How to Find Someone’s Name by Phone Number for Free (3 Easy Steps)

Background Checks | By Background Check Repair | Updated on October 28, 2021

If you have ever received a call from an unknown number, you have probably wondered how to find someone’s name by phone number for free. A phone call from a strange number is not unusual in today’s world. In fact, it’s quite common. Most often, phone calls from an unknown number are typically spam, solicitations (your car’s warranty is about to expire!) or other unwanted callers. But in some cases, it can be someone important on the other end.

How do you determine which?

Luckily, the internet provides several easy ways to figure out who is actually calling. In this article, we’ll go over how to find someone’s name by phone number for free and potentially other information as it relates to your unknown caller… without having to go through the process of figuring out what is needed for a background check.

How Can I Lookup Information Attached to a Phone Number for Free? (3 Fast Reverse Phone Number Methods)

There are many different ways that you can look up a phone number for free. In your quest to learn how to find someone’s name by phone number for free, you can choose to use a search engine, look on social media, or use a free website tool. You can also take a look at the list of websites provided by the National Archives.

If you are trying to learn how to find someone’s name by phone number for free, you should give these options a try with the understanding that you may not get results. Here’s what you should try:

Method 1: Use Google or Another Search Engine

One of the most common ways to look up a phone number for free involves using a search engine. Any search engine will work, including popular ones like Google. If there are any public records linked to the phone number you are searching, they may populate after searching.

  1. Go to your favorite search engine.
    To get started, open your favorite search engine. Some of the most popular ones include Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
  2. Type the phone number into the search bar.
    One you’ve made it to the search engine, you will want to type the phone number you’re searching into the search bar. The formatting of the phone number is important when using a search number. Make sure you include the area code and add the hyphens between each number (123-456-7890). Click the search bar to review your results.
  3. Look through your results.
    When using a search engine, you will likely get many pages of results for the phone number. In most cases, public identifying information will appear closer towards the top. If nothing populates, you will probably see lots of options for free lookup tools, as well.

When you use a search engine for a phone number, you may get the information you’re looking for. In some cases, though, you should know that your phone search may come up empty. Search engines only have the ability to return public information that is freely available on the internet.

This may come back with social media profiles, business listings, or reports of a spam caller. If nothing comes back, it’s likely that the number you searched is private. Since these steps can be time consuming, and inaccurate (slow to update the most recent changes), or return incomplete results, using a trusted paid source can often be the best option for fast and legal solutions.

Method 2: Search Social Media with a Phone Number

Aside from using a search engine, searching social media is another way to track down information on someone from a phone number. If you have an account with one of the social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, you can potentially find a social media profile or name that is attached to the phone number you’re searching. Most of the platforms offer a search tool towards the top of the page.

Here’s how to find someone’s name by phone number for free using social media:

  1. Login to your account.
    Before typing anything into the search bar, you will want to make certain you are logged into your account. Some platforms will allow you to search without being logged in, but the information provided might not be accurate.
  2. Locate the search bar.
    After you log in to your account, you will want to locate the search bar. Most of the platforms like Facebook and Instagram include a search bar at the very top of the page on both desktop and mobile.
  3. Type the phone number into the search bar.
    Once you’ve found the search bar, you can type the phone number into it and click search. If the platform can find any accounts matching the phone number, those records will be returned.

While this is a great way to find someone’s name using a reverse phone lookup, you should know there are downsides.

The first one being that the person in question needs to have an account with the platform in order to be found. And, if the phone number belongs to someone who isn’t on the social media platform you are searching, you won’t be able to find any information about them.

Privacy settings can also limit the amount of information you can find. For example, if the person who you are searching for has an account with restricted settings that don’t share their phone number, you won’t be able to find their records. While the phone numbers social media platforms like Facebook contain are plenty, there is also a chance that the person didn’t include their phone number on their account.

Searching social media is a great free method when learning how to find someone’s name, especially if the person has an account that isn’t limited by privacy settings, but like all no-cost methods, the drawbacks do exist.

Method 3: Use a Free Reverse Phone Number Lookup Tool

There are plenty of options for free website tools to find someone’s phone number information. Most of these tools will provide basic contact information from a new check.

Some of the tools offer a completely free version, while others will only provide limited information on their free offering. Many of these sites are well known for offering paid background check history, and often that’s the best route to pursue, in order to avoid legal liabilities.

Truthfinder logo screenshot, green arrows overlapping to frame an eye, with the brand name truth finder in lowercase letters.

TruthFinder

TruthFinder offers a phone lookup service that is free to use.3 Once you log on to the site, it will prompt you to input the number you are searching for, and the site will then provide a screen letting you know that it is searching the records. After a few minutes, the loading screen will stop and ask you to input your name and email, and confirm that you aren’t a robot.

After you have provided this information, the site will provide you with your free phone search results. If the number you provided is considered a personal or private number, it is likely that the information won’t be readily available. In most cases, the free search will provide you the general location of the phone number free.

CocoFinder

One of the easiest ways to complete a phone number lookup is CocoFinder.4 CocoFinder is a free online tool that will let you do a phone number search, and receive any public information. Once you log on to the site, you will see an option for a Phone Lookup. This link takes you to a search field where you can easily enter the phone number in question. After a few minutes, the phone search will conclude and the website will provide you with any names or other information it has found. Unlike some other sites, CocoFinder does not offer a more detailed report for purchase.

Instant Checkmate

Another online tool to find someone using their phone number for free is InstantCheckmate.5 Like the other sites we mentioned, InstantCheckmate will allow you to enter your phone number into the search bar and return any found information. They do offer an option to purchase a more detailed phone report if the free search comes up short.

Instant Checkmate screenshot showing public records search bar with places to add name, phone number and all fifty states.

Intelius

Intelius is known as being one of the most popular reverse phone number search websites because they have been around for so long.6 Much like the other tools, Intelius will prompt you to type in a phone number into a search bar before retrieving your records. This website requires your name and email address before providing you with any information. Intelius will offer limited information on phone numbers for free, with an option to purchase a detailed person phone number report.

What is a Reverse Phone Lookup Search? (Find Someone By Number)

A reverse phone lookup is a type of people search that searches a phone number to identify the name, address, alternative phone numbers, or other target data attached to it.2 Unlike what shows up on a background check, a reverse phone number check will usually only show public information.There are several different ways to complete a reverse phone lookup. In some cases, a simple online search will populate the information you’re looking for, but there are a few drawbacks.

Since the information returned is public, it may not be the most accurate, up-to-date result.

Most websites that offer background checks will offer some form of a reverse phone number lookup, with both free and paid packages.

How Does a Phone Number Lookup Work Using a Phone Number?

When you run a reverse phone lookup, you are checking the phone number against available public records. Whether you are using a search engine, social media site, or other website, you are essentially checking for records in a database.

Records and databases available will be different based on the type of lookup you are using. For example, a Google search will only pull from public information that is found on the web. Social media searches will only allow you to compare the phone number against people who have signed up for accounts. Websites that offer reverse phone lookup as a service will probably have access to more records, but these may not be employed when using a free phone search tool.1

A reverse phone number search works a little differently depending upon whether the number belongs to a cell phone or a landline. Landlines are easier to get information on because the registered names are almost always publicly available. Cell phone numbers can be hit or miss, as much of the connected information is considered private.

Why Would You Need to Find (Search) Name Info By a Phone Number?

There are many instances where you would have a phone number but not a name or other information. One of the most common involves a missed call from an unknown number.

By searching this phone number, it will allow you to learn more about the caller and determine if you need to call them back. This will also let you know if you’re dealing with a scam caller, which has become more common according to the FBI in a recent news release.

Perhaps you have the phone number for a doctor, but no other identifying information. By completing a lookup, you will be giving yourself the opportunity to learn more about them with things like business reviews or their location. A phone search would also be helpful if you find any random phone numbers lying around your home or office.

Using the internet is an example of how to find someone’s name by phone number for free. However, keep in mind that the results may not provide everything you’re looking for, since they will likely be based on public information alone, connected to the number. Many public databases are updated annually (or every two-three years).

Can You Always Find Someone (Name) If You Know Their Phone?

While you can gain information from a free phone number lookup, you won’t be able to find all information. In fact, all of the methods listed above will only return information if it is public. If the number you’re searching is associated with a business or other public entity, you will be able to find it with a free reverse phone lookup. However, information that is private won’t come back when you try to find someone’s name by phone number for free.

If the phone number belongs to an individual, their information will be considered private. This means that their name, current state, city, or other details won’t come back in a free phone number lookup. If you are looking for a guaranteed method of learning more about a caller’s identity, you may need to purchase a paid option. If the free option ends up providing a name, you can take it a step further and consider running a level 1 background check, also sometimes called a name based background check.

When you receive a phone call from an unknown number, or find your child speaking with an unknown contact, you have options for finding the person’s identity. You can search the web using a search engine, utilize your social media, or search the number through an online free website tool.

All of these options will provide you with any available public information, such as business information or the owner’s name. While public information will be available, private information won’t, and some of the public information may be out of date (or too time consuming). If the cell phone number belongs to a private individual, a free phone number lookup won’t be helpful. Knowing how to find someone’s name by phone number for free has a few pitfalls to be wary of, but for some things and in some cases, it can be a valuable skill to have.


References

1CDN Newswire. 5 Nov 2020. How Does a Reverse Phone Lookup Work and How to Use It? 26 October 2021. Web. <https://apnews.com/press-release/newmediawire/business-corporate-news-new-products-and-services-products-and-services-caef9e504e5a70e76b83e211c37fd0bb>

2BackgroundChecks.org. N.d. Reverse Phone Lookup: Can You Really Find a Name from a Cell Phone Number? 27 October 2021. Web. <https://backgroundchecks.org/reverse-phone-lookup>

3TruthFinder. N.d. Reverse Phone Lookup. 27 October 2021. Web. <https://www.truthfinder.com/reverse-phone-lookup/>

4CocoFinder. N.d. Free Reverse Phone Lookup. 27 October 2021. Web. <https://cocofinder.com/reverse-phone-lookup>

5InstantCheckmate. N.d. Who Is This Number Registered To?. 27 October 2021. Web. <https://www.phone.instantcheckmate.com>

6Intelius, n.d. Reverse Phone Lookup. 27 October 2021. Web. <https://www.intelius.com/reverse-phone-lookup/>