How to Do a Reverse Search to Find Something Online

What reverse search means and how to do one

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A reverse search is useful if you've ever tried looking up information about an individual or business. A reverse search can involve a phone number, email address, physical address, name, etc.

You've probably seen a reverse search tool advertised when using a people search engine to do a reverse name search, or when using a web search engine like Google or Bing for a reverse image search.

Beyond reverse name and reverse image search engines are several others that we'll overview below.

Reverse Search Meaning

To run a reverse search really just means to search for something based on a particular piece of information. The idea is to use that data to find more information about whatever it is you're looking for.

For example, if you do a reverse image search, you're running the search using a picture instead of text. A reverse phone number search is doing a search using a phone number instead of something else like a name. Along the same lines, a reverse email search, reverse address search, etc., uses an email address or physical address as the search query.

Reverse search tools are helpful when that's all the information you have. If all you have to go off of is the person's cell phone number and you want to see who owns it or where they live, for example, a reverse cell search lets you find information on the person by entering their cell phone number into the search engine.

Reverse Phone Number Search

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One of the most common reasons to run a reverse search on a phone number is when you don't know who owns it. For example, maybe you got a strange call from someone, a long-distance charge on your bill, or an old number in your phone that has no name with it.

No matter what your reason is for doing a reverse search on a phone number, there are several ways to do it.

One method is to use Google to run the reverse number lookup. This might be your preferred method if you already use Google; plus, the results are easy to understand. Looking up a phone number with a web search engine scours millions of web pages to broaden your odds of finding who owns that number.

Another reason to do a reverse number search is to find other information about someone, such as their email address, job information, etc. One example is if you have a phone number written down for a business but no website or physical address; a reverse number lookup tool would be helpful.

Reverse Address Search

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Similar to a phone number reverse search, running a search in reverse with only an address is useful if you have fragments of information on someone. You can obtain someone's name and phone number with a reverse address search, and usually other information, too.

Maybe you're driving around a neighborhood you want to live in and you see a home you like. There's a for sale sign but not much other information. You could enter the address into a reverse search tool to see who owns the property and who to contact for more information.

Similarly, figuring out who recently moved into a new home in your area can be accomplished with a reverse address search. Just type the address into the special search engine to gather a name and possibly other details like relatives, social media accounts, and past addresses.

Another interesting application of a reverse address search is to research a neighborhood or the location of a business you're investigating. If you enter a street name in a particular city, without a specific number, some search sites will provide you with a list of multiple properties and owners on the street, as well as which businesses are nearby.

Reverse Email Address Search

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A third popular use for a reverse search engine in regards to personal information is researching someone when all you have about them is their email address.

The "forward" mode of an email search is to look up a person by name, hoping to find their email address. This is, unfortunately, rarely successful. However, the reverse form starts with the email address and returns more information about who is using it.

Running a reverse email search tool is especially helpful in situations where you receive a message from someone you don't know. Maybe it's spam or someone trying be anonymous. Looking up the email address can often return personal details like the owner's name, websites they're using the address on, and even their physical address and phone number.

Your best bet for a reverse email search is to use a search engine like BeenVerified or ThatsThem.

A reverse email address search is a hit or miss technique when researching information on someone. Unlike physical addresses and cell numbers, anyone can have dozens of email addresses and some can be so anonymous that no useful information is tied to them.

Reverse Username Search

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Another reverse search approach is with a username. Most people use the same username across multiple sites, making a reverse search extremely helpful in identifying their online presence.

PeekYou is one example of a website that lets you find someone with just their username. It does a decent job at using the username you entered to locate websites where it's being used, including Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, and several others.

Reverse IP Search

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If you've ever run across an IP address, it's unlikely that you knew right off the bat who it belonged to. Maybe it's a router or website, or VPN, etc. A reverse IP lookup is what you need to find out more about the address.

ARIN WHOIS IP Address Database Search is one method for finding the service provider that owns the address. Others like ThatsThem's Reverse IP Lookup can even attempt to pull information about the individual who's using the address, but that's usually not super accurate.

Reverse Audio Search

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As crazy as it sounds, you can even look up a sound file to find a match for it online. This type of reverse search is often used to identify the name and singer of a song, and can eventually lead to lyrics and other information about a band or album.

Shazam is one example of an audio search engine that can do a reverse sound search.