Facebook is all about finding and adding your friends to your profile. So when you first set up your account, it’s time to think about every single person you’ve ever met in your entire life, find out their name, and start looking for them on Facebook. After all, don’t we want to see if the school bully is now a fast food worker? Here’s how to find and add friends on Facebook.

Read more: ​10 Best Third-Party Facebook Apps for Android

FAST ANSWER

To find someone on Facebook, start by adding their name to the search engine and click People to get people only. If there are too many results, you can filter by country, city, education and workplace. Once you’ve found the person, you can send them a friend request (which they must approve) or follow their public posts (which don’t require approval).

SKIP TO IMPORTANT SECTIONS

Find friends on Facebook

Of course, the easiest way to find someone on Facebook is to ask the person for their profile link. But that is of course only possible if you are in contact with the person. If you lost touch with the love of your life from 30 years ago and you want to reconnect, then you need to find that person. However, remember that the more common the name is, the harder it will be to find them, assuming they still have the same name and live in the same place.

Start by logging into Facebook and entering the person’s name into the search engine. If the person’s name is Ronald Quackyduckie, there’s probably only one result and your search is over. But if you’re unlucky enough to look for John Smith or Mary Jones, your job will be right around the corner.

So let’s go in search of our old distant friend, John Smith. After entering his name on Facebook, unsurprisingly, you get a lot of results.

facebook search results

The results are categorized in the menu on the left. Click People to pick up people. This narrows it down a bit. It also brings some more options in the left menu. Friends of friends, City, Education and Work. Even though it says City, you can also insert cities and even towns here if Facebook has registered them.

facebook search results filter people

This is where you need to up your game, because a common name is not enough. You need one more piece of information. Start by entering their last known location. If that doesn’t work, try entering their school or last known workplace.

After that, it’s a matter of scrolling through the results and hoping that your friend has put a picture on his profile for a perfect match. If you can’t find them, see if their parents or siblings are on Facebook. They can point you in the right direction. It’s rare for someone to completely disappear from the map (unless they’re under witness protection).

Send a friend request on Facebook

Once you’ve found the person, click on their name in the search results. When you arrive at their page, you will hopefully see this.

facebook button add friend

I say “hopefully” because you can actually disable this button in the profile settings to avoid annoying friend requests. Assuming your friend hasn’t disabled theirs, click the button. A notification will now be sent to them that you want to connect. Once they approve it, you will be notified. However, if they don’t approve your request, you won’t be notified.

If the Add Friend button is gone, you can message them with the Messenger button and request to be added from their side. Or you can click on the three horizontal dots below and select Follow.

follow facebook

This allows you to see their public posts and does not require approval from the other person.

Read more: Unfriend someone on Facebook

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I add someone as a friend on Facebook?

Most likely because they disabled the Add Friend feature in their profile settings, or limited them to Friends of Friends. In this scenario, you should contact them via Messenger and ask them to send you a friend request from their side. But if they’ve gone to all the trouble of disabling the feature, they probably won’t respond to your request unless they know you well.

Why can’t I find my friend on Facebook?

They could have locked their privacy settings. They may have changed their name and/or location. They may not have enough information on their Facebook profile to provide accurate results when you search. Their profile may not have a picture of them, making it impossible for you to know it is them. The more often the person’s name appears, the more difficult it is to refine the search.

Where can I find suggested friends on Facebook?

Facebook is constantly using its algorithms to make connections between you and other people, to determine “who you may know”. Some of this is based on who your friends know, and Facebook assumes that you also know these people as a “mutual friend”. Go here to see Facebook’s suggestions.

How can I see my friend requests sent on Facebook?

Click here and select the little blue link View sent requests in the top left side menu.

How do I cancel a friend request sent on Facebook?

Go to the person’s Facebook profile page. The Add Friend button is now replaced with a Send Friend Request button. Click it to cancel the friend request. If the text on the button returns to Add Friend, the cancellation was successful.

How do I hide my friends list on Facebook?

How do I avoid receiving random friend requests on Facebook?

Lock your privacy settings. Scroll in this link to How people can find and contact you and How to receive message requests. Click the Edit link next to each option and restrict who can contact you.

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