The abundance of resources online can be very helpful when you want to find someone but don’t have much to go on. Even those who seem to have no online presence can be found with the help of public records; people search tools, social media, and more. Whether you want to get in touch with an old friend or a tenant that’s disappeared into thin air, some digging should prove effective. Here are some options available to you. 

A Simple Google Search

Put the person’s name in quote marks, or Google will retrieve nothing. If they have a common name, include anything else you know about them. A simple search can reveal all kinds of things, including their current job, where they live, and even their place of employment. 

If the person has been in the news, Google News will definitely be helpful by casting light on their impressive achievement or less impressive scandals. 

You could also get Google Alerts. Google will email information if anything about the person you are seeking appears. Go to and enter their name. Customize the language, the region, and other settings through Show Options.

Other search engines worth trying include Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. They have different search algorithms, which means each engine will yield additional data, making it easier to find people online.

Social Networks With Focus on LinkedIn

With four-fifths of people in the United States having at least one social network account, the likelihood of your search target’s not having one is pretty slim. Sift through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but especially LinkedIn. Many professionals have chosen only this platform for their social networking needs. 

It’s not hard to find someone if they have a profile on this career-centered platform. Working on connections is crucial because information means nothing if you can’t connect it to other points comprising their online presence.  

Once you get some details, start filling in the blanks. Do you know their job title or where they live? That could prove sufficient to find them on LinkedIn. Most people list their year of graduation and their degree on their LinkedIn profile. You’ll be able to estimate their age in this case. 

You don’t need to be on LinkedIn yourself to get these details. It’s not mandatory, at least. You will also learn about any partners of theirs and what the person has been up to professionally. 

Tracking Down a Creative Type

Are you trying to find an artist, musician, or writer? You might get lucky with copyright records. The United States Copyright Office might contain a reference to them. These records can be searched online, both for personal and business names. Most countries have analogical institutions to the US Copyright Office, which can be equally helpful. 

Patent Records

If you happen to be looking for a scientist or inventor, the US Patent and Trademark Office could have data about them in publicly available records. You can search their records by name, keyword, or design. Almost every country has similar databases. 

How to get More Details

If you know the person from school or work, you can find more information by searching the organization’s respective websites. If they are listed as an employee at the same company, you’ll find out.  

Public Records

While public records can be useful, they can also be misleading. Due to postponed updates, not all of the data they contain is accurate. You could find a divorce, marriage, or birth certificate if you’re lucky, or another informative document. Check for entries in their name or linked to it within land-use documents and company registers.

You can find information about veterans in the National Archives. Service records include photos, documents, and other data. However, little information is available online if it precedes WWI. 

Federal Bureau of Prisons

The person might be in prison; around 1% of the US adult population is. If they have been convicted effectively, you can find a list with their name on it on the website of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It might also help to check records in the states where the person has lived.

This website has a large, well-maintained database for all state and federal agencies and institutions. Most screening platforms charge fees for data they obtain from these free databases. You don’t have to pay for this information. If you have enough free time, you can search for them yourself. For example, you will need to comb the list of agencies in Louisiana to see where to find Oregon criminal records. 


To check every single social media at once for their profile, try Wink. Usually, people have more than one social network profile. It helps to know as much as possible about them, of course. If a name is all you have, the chances of success are bleak. It would help if you could contribute a username they used to have, any interests or hobbies of theirs that you remember, their location, or any other information. 


TinEye is a site for reverse image searches. You can also use Google’s image search function. All that matters is that you have their picture. TinEye or Google will comb the internet and lead you to any sites where the picture has been uploaded. 

Image search sites match images based on advanced image recognition technology. They will recognize the photo even if just part of it matches the original. 

Mozilla Firefox 

You can use a Firefox extension called Who Is This Person to search several engines at once. Simply highlight their name on a website and start the search.