The internet has made it easy for people in different parts of the world to communicate. Nowadays, all it takes to know what a person is doing is a WhatsApp message, Facebook post, Instagram story, etc.
However, sometimes it’s not easy to find people, especially when you’ve not been in contact with them for a long time.
There are advanced search tools for finding people online. These tools will locate whoever you’re looking for as long as their details are online. However, they can be expensive.
Nevertheless, you can find people online without spending a penny. Read on to find out how to find someone free of charge online.
You can find someone online for free in three different ways:
1. Search engines
2. Social media platforms
Many search engines are available — Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and DuckDuckGo. However, none compares to Google, so it’s the go-to social media platform when searching for someone online.
Nevertheless, if the person you’re searching for resides in a different region, you may want to use a search engine like DuckDuckGo that doesn’t localize search results.
With search engines, what’s most important is knowing what to enter.
Here are some ideal search queries:
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When searching for someone on Google, some people always type in names first. However, it is usually less resourceful because many people bear the same name.
Instead, an ideal way to begin would be to search for their phone number. Two people can’t share the same phone number.
If you were previously in touch with the person you’re trying to find, the odds that you still have their phone number are high. Even if you don’t, you can ask someone for it.
It’s also possible that the person no longer uses the phone number, or else you would have just called and asked where they were. However, they could have entered the number on some website, leaving a trace.
Simply type in the phone number in the Google search box and hit enter. You can try searching with the local area code, country code, and exit code.
Forums, blog comments, and online directories are typical places where you’ll find results.
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Like a phone number, a home address is another specific detail. People enter their addresses online when registering or signing up on websites, among others. Probably, the person you’re looking for did too.
When typing the address, you should not leave out any details. The more precise it is, the better. If you don’t have much detail on the address (you only have the house number and street name, for example), you should search with quotation marks.
For instance, if you want to search for 2803 Locust View Drive Fremont, in the Google search box, you should enter “2803 Locust View Drive Fremont.” It will return only web pages with that address exactly as it’s written.
Also, you should enter their post box number if you have it. You can also use Google Maps to get the full address.
An advantage of searching for someone on Google using their home address is that even if you don’t find them, you might find someone else that resides at the same address. Hence, you can get information from them.
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Statistics show that email is still as prominent as ever, with the number of global users set to reach 4.6 billion by 2025. As a result, it’s hard to search for an email address on Google and not get valuable results.
Two people can never have the same email address. When you search for the email address of the person you’re looking for on Google, every result you get will point to them.
Email addresses are specific; therefore, you don’t need to use quotation marks when searching.
People enter their email addresses more often than they enter their phone numbers or home address online. As a result, you should expect more search results when searching with an email address.
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Although many people can have the same name, you can still get valuable results when searching it. However, you shouldn’t just type in the person’s name. Instead, enter the name with any other details relating to them that you can remember.
Perhaps you are searching for Bill Jack, who once worked at XYZ Company. You can search for “Bill Jack XYZ Company” on Google or other search engines.
The extra detail can also be a school name, family member, popular event, etc. You’ll have better results if the person you’re looking for is in your locality.
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The world’s population is close to eight billion, and more than half (4.65 billion) use social media. So, what are your chances of finding someone on social media? Quite high.
With social media, what’s most important is choosing the right platform, as not all platforms are feasible. Here are the best social media platforms to find someone free of charge online:
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Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world. If there’s any platform where you can find someone, it’s Facebook.
Searching for someone on Facebook is as easy as just entering their name in the search box. Unlike using search media, you get profiles with names and images.
It’ll be easier to identify who you’re looking for once you see their picture.
Also, you can search through people, posts, groups, photos, videos, pages, places, events, and even the native marketplace.
Aside from their name, you can also search on Facebook using the person’s phone number, email, or other details such as the school they attended, the place they lived, where they worked, etc.
Facebook users are usually enjoined to add such personal details to their profiles and bios.
If you share a mutual friend, you can also check through their friends’ list. If public, Facebook lets you search through the friends’ lists of others.
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Twitter isn’t just a social media platform. It’s also a microblogging platform. The platform’s trending system differs from that of other social media platforms.
Using Twitter to search for people is similar, in a way, to using search engines. From the search box, simply type in the name, phone number, or email address of the person you’re searching for.
You’ll get a timeline of every post on the platform that features your entry. The most relevant results are shown first in the Top section, while the latest results are in the Latest section.
You can also check the People section for accounts and the Photos and Videos sections for media files.
Like search engines, you can use quotation marks to get specific results on Twitter. This can help when searching with a phone number and email address.
Also Read: Best Twitter Alternatives
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If you’re trying to find someone who works in a professional occupation, your chances are high with LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an employment-oriented platform for career folks.
Like other social media platforms, you can search LinkedIn by entering a keyword, like a name, email, or company, in the search box.
Also, the platform’s results range across different sections. It includes people — for accounts — posts, companies, groups, jobs, schools, courses, and more.
Here’s how things are different with LinkedIn:
When you select the People section, for example, you can filter the results to be very specific. You can set a location, current company, past company, school, industry, language, and service category.
If you know 60 percent of these details, you can easily find who you’re looking for.
If you’re searching by post, you can further filter the results by date posted, posted by, from company, author industry, and author keywords, among others.
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Instagram is popular, but its search system isn’t as resourceful as the platforms mentioned earlier.
However, since it’s owned by Meta, who also owns Facebook, Facebook users can create Instagram accounts using their Facebook accounts.
If the person you’re looking for did connect their Instagram and Facebook, then you can easily find them on Instagram.
Another way Instagram can help is via phone numbers. When trying to invite friends, Instagram lets you import friends from your contacts.
So, if the person’s phone number is on your contact list and they created an Instagram account with that number, you should find them.
Instagram only allows users to upload videos and images, which means there’ll be enough media to confirm that the person is who you’re looking for.
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There are people-search websites (they work just like search engines) for finding people. Usually, you only have to provide some detail about the person, set some filters, and you’re good.
Here are the best people-search websites you can try:
With Whitepages.com, you can find people, their contact info, and run full background checks. You can either search for them using their name, phone number, or email address.
When searching by name or email address, you also have to set a location — city, state, or ZIP code.
Whitepages.com has a database of more than 210 million addresses, including home and work addresses.
You can filter the search results by city or by age if you search using a name. The website gives you a quick overview of each profile, and you can click on View Full Report for more details.
If you’re not sure if it’s the person you’re looking for, you can activate the monitor feature. Whitepages will notify you by email whenever there’s a change to the info.
TruePeopleSearch.com is another free people search tool. It allows you to search by name, email, phone number, and address.
It’s a popular website used by an average of about 16 million visits every month. The website searches through real public records, so you can rely on the results you get.
Notably, it has an Android app that facilitates on-the-go people search.
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Thatsthem.com is described as a “Free People Search Engine.” You can use the website to find someone using their addresses, emails, phone numbers, and more.
The details you get from a Thatsthem.com search include address, previous addresses, home facts, phone numbers, and email addresses.
The platform integrates with BeenVerified.com for background checks.
A unique feature of Thatsthem.com is that you can find people using IP addresses.
Perhaps you’re trying to find someone that’s been contacting you anonymously and you only know their IP address.
When you search via IP address, you get info on the service provider, location, and area codes. You also get a list of profiles that share the same or similar IP address.
Contact information, police records, background info, photos, and social media details are just some of what you get when you use PeopleFinder.com.
You can perform unlimited searches on the website for free, and you can trust the results as they’re from specialized sources. You can search by phone number, name or address.
To provide you with the best results, you’ll have to answer a few questions such as if the person lived or went to school at a particular place, if they’re married, and others.
The website values users’ privacy, so you don’t have to worry about anyone spying on your search history.
People can easily stay in touch with one another thanks to the internet. But sometimes, finding a person online can be difficult. Advanced search techniques can help you find them, but they can be costly.
With the information in this post, you will be able to find who you’re looking for online without spending any money.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.