How To Find Old Friends You’ve Lost Contact With

If you’re looking for someone who was important to you in the past, an old friend, partner, or coworker, it’s now easier than ever to find them. From your high school confidante to a former coworker and old classmate, you can find people easily online and often for free.

Your lost friendship can become a new connection that adds meaning and joy to your existence.

You can find an old friend online using Google, Facebook, or another social medium, background check sites, alumni websites, and other online resources.

As a last resort, you can hire a private eye if the internet doesn’t turn anything up. You probably won’t need to, though.

This guide will provide a few practical tips on how to track old friends down just by name and other basic information.

Before Getting Started

Before you get started, you need some preliminary information. This includes their full name, date of birth or approximate age, places where they lived in the past, past phone numbers and addresses, former employers, old schools, family members or mutual friends, hobbies and interests, or details around their professional development.

Take Your Search to Google

Of course, you’ve probably tried googling them. You might get different results another way – by using DuckDuckGo, Bing, and other lesser-known engines when you search for people online. Still, Google is a great place to start. Try at least one other search engine to maximize your chances of getting information that leads to old friends.

If your friend has an unusual name, you’ll probably get lucky quickly. If not, you have some browsing ahead of you. Read matching links as carefully as possible to see if anything seems connected to them. When you see a promising result, follow up on it.

Search for their name in quote marks followed by additional information. Include their middle name or any aliases they went by.

Keep at it until you acquire more clues. Some of them are bound to lead to dead ends as not all the details you get will be accurate. This is part and parcel of the process.

Do the same search for any names of people who seem like acquaintances or relatives of your old friend. Pay attention to their locations and the people connected to them. You could get to your old friend indirectly.

Data Aggregators and Online Directories

These sites aggregate publicly available information from around the internet, saving you lots of time in the process. You’ll find lots of them when you start searching for your friend. Be aware of their structure and sales tactics.

Many of them will ask you to become a member, register, pay something, or order a full report. You probably won’t need to take these actions at this point. Some sites do searches very slow if you’re not a member to tempt you to sign up and pay something.

Paying for some extra information may be worthwhile, though. Some of them are free. You’ll get a long list of people with the same name as your friend. Depending on the site, the list might include their approximate year of birth, aliases, relatives, and previous and potentially current locations.

While not all data aggregators offer the same information, most of them will retrieve at least the following:

• Possible aliases
• Names of possible relatives
• Phone numbers
• Email addresses
• Home addresses
• Social networking accounts
• Court records
• Online posts
• Criminal records
• Voter registration records
• Real estate listings
• Marriage records

If you don’t get lucky with one, try another. Keep in mind one-time search fees add up. You’ll probably need to check at least five sites. There are so many data aggregators and online directories to choose from. Remember, they don’t all apply customer-friendly billing.

Search Facebook

Finally, don’t overlook this (still) hugely popular social medium. When you enter your old friend’s name in the search bar at the top, click on “People” beneath it to get a full list of people with that or a similar name.

The pictures are most important here as there will probably be many people with that name. Click on each match to see if the profile seems to fit your friend. You’ll find the most useful info under “About” beneath the profile photo unless it’s a private profile.

Once you find your old friend, you must be so excited for your reunion that you will prepare a most meaningful gift, such as a hugging ring to mark the moment that you can hug him/her again!

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