Facebook is the world’s largest social network, but that doesn’t mean everybody is on it. Following the slew of scandals and persistent data-mining allegations over the past several years, many have either deleted their Facebook accounts or drifted away to newer and more involving platforms, like Twitter and TikTok. So if you’re one of those people who are not on Facebook but want to look up somebody on the website, we have detailed the best ways to search Facebook without having an account or logging in.
Search Facebook Without an Account
Until a few years ago, you could look up almost every user on Facebook through one method or another. In most cases, you could even see all their posts, photos, videos, comments, likes, and more. However, following severe backlash from its userbase and increasing pressure from lawmakers, Facebook has somewhat tightened its privacy. It now limits what and how much information people can see of other users. That said, there are still some ways to look up or search individual users without an account, and here, we will tell you how to do just that.
Note: The methods described here will only work if the target user hasn’t locked their FB profile with the highest privacy settings. For searchable profiles, you can see the name, profile images, and a few other tidbits of information without an account, depending on their security settings.
1. Facebook Directory: Search Without an Account
Facebook Directory lets you do a cursory search of profiles without needing an account or logging in. It lets you search for people, groups, and pages, but again, you’re only going to see the results of folks who have not switched-off public discoverability. To start off, go to Facebook People Directory and solve a Captcha to prove you are not a robot. You could also go to the Facebook.com website and click on ‘People’ at the bottom to access the directory without logging in.
The list is sorted alphabetically and includes very few names on the first search page. You can, however, perform a search and look up a person’s Facebook profile. From my experience, the results returned by Facebook People Directory are not unlike those found in the general search results. It will display all of the publicly-available content, but much of it will be restricted to account holders.
While the search results are also limited by a user’s privacy settings, you can locate profiles and view some content using this method. That isn’t an ideal solution, I know, but at least it is an official route to search Facebook profiles without an account.
2. Search Engines
If you did not find the profile using the Facebook People Directory, turn your attention to search engines. One of the best methods to search Facebook without an account is by using search engines like Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo. To find somebody’s Facebook profile, do a regular web search, but specify that you only want to see results from Facebook.
For example, if you’re searching for Lionel Messi on Facebook, type out your search as ‘Lionel Messi site: facebook.com’ to see the profiles of all users named Lionel Messi. Google will show results only from Facebook, thanks to the “site:” qualifier at the end.
Do note that the search engine will only list profiles under that name as long as those users have not set their personal privacy controls to restrict visibility. That is an option every Facebook account holder has. They can either make their profile available to search or hide it from search engines. What’s more, users can also restrict visibility from other Facebook users who are not on their friends list. Unlike personal accounts, business accounts will generally be visible on public search results.
3. Social Search Engines
Social search engines use algorithms to specifically sift through the vast array of information about individuals on social media. Some of the most popular free ones include Social Searcher and snitch.name, both of which help you search Facebook without an account. However, if you’re a business owner and serious about doing in-depth research before hiring, you can also subscribe to the likes of Mentionytics and Social Mention. Many such services are available online, but again, they only work based on the privacy settings of the user you’re trying to locate.
Social search engines work similarly to general search engines but let you narrow down the scope of the search with a whole host of filters, including location information. That immediately narrows your search down to a particular region. So when you’re searching for John Doe from, say the New York City, you aren’t bombarded with info about John Doe from London, Sydney, or Los Angeles. Some social search engines also offer the ability to return results based on specific hashtags and topics.
4. People Search Engines
There are also dozens of so-called ‘people search engines‘ on the web, helping folks search for their long-lost friends or looking up somebody they met at a party or concert. There are several people finder services that let you search for people and get details around them. Their results are not Facebook-specific but an aggregation of everything that their web-crawlers can find about a person.
Some of the most-used services in this segment include Pipl and PeopleFinder, which enable users to find more information about folks on Facebook. Do note that Pipl is a premium service with monthly subscription charges. You can turn to PeopleFinder if you want to get some basic information for free. While people search engines fetch details from around the web, Facebook results hold prominence over other websites. However, once again, it depends on your target’s privacy settings.
5. Enlist the Help of Your Real-life Friends With Facebook Accounts
I know this is a little bit of a cop-out, but one of the best ways to search for someone on Facebook without an account is by enlisting the help of a Facebook account holder. Come to think of it, you will likely get the best results with this method, especially if the person helping you happen to be a Facebook friend with your target.
Again, how much information you will have access to will depend on the privacy settings. And more often than not, you will get to see more than if you’re searching from the outside. Like the earlier methods, this one isn’t perfect either. But as long as you’re not being a creep or trying to stalk someone, it is your best option to look up someone’s Facebook profile without an account.
Look Up Facebook Profiles Without an Account or Logging-in for Complete Anonymity
At one time, Facebook allowed any random person to look up information about everybody on the platform, but those days are long gone. As part of an enhanced push for privacy in the face of mounting pressure from lawmakers and users alike, the company now lets users remove third-party app access and delete Off-Facebook activity for an extra layer of privacy. What’s more, users can even lock their profiles so as to prevent anyone other than their Facebook friends from looking at their personal details, including profile info, photos, etc.
All of this has severely affected how you can look for information about Facebook users with or without an account yourself. Even browser extensions that once allowed you to search for people on Facebook have been since been deprecated and no longer work as intended. As for the FB Directory, it is more convoluted and difficult to sift through than ever. It is likely only a matter of time before searching for people on Facebook will be almost impossible without an account. However, until then, try out the methods described above and let us know if these worked for you.