Looking for Someone? Use Facebook Image Search

It might be creepy but if you have a picture, it can be done

Woman on couch with used tissues around her


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Although there is no official Facebook image search feature, there are methods you can try if you hope to find someone by picture.

You can use the number Facebook assigned to a photo that was uploaded by someone else, to find the associated profile on Facebook, or perform a reverse search in Google from a Facebook photo.

Learn how to perform a Facebook image search to find a profile from a pic, as well as some limitations to the processes.

How to Use Facebook Image Search

Facebook assigns a numerical ID to all photos uploaded onto the social media channel. Any images downloaded from Facebook will have that numerical ID as part of the file name by default. If you know this number, you can use it to find the source of the picture on Facebook. It might be the profile picture of the person who shared it or the person whose profile you are trying to find might be named or tagged in the image.

You can use this method to search for any image, whether it is online or saved to your own device.

  1. Right-click the image you want to search for on Facebook.

  2. Select Open in New Tab in Google Chrome. If you are using a different web browser, select View Photo, View Image, or a similar option.

    Screenshot of Open Image in New Tab
  3. Look for three sets of numbers separated by underscores in the address bar or file name of the image, such as those highlighted in this example.

    Screenshot showing file name numbers
  4. Locate the middle string of numbers. In this example, that is 10161570371170223. This is the ID number you will use on Facebook to find the image.

    Screenshot showing image ID number
  5. Type (or copy and paste) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= into your browser's address bar.

  6. Paste the ID number of the image directly after the = in the address bar. This example would appear as https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10161570371170223 with no spaces.

    Screenshot of Facebook ID in address bar
  7. Press Enter to go directly to the photo on Facebook and find the profile on which it was posted.

Privacy settings might prevent you from accessing the image on a Facebook page. If the photo is not public or the owner has blocked you, the photo might not be viewable.

Reverse Image Search: Facebook and Google Method

You can perform a reverse image search in Google using a photo posted on Facebook to possibly learn more about who posted it.

  1. Right-click the image and select Search Google for Image.

    Screenshot of the right-click menu on an image with 'Search Google for image' highlighted.
  2. A new tab will open displaying possible matches for the photo.

    Alternatively, you can search for an image you have downloaded by uploading it or dragging and dropping it onto the Google Images search page to use the Google Reverse Image search.

    Screenshot of Google reverse image results
  3. Remove the text from the search box, replace it with site:facebook.com, and press Enter. This tells Google that you only want to reverse image search Facebook and not other sites.

    Screenshot of Google reverse image results restricted to Facebook.
  4. Check the results to see if any is the profile of the person you are looking for.

If neither approach lets you find someone by picture, there are other tools you can use to perform a reverse image search, Facebook or otherwise. For instance, you can upload an image to TinEye and find out where it has appeared online.