Facebook Search: A Beginner's Guide

Find what you are looking for on the world's largest social network

Facebook search is more advanced and powerful now than in its early days, but only if you know how to use it. While Facebook search is easy to use, it does have some unique features and functionality.

The information in this article applies to Facebook search functions on the desktop site as well as the mobile app. Any variations are noted.

How to Search Facebook

On Facebook, you can search for people, places, photos, interests, posts, groups, and entities with a fan page (for a community, organization, or public figure) or a business page

  1. To start searching Facebook in a browser on your computer, open Facebook, and go to the Search bar in the upper left corner of your News Feed or profile page. In the mobile app, tap the Magnifying Glass icon on the top right of the screen. Type in a query or a person's name. 

    Facebook Search box
  2. As you type, Facebook suggests categories of content in a drop-down menu beneath the search field. Select a search result in the drop-down screen beneath the search field, or choose Search for [your search term] to open the search Filter Results screen.

    Search suggestions in Facebook search
  3. Narrow your search by selecting a filter in the left plane, including All, Posts, People, Photos, Videos, Marketplace, Pages, Places, Groups, Apps, Events, and Links.

    Search results and filters
  4. Some filters also contain sub-filters. For instance, if you select Posts, you will see options such as Posts You've Seen and Date Posted. Selecting one of these further narrows your search results.

    Sub-filters in Facebook search results
  5. If you want to search for photos, the sub-filters in the Photos category can help. They are:

    • Posted by
    • Photo type
    • Tagged location
    • Date posted

    These options allow you to look for specifics like photos uploaded by friends, public photos, or pictures posted in a specific year. The Videos sub-filters are similar.

    Facebook search options for photos
  6. Another way to use Facebook search is to search for places. There are seven sub-filters in the Places search:

    • Open Now
    • Delivery
    • Takeaway
    • Location
    • Status
    • Visited by friends
    • Price

    A map also appears to improve your search results.

    Facebook Places search
  7. Select the Marketplace filter if you are browsing for products or services through Facebook Marketplace. Numerous sub-filters are available to narrow your search by location, price, category, and more.

    Facebook Marketplace search

How Privacy Concerns Affect Searches

Facebook can search and return information about only people who have given the social network permission to share. For example, if you opt not to post your current employment on your profile, you won't appear in a search for that place of business. If you limit the visibility of many of your photos to a select group of people, no one outside that group can see those photos in a Facebook search.

If you don't want to be found on Facebook, there are several ways to block searches.