How to Find a Long Lost Friend Online

Finding long lost friends may seem like a herculean task. Here’s a short guide on how to find lost friends online and get detailed information on them.
A person working on a laptop shaking hand with an online friend through the laptop screen

Childhood friends and old classmates may have a special place in your heart and memories. A reunion after a long time would be a rejuvenating experience. But even if you want to meet them, finding lost friends may seem like a herculean task. Thankfully, there’s technology to help. Here’s a short guide on how to find a lost friend online and get detailed information on her or him using the latest technology. ~ Ed.

Girl trying to find a lost friend online on laptop

Did you lose contact with a childhood friend?

After reminiscing by looking at old photos, would you love to get back in touch?

Did you end up in a big fight with a high school friend and would love, after so many years, to set things straight?

Sometimes old lost friendships have a way of staying in our subconscious. Unresolved issues or missing feelings linger there and come out on the surface now and then.

The best thing to do is to do something about it.

Confronting problems with all friends has a liberating feeling. Reestablishing contact with all lost friends can enrich your life by bringing you together with people that were truly important before.

The good news is that the digitization of our lives has made it much easier than ever to find a lost friend for free.

It can be said that, with all the social media accounts and public records that are saved online, we have a digital personality.

The interconnectedness of our lives and the information available bring unprecedented possibilities to start a free search of all lost friends. With the right strategy, you should be able to find out some useful information about the person you are looking for.

Here are some tips to help you find lost friends for free in no time.


3 Stages of Finding a Lost Friend Online

Finding an old and lost friend does not have to be difficult with the right strategy. If you’re wondering where to start, then start with collecting all the basic information that you may have with you.

Brainstorming Stage

The first stage in your search is, what is called, the brainstorming stage. The idea here is to gather all the information that you have about your lost friend and write it down.

Here we present you a checklist that will help you sort out your mind:

  • Full name
  • Nicknames
  • Name of family members (parents, siblings, partner)
  • Name of close friends this person had
  • Address where he/she used to live (even just remembering the street name might be helpful)
  • Address of alternative places he/she went to often (for example a summer house)
  • Schools and universities, he/she attended to
  • Degree this person got
  • Profession
  • Employers

Searching Stage

After having put your mind in order, it will be way easier to start the real search to find a lost friend online.

The first thing you might want to do is enter his/her name into the search of Google or the multiplicity of Social Media and see if you are successful with results.

The advantage that most Social Media have, is that they use network algorithms that make it more likely that you get people that tend to be closer to you. This means that even if you look for a “John Smith”, they will still throw personalized results based on common acquaintances and with similar location histories. If your lost friend and you have a lot of people in common, this will be a very promising way.

If searches in Social Networks are not successful, the next step in a free search for lost friends would be to focus on professional information.

These days, a lot of people have accounts on professional platforms like LinkedIn. Whereas people tend to lie in other media like Facebook (for example, by not giving their real name), people have incentives to be completely honest in professional platforms. Try with different searches mixing name + profession, name + university, etc.

And hey, do you have a photo of your long lost friend? The image search engines have become quite better at what they do these days, so chances are that you may find old or recent images of your friend with some information about them.


There are some possible challenges you might face. For example, the person might have changed his/her name (for example after getting married) or he/she might have changed residence. This makes it more difficult to find someone.

Luckily, digitalization has not only brought a digital footprint that you can use to find a lost friend without cost, but also new revolutionary technology and websites that make the most efficient search of publicly available sources for you.

With cutting edge technology, their algorithms are optimized to overcome usual challenges when searching for a person.

For example, it does not matter if this person has changed locations several times throughout the US. These websites use the latest technology to find the records that this person has for all of the locations. Within the information that people search website technology can deliver:

  • Advanced contact information. This means that you will get this person’s email address, landline and mobile phone numbers Like this you can choose the most appropriate channel to contact your friend.
  • Information about birthdate, current occupation and marital status (and divorces)
  • Credit information and financial status (things like credit rating, income, and net-worth)
  • Details on the people living with this person (the number of people and their names)
  • A history of their residential locations
  • Property ownership details
  • Postal records
  • Map view, with photos, on the current location (including street view and aerial view)

How does this work

The information is publicly spread on the internet. Although Google’s search algorithm is one of the most advanced algorithms ever written, it is not optimized to search people. Specifically to unify profiles those belong to the same person, but appear to be from different ones.

Moreover, while searching on Google or Facebook, you will mostly focus on the top 20 results. Technology like the one of the people search websites goes beyond that and scans all the available information and then summarizes it.

The chances of finding your old friend will be much higher this way.

Related Read: How to be a Good Friend

Wrapping It Up

Having more detailed information about your long lost friend will help you determine whether it is the right moment to reach out to them and the best way of doing it.

If you know that he/she will be delighted to see you, then why not give a surprise visit to their home? But if the situation is a bit more delicate, or you see that this person is going through a rough time, then it might be a better idea to reach out through email or telephone first.

If there were any romantic feelings involved, you will be able to know the marital status of this person.

In the old days, it would have been almost impossible to find the friends you have not had contact with. Now, with the right strategy and using technology appropriately, the chances of finding old friends are much higher.

Over to you

Have you ever tried to find a long lost old friend online? Do share your experiences and tips in the comments.


Disclaimer: Though the views expressed are of the author’s own, this article has been checked for its authenticity of information and resource links provided for a better and deeper understanding of the subject matter. However, you're suggested to make your diligent research and consult subject experts to decide what is best for you. If you spot any factual errors, spelling, or grammatical mistakes in the article, please report at [email protected]. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. I was actually reading other blog and this one caught my attention suddenly. I had a school friend and now I don’t know where he is living. Now i’m gonna try to find him. Thanks for posting this content and for bringing the memories of my friend.

  2. I was actually reading other blog and this one caught my attention suddenly. I had a school friend and now I don’t know where he is living. Now i’m gonna try to find him. Thanks for posting this content and for bringing the memories of my friend.

  3. Hi there,
    This post is very helpful and useful.I have no contact with a friend of my school life who was moved to Canada five years ago. In your Brainstorming Stage post,I learned how to find my lost friend in online. Hopefully with your information, I will find my lost friend and thank you.Looking forward to seeing your post. Again thanks a lot.

  4. I lost my childhood friend after he went to the army. I know he is alive, but I dont know where he lives, he is not on social media, because I checked his name.

Previous Article
A dog busy with a dog chew toy sitting in garden

9 Best Dog Chews and Treats to Keep Your Dog Busy

Next Article
Laptop on table with Google My Business site open for optimization

How to Optimize Your Google My Business for More Sales

Related Posts