Facebook Search Tools and Resources

facebook search tools
Learn how to use Facebook search tools to uncover hidden account activity.

This article provides an overview of various Facebook Search Tools that can be used to investigate someone’s account activity. First, I’ll provide an overview of how to prepare for your investigation. Then, I’ll cover Facebook’s helpful resources, including links to key company pages, forms, and contact information. Then, I’ll share a list of helpful Open Source Intelligence Tools that you can use to run queries, look up information and make connections.

How to Start Your Facebook Investigation

Social media investigations investigate a person’s activity on a social media network. More than two billion people have a Facebook account, so most cases will likely include it.

If your case leads you to investigate a person’s Facebook activity, you first need to gather as much information as possible about the subject. Make a list of the following:

  • The person’s full name – Includes their first, middle, initial, and last names. This will be helpful if you don’t know the person’s
  • Names of any known family members, friends, colleagues, associates, roommates, teammates, etc. Having these names can be helpful as you can potentially find information, posts, photos, etc., about your subject on their page.
  • Current address (preferably the full mailing address or at least the city-state)
  • Phone number
  • The name of the subject’s employer
  • List of schools attended
  • The name of the person’s hometown (city and state)
  • The person’s birth date, or at least the birth year

In addition, it will be helpful to get a person’s profile ID number. Many Facebook OSINT tools use the profile ID number because it is much more specific than a name (e.g., John Smith will return thousands of results).

The easiest way to get someone’s profile ID number is to visit their profile using a web browser. Then, right-click anywhere on the page. Then select View Source Code. Search the source code for profile_ID.

Facebook OSINT Search Tools

  • Facebook Directory List – Browse an A to Z list of profiles by name, in alphabetical order. This list includes people who have Public Search listings available. Users can opt out of appearing on this list by changing their search privacy settings.
  • Forgot Password / Account Lookup – A search form that allows you to search for your account by email address or phone number. 
  • Live Map – A world map showing the locations of the people broadcasting live.
  • People Search – This is the standard search form within the social media platform that allows you to search by user name. Just enter the name in the search box and hit enter. If there are any matches, you’ll receive a list of profiles that match (or nearly match) the search criteria. You can also use keywords other than user names in your search. You must be logged in to search.
  • NetBootCamp – Net Boot Camp has a nice collection of helpful search forms that allow you to run queries by name, email, phone number, birth year, employer, school, check-ins, religious views, keywords, and more. This is much more powerful than the standard website or app search.
  • Stalkscan – This website uses Open Graph to show you all public information about a person’s profile. I disabled this link as I couldn’t get it to provide any results.

Facebook Help Resources

The Facebook Help Center has an extensive collection of reference guides, help articles, etc., on everything related to using the social media service. The Center is divided into Using the Service, Managing Your Account, Privacy and Safety, and Policies and Reporting. Within each major section, numerous subsections, articles, and reference guides explain everything from how to friend and message people to how to block or unfriend people.

Hire a Private Investigator to do a Social Media Investigation

Some private investigators specialize in conducting social media investigations and are experts at using Facebook search tools. Visit our private investigator directory to hire an investigation professional in your area.


If you have any questions about these Facebook search tools or how to investigate someone’s online account activity, please post a message below.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including eInvestigator.com. Michael created eInvestigator.com more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at Amazon.com.


  1. I am getting this message, never use Facebook account for my business

    We Received Your Information
    If we still find that your account didn’t follow our Community Standards, it will remain disabled.
    We’re always looking out for the security of people on Facebook, so until then you can’t use your account.
    Can you solve find the reason and restore

  2. Hello!

    Very interesting article! However, Stalkscan is no longer a good source other than viewing your own profile. Never the less, your information is very good for old times P.I. like me and for the newcomers.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!

    JGA Private Investigation
    Alabama License Private Investigator #727

  3. I am an investigator for the State of Michigan and we have used IntelTechniques to conduct Facebook searches to address welfare fraud, until the site was shut down on 6/10/19 – at least the free search tool. Are you aware of other tools that are available to obtain the Facebook unique ID and then conduct keyword searches?

    Any guidance would be appreciated.


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