Use Facebook people search and other tricks to find people
Updated June 24, 2019
Lots of people use Facebook to reconnect with friends and family. That’s because Facebook is the largest and most popular social networking site on the web today. Millions of people check into Facebook daily, which makes it a fantastically powerful tool for finding people you might have lost contact with: friends, family, high school chums, military buddies, etc. These 8 methods can help you find the people you are looking for.
Facebook Friends Page
Go to the find your friends on Facebook page. You have a number of options here: find people you know by email, find people you know by the last name, find people on Messenger, browse for people alphabetically (this is somewhat tedious) or browse Facebook pages by name.
Piggyback on Your Friends’ Friends
Use your Facebook friends as a resource. Click on their Friends and scroll through their list of friends. This is a great way to find someone in common that you might have forgotten about.
Search Facebook Profiles
Facebook has a page designated especially for the networks that people choose to belong to. On this search page, you can search by name, email, school name and graduation year, and company.
Filter Your Facebook Results
Once you start typing something into the Facebook search bar, a feature called Facebook Typeahead kicks in, which returns the most relevant results from your immediate contacts. By default, when you search for someone on Facebook, you will get all the result on one page: people, pages, groups, events, networks, etc. You can filter these easily by using the search filters on the left-hand side of the search results page. Once you click on one of those filters, your search results will rearrange themselves into only results that coincide with that particular subject, making it easier for you to track down who you are looking for.
Search For Two Things at Once
Facebook (unfortunately) does not have much in the way of advanced search, but you can search for two things at once by using the pipe character (you can make this character by pressing shift backslash). For example, you could look for baseball and Billy Smith with this search: “baseball | Billy Smith.”
Use the People You May Know link as a jumping off point. You will see potential friends and fan pages here.
By default, when you search for a topic on Facebook, the results you see will be from your list of contacts; your “circle of friends”, so to speak. If you would like to expand that circle to include results from anyone who has chosen to make their Facebook information publicly accessible, simply click on Posts By Everyone. This gives you the option to view information from people who are not included in your contact list.
Find Classmates on Facebook
Search for former classmates on Facebook. You can either simply browse through a graduation year (this is a GREAT way to find people you have lost touch with), or you can type in a specific name to get more narrowed results. You’ll also be given people from your alma mater if you include it in your own Facebook profile.
Find Work colleagues on Facebook
If someone has ever been affiliated with a company (and has put this affiliation on their Facebook profile), you will be able to find it using the Facebook company search page.
Search for Facebook Networks
This Facebook search page is especially helpful. Use the drop-down menu to search within your networks, or browse the left-hand side menu to filter your search results (recently updated, lists, possible connections, etc.).
Facebook’s general search page searches ALL results; friends, groups, posts by friends, and web results (powered by Bing). You are given the option to “like” pages and groups that you might be interested in here, as well as search for specific words within your friends’ status updates.