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How to Search for a Specific Person on Facebook

Facebook’s Friend Finder is a great way to build your Friend List quickly without a lot of work. After you build it a bit, though, what if you find other people who may want to be your friends? Facebook Search offers you the capability to seek out certain friends by name.

The Search box in the blue bar on top lets you search a lot of things on Facebook: pages, groups, events, even things your friends have liked. Most often, you use it to search for people. It may be people you're already friends with and you just want to go to their Timelines. Sometimes it will be people you aren’t friends with yet but whom you want to find.

Basic Search can be a little confusing because Facebook autocompletes the names that you type and assumes you’re trying to get to your friends’ Timelines. If you’re the type of person who is used to pressing the Enter key to begin a search, this can lead you landing on friends’ Timelines when you meant to search for someone else named James.

You’ll wind up using Search two basic ways. The first way is if the name of the person you’re looking for (or at least someone with the same name) appears in the autocomplete menu. You can accomplish that sort of search following these steps:

  1. Begin typing the name you're looking for in the Search box.

    Pay attention to the people who appear in the autocomplete menu. Facebook displays first your friends and then friends of friends. There’s a good chance that you may find the person you’re looking for in this menu.

  2. If you see the name in the autocomplete menu, use your mouse or arrow keys to highlight the person you're looking for.

  3. Click the name or press Enter.

    This brings you to the person's Timeline, where you can verify that you know the person and add him as a friend.

If you don’t see the person you’re looking for, don’t despair; you can get more results:

  1. Type the person's full name in the search box.

  2. Click See More at the bottom of the search menu.

    The search menu expands to reveal new options for search. So, if you type Jane Smith and then click See More, you can now either search People Named Jane Smith, Pages Named Jane Smith, or Places Named Jane Smith.

  3. Click the People Named <Friend’s Name> option.

    A blue friend icon is next to this option. A search results page appears with larger previews of people’s profile pictures and Timeline info. The right side of the page also has options for narrowing your search using fields such as Gender, Employer, Current City, and so on.

  4. Use the fields on the right side of the page to zero in on your actual friend.

    This might be information like where your friend works or where she's from.

  5. When you find the person you’re looking for, add her as a friend.

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