How to Find Someone on Facebook Using an Email Address

Tips for Finding a Person on Facebook

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

Perhaps you've received an email from someone whose name and address you don't recognize and you want to find out more information about the person before responding. Maybe you are just curious about a co-worker's social media presence. Find out what you want to know by searching for them on Facebook using their email address.

Since Facebook is the world's largest social networking site with more than 2 billion registered users, the chances are relatively good that the person you are looking for has a profile there. However, that person may have set their profile to be private, which makes finding it more difficult.

Facebook's Search Field

To search for someone on Facebook using an email address. 

  1. Sign in to your Facebook account.

  2. Type—or copy and paste—the email address into the Facebook search bar at the top of any Facebook page and press the Enter or Return key. By default, this search delivers results only about people who have made their personal information public or who have a connection to you. entered into Facebook search field
  3. If you see a matching email address in the search results, tap on the person's name or profile image to go to their Facebook page. 

You may not see an exact match in the search results, but because people tend to use their real names at several email sites, you may see an entry with the same username portion of the email address at a different domain. View the profile image or click through to the profile to see if this is the person you are looking for.

Facebook provides separate privacy settings for email addresses and phone numbers, and many people choose to block public access to their Facebook profile. If this is the case, you won't see any reliable results in the search results screen. Many people have legitimate concerns about privacy on Facebook and choose to restrict searches of their Facebook profile.

Expanded Search

In order to find someone you are not personally connected to as a friend in the Facebook network, start typing the first few characters of the email address username into the Search box. A feature called Facebook Typeahead kicks in and suggests results from your circle of friends. To widen this circle, click on See All Results For at the bottom of the drop-down results screen that appears as you type, and your results expand to all public Facebook profiles, posts, and pages and to the web in general. You can filter Facebook's search results by selecting one or more of the filters at the left side of the page including location, group, and date, among others.

Use Alternative Search Criteria in the Find Friends Tab

If you are unsuccessful in finding the person you seek using only the email address, you can expand your search using the Find Friends tab at the top of every Facebook screen. In this screen, you can enter other information you may know about the person. There are fields for Name, Hometown, Current City, High School. College or University, Graduate School, Mutual Friends, and Employer. There is no field for email address.

Sending a Message to Someone Outside Your Facebook Network

If you find the person on Facebook, you can send a private message on Facebook without being connected to them personally. Go to the person's profile page and tap Message at the bottom of the cover photo. Enter your message in the window that opens and send it.

Other Email Search Options

If the person you're searching for on Facebook does not have a public profile listed or doesn't have a Facebook account at all, their email address won't appear on any internal Facebook search results. However, if they've placed that email address anywhere on the web—blogs, forums, or websites—a simple search engine query may turn it up, as may a reverse email search.