Yahoo People Search

Businesswoman lying on a bed and using a laptop
Stockbyte/Getty Images

NOTE:  Unfortunately, while Yahoo's people search tool was incredibly popular and useful, this service was discontinued and is no longer being updated. You are welcome to read this article to understand more about how people search utilities work; if you are looking for a resource that you can use right now, we invite you to try the following resources instead to find people online:

What is Yahoo People Search?

Yahoo People Search, a service offered from, was a simple search utility that searchers could use to find phone numbers, addresses, and email information. Some information that was found at Yahoo's People Search tool was supplied by Intelius, an information retrieval organization that licensed this data to Yahoo (this information is found in publicly accessible databases). Most information found using Yahoo's People Search was absolutely free; if searchers decided to pursue the information that Intelius offered, they would have to pay (read Should I Pay to Find People Online? for more information).

Information found using Yahoo's People Search tool was publicly accessible information (phone books, white pages, yellow pages), simply funneled to Yahoo's people search service. This information can be found on the Web and is available to the public at large; in other words, it is not sensitive, secure, or potentially harmful data.

Searchers using Yahoo's People Search tool could use it to find addresses, full names, phone numbers, and even email addresses. A last name was required in order to find a phone number or address. A reverse phone number search could retrieve names and addresses associated with that particular phone number, and a search for an email address (last name required) could return names, addresses, phone numbers, and related email information.

If users found information that was not correct in Yahoo's search results, they could opt to correct said information, or they could choose to remove their listings completely from Yahoo's search service (see How to Remove Your Personal Information From the Internet for more information). However, neither of these options would remove the information from where it originally resides online. Yahoo also offered a few services users could leverage to find someone:

  • Yahoo People Search was the main access point into the Yahoo phone book. You could look up addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses here.
  • Yahoo Yellow Pages: This is a simple business directory; you can search by topic + geographical area, for instance, "pizza san francisco" and you'll get a list of pizza joints with addresses and phone numbers.
  • Yahoo International: This is where you can jump directly to any of Yahoo's portals all over the world; if you're looking for someone who resides in another country, this might be a good site to jump off from.

Unsuccessful? Try This

If your searches are initially unsuccessful, try experimenting with the search fields, narrowing or widening your search filters with the information that you have. Many times all it takes to be successful is a simple search tweak that unearths previously hidden data.

However, sometimes people just can't be found. Yahoo People Search is only able to access public data compiled by a third-party information retrieval company. Therefore, if the person you are looking for is not listed publicly, Yahoo will not be able to retrieve relevant information.

Yahoo People Search Privacy

Information found using Yahoo's people search tool is found in publicly accessible databases, online phone books, and public records. In other words, none of the information returned from Yahoo People Search is placed there without it being found somewhere on the Web where it already resides. You can request to have your information removed from the Yahoo People Search listings by using this removal form; however, this does not remove your information anywhere else on the Web (read How to Stay Private on the Web for more tips on how to keep yourself secure online).

How Do I Revise the Information I've Found About Myself?

Yahoo People Search received much of its information from Intelius, a third-party data provider that in turn gets all its information from publicly accessible databases (phone books, white pages, yellow pages, web directories, etc). If you are not listed in a public directory, or if you have an unlisted phone number, the likelihood of your information showing up at Yahoo People Search is very small. However, If you find something in error at Yahoo People Search, the best way to correct it is to fill out a help form. You can also remove your information (see above in "Yahoo Search Privacy" for details).