How to Find Someone on Facebook Using an Email Address

It's easy, but there's no guarantee it will work

Illustration of a person dressed up as Sherlock Holmes holding a magnifying glass in front of a Facebook page on a computer

 Emilie Dunphy @Lifewire

So you want to look up or add someone on Facebook, but maybe doing it by searching for their name isn't an option. If you know their email address, you might be able to find their profile — but it's not guaranteed.

Why Look Someone Up on Facebook Using Their Email?

Here are three typical reasons why you might want to use someone's email address to find their Facebook profile:

  • Their name is so common that it's too difficult to spot it among all the other Facebook users with the same name when you do a name search.
  • They haven't listed their full name on their Facebook profile (perhaps using a nickname as a first name or a middle name as their last name).
  • They (or you) don't know their Facebook username/URL so you can't use it to go directly to their profile.

Search for an Email Address in Facebook's Search Field

This will only work if the person you're looking for has their email address listed as public in their About info. Many people don't have this listed to maintain their privacy, so chances are more unlikely than likely that you'll find a person's profile this way. Still, there's no harm in at least trying.

  1. Navigate to Facebook.com in a web browser or open the app on your mobile device and if necessary, sign into your Facebook account.

  2. On the web, type (or copy and paste) the email address of the person you want to find into the Facebook search field at the top of any Facebook page and press the Enter or Return key.

    On the app, tap the magnifying glass at the top of the screen, enter the email address into the search field and tap Go/Search.

    joe.cool@gmail.com entered into Facebook search field
  3. By default, this search delivers results about anything related to your search — including pages, places, groups and more. Select the People tab to filter out everything except user profiles.

    Facebook will only show you profile results for people who have made their email or contact information public or who already have a connection to you.

  4. If you see a matching email address in the search results, select the person's name or profile photo to go to their Facebook profile.

    If you can't spot the correct profile in your results, you can try filtering the results if you know other information about this person. On the web, use the filters on the left side to filter by city, education, work or mutual friends. On the app, use the filter buttons in the horizontal menu at the top.

  5. Select Add Friend if you want to send them a friend request. 

If you don't see this button, they might not all people to send them friend requests without a mutual friend connection. In this case, you might have to select Message to send them a message asking them to send you a friend request first.

Facebook used to allow you to sync your email contacts by uploading them from your email accounts. This feature appears to be discontinued.

Find People to Add on Facebook Messenger

Did you know that Messenger users don't even necessarily need to have Facebook account to use it? If you want to add people to Messenger, which you can do without adding them as friends on Facebook first, check out this article that walks you through five different ways to find and add people to Messenger.