, it does have its limitations.
1. Launch your preferred web browser and use your browser’s URL bar to search. If you try searching for the person’s name through your search engine, it’s possible their name won’t appear.
2. In the URL bar, type this phrase in site:facebook.com “First Name” “Last Name,” without quotations and replace “First Name” with their first name and “Last Name” with their last name. Hit the Enter key.
3. From here on out it’s a game of hide-and-seek. If you want a better chance of finding someone, try using the same phrase, but click Images.
4. Now that you’ve found them, the only elements of their profile you’ll see are anything left open to the public. You might get a picture, maybe a picture and a banner, but really, it comes down to their privacy settings.
Find Someone with a Facebook Picture
Every picture uploaded to Facebook is given a unique numbered ID. If you can manage to snag a photo that’s downloaded from Facebook, you can use that to reverse image search and, with its unique numbered ID, you can find the source. The problem is: you need a photo.
Unless you have someone on the inside or their profile is public enough to get a profile picture, there isn’t much you can do. But if you do have one, here’s what you do:
1. Right click on the file. When the drop menu appears, head down and hover over Open with. In the next drop down menu, click Choose another app.
2. Choose your preferred browser.
3. At the top of the browser, locate 3 sets of numbers in the photo’s URL address. The 3 sets of numbers are separated by underscores. The number ends up looking like this: 1111_1111_1111. Highlight the numbers, including the first two underscores, and copy it.
4. In your browser, type in “https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=” without quotations. After the equal sign, paste the unique numbered ID.
5. Hit the Enter key. You’ll get sent to the source of the photo or, at least, what’s been left open to the public.