Do you want to reconnect with an old friend, a long-lost classmate, or a relative? This is possible with the resources this free guide will cover. They will allow you to track anyone down for free.
Before you start, have a note-taking program or a word processor tool at your disposal to collect the information about the person. You’ll need more than one source to collect this information, but you should definitely keep it in one place.
Try to get as much information as you can. As a bare minimum, you need their full name, email or physical address, and birthdate. An approximate year of birth might suffice. These details will be helpful in your search for people.
Explore as many avenues as possible. You can’t find everything you need about someone in just one place.
How to Search Online for Free
The internet is overflowing with information about people. In essence, it’s a huge database. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone with no online footprint whatsoever. There will always be a blog post, a Facebook account, or an entry in an online forum.
This information is used by different sites in different ways. Data can be drawn from different sources; not only websites can be used to find people. There may be some discrepancies between the results due to this.
The person’s last known location would help too. When you’ve gathered as many details as you can find, you’ll be amazed at how many more you can find online. Your list of results might even be overwhelming.
Use several people search platforms for the best results when searching for people online.
Start With Google
Most people start their people search with Google. Specialized platforms can be helpful, but you won’t find any information if the site in question hasn’t gathered it. Other search engines can help, like Yahoo or Bing. They can be used to widen your search.
Google combs through hundreds of millions of web pages at the speed of light. It has various advanced search prompts you can use to target your searches. Entering the person’s name will perform a general search. It can help add relevant information, like where they studied or were born, and enclose the name in quote marks.
While you should check all the main social media sites, it would probably be best to start with the mother of all social networks. Facebook, which was actually renamed Meta, currently has almost 3 billion members, meaning almost 50% of all people in the world have a profile! This number doesn’t account for multiple profiles, though. Still, it’s likely the person you’re looking for one.
Use their full name to find them on the social medium if you know it. It’s also possible to find them using only their email. Entering the name of a company or a school they’re connected with can help too.
LinkedIn is a frequently overlooked source of information about people. If you find them on it, you’ll get information about their professional connections, education and employment history, current job, hobbies, interests, etc.
You’ll be able to end your search there if you’re lucky. Every piece of information is useful, so you might be able to find them elsewhere online with what you get on LinkedIn.
It’s easy to locate people through public records. All information in them is publicly available. This information includes birth records, criminal records, and more. You can also get data from government sites or genealogy services.
If all you have is a physical address, a reverse address lookup would probably be the best way to search for someone. It might work even if the address isn’t current. Zillow and other real estate websites can give information about the person’s home by entering the zip code or address.
You can get a trove of property-related details when you look for someone on Zillow. However, you won’t learn anything about their personal or professional history. Obviously, you also can’t find anyone by name.
The site finds information like the number of rooms, area, a value estimate, the year the property was built, and possibly photos of the yard and the inside.