4 Ways to Find Someone Using Only a Username

Do a reverse username search to find anyone

A username search is one way to find someone online. If all you have is a person's account name for a given service and no real name or any other identifiable information, running a reverse search on the username might dig up more details on who the person is.

Finding people by their username isn't as effective as other people-finding techniques, however.

Why a Username Search Is Useful

Even though it's a poor habit that affects web privacy, most people use the same username on several different websites. Similar to an email address, some people have just one username because remembering separate screen names for every website gets tiring.

Take advantage of this laziness to find all the websites a person uses. Your username search might quickly turn into an effective way to find about someone using only his or her username, given how many sites display some degree of metadata about the person in public directories.

Try a username generator to vary the usernames you use. A password manager helps tracks usernames and passwords for your favorite sites.

How to Find People With Their Username

  1. Enter the username into the URL of a social media website. For example, to run the username search on Twitter, enter twitter.com/example.

    Twitter profile URL example

    The same technique can be used on other sites even if they aren't social networks:

    • facebook.com/example
    • soundcloud.com/example
    • instagram.com/example
    • example.tumblr.com
    • disqus.com/by/example

    Google Social Search is a helpful way to search the username across several social media sites at once.

  2. Use a web search engine to scour the web for that username. Just enter the screen name into the search box to see what comes up.

    Google reverse username search for jongfisher

    A search engine like Google or Bing is one of the best ways to cross-reference a username with several websites at once, including social media sites, forums, music and video streaming sites, comments, personal blogs, and more.

  3. Use a people search engine that supports reverse username searches, or try a username lookup tool. Usersearch.org and PeekYou are examples of free people search tools, and Instant Username Search is a free username locator.

    PeekYou username search tool

    BeenVerified (not free) is another people finder that lets you search by username, and it can return all sorts of information like past physical addresses, relatives, phone numbers, and email addresses.

  4. Search specific sites for the username. Sometimes, a search engine won't dig up data on a specific website, but if that site has its own search function, you might have luck using it to find more information about the person from their username.

For example, search Spotify for a username through a Spotify search like this:

spotify:user:example

Run a Reddit username search. Reddit Comment Search lets you search for comments made with the username.

Reddit Comment Search tool

To find all the Reddit posts submitted by someone, enter their username into the Reddit search box like this:

author:example

Just replace example with a specific username.

Tips for Reverse Username Searches

Enter the username exactly as you see it. Even one missing or added character can result in vastly different results that have nothing to do with the person you're looking for.

Not all usernames are unique. Unlike truly unique things like email addresses and physical addresses, a username is only unique within each website. For example, only one person can have the username emmalove1991 on Snapchat, and only one person can have that same one on Yahoo Mail, but they don't necessarily need to be the same person.

The exact same screen name can be used on those sites and others like Soundcloud, Pinterest, etc., and the owners don't need to be associated with each other at all.

The first part of someone's email address is sometimes the same username they use on their favorite websites. For example, the username example159 might also be part of an email address, like example159@outlook.com or @gmail.com.

If you find someone using a given username but all you can see is the person's face or an unidentifying avatar (i.e., no name or location), perform a reverse image search from that picture to hopefully locate other places where they're present online.

Take any details you find and add them to your search for the person. For example, if the username search leads you to a blog post written by someone using that username, try selecting the name to see if they write elsewhere. One of those other websites might include more information about the same person even if he or she isn't using the same username there.