How to Find Out Where Someone Lives

The short answer to the question of how to find out where someone lives is that there are many tools available, including our own (see below); however, your ability to find someone’s address depends on whether you’re trying to find someone’s address for free, whether the person has left a digital trail, and potentially some legal considerations.

Why would you want to find out where someone lives?

With people in the US moving an estimated 11.7 times in their lifetime, it’s easy to lose track of friends and relatives over the years and many reasons you may be looking to check where someone lives. This may include:

  • Locating family members
  • Tracking down old friends
  • Contacting people in the event of a happy (or sad) life event
  • Getting back in touch with old colleagues
  • Sending a Christmas, birthday or other greeting
  • Finding old military friends
  • and many more

In some instances, finding out where someone lives might involve something as simple as sending a letter, card, or invitation. Additional reasons might be for legal matters – from debt issues to estate settlements. The difference between casual purposes for finding someone and more substantial legal issues is the types of address searches that are available to you. For example, trying to locate an old acquaintance to catch up would not be an approved reason for a lawyer to be able to access their official search channels (not to mention that the cost of an address search by a lawyer would be likely be far to high for the purposes of a quick hello). On the other hand, trying to find the address of someone who is in debt to you would be an approved reason for an address search by a licensed debt collector (providing you can prove your claim).

Even if you don’t have a valid legal reason to run an official address search, most other reasons are fine legally speaking. However, searching for someone’s address for the purpose of harassment, intimidation or in violation or restraining orders or other court orders are a misuse of address searches and a violation of the terms of use for most people finder websites. Because much of the address information available is public information, there’s little that can be done to prevent abuse of address finders except to take legal action if an address search moves into something illegal.

Really the list of reasons to do this is endless, and very often even if you follow the steps in this post, it can be difficult to track someone down, and even harder to actually find where they live. This is especially true in 2021 where many people regularly relocate (often at short notice) for work, and often overseas, not just in the US.

So let’s look at the different options for tracking down whoever it is you are looking to find.

How to Find Someone’s Address

As discussed above, there are official or legal channels that can be used for certain types of address searches involving lawyers, debt collectors, and private investigators. All would involve detailed proof of the reason for the address search and would typically come with a hefty fee. While all of these types of services can now be commissioned online, we generally recommend that you work with a local-to-you provider.

For all other types of address searches, we would suggest trying the following:

1. Reverse Phone Number Search

If you happen to be in a situation where you have a current phone of the person whose address you’re trying to find, this can potentially be a very easy way to find someone. Landline phone numbers are the most useful as they are most closely tied to a physical address (and are more likely to be published publicly). A Google search of the phone number may be all you need to find an associated address. Alternatively, some premium reverse phone searches dig more deeply into records that are not available elsewhere online.

Unfortunately, cell phone numbers are a bit more fluid – especially in the case of prepaid numbers. Additionally, phone numbers from outside the US are not likely to be very useful for locating someone except for business phone numbers (which, of course, won’t give you a home address). Lastly – and probably most importantly – if you have someone’s current phone number, you probably don’t need to find out where that person lives (or you can simply pick up the phone and ask them).

That said, having a phone number (even an old one) can sometimes be useful for another way of locating someone

2. Find Someone Using Social Media

Many websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, use GPS to publish the location of a person when they make a post. If nothing else, social media network websites often list the city where people are living and can be a good starting point for narrowing down where someone lives. If you are having a hard time finding someone’s social media account (i.e. if they have a common name or may be using an alias), searching for a profile using a phone number (even an old phone number) may unearth their profile. While these social media sites may not provide you the direct address, they can provide you with a way to connect with the person to ask yourself. Try sites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Even services like Spotify have a searchable social media element that may give you some clues.

A number of social media websites require users to create accounts and log in to see other member info. Some of the websites, such as Facebook, require friend requests to be accepted by the person before you can view their personal info depending on their privacy settings.

LinkedIn is probably not the social media service people immediately think of when it comes to locating someone, but it has actually been around a lot longer than Facebook and has a fast-growing number of users worldwide.

how to find out where someone lives


Because it is the go-to guide for professional connections and networking, a user is much more likely to use accurate information about themselves (including real names) as well as up to date information than on other “fun” social media platforms. The way the networking works means that you can often use past places of employment or coworkers to pull the thread until you find the person you’re looking for.

The drawback with social media is that there are still a large number of people – even in 2021 – that don’t participate and those that do may use aliases or have their privacy settings set so high, it’s effectively impossible to find them – they have to find you.

3. Find People the Old Fashioned Way!

The fact is that there is still an abundance of information about people offline as there is online. You can perform a manual “address lookup” using the White Pages (which operates in 75 different countries) or other directories. And, despite concerns over privacy, there is still an abundance of personal information contained within these directories and online search engines to help you find an address.

Though we touched on it earlier in the article, please note: Searching for individuals on social media websites can be seen as stalking and this is where people can run into legal hot water. “Cyberstalking” by using social media sites, like Facebook; or moreover, secretly watching or gathering details about an individual can also be considered cyberstalking. Numerous cyberstalkers start by tracking their victims through the web, sometimes through social networks. When you are searching for individuals through social networks, be careful to not cross any limits; in California and many other jurisdictions, there is already cyberstalking legislation with possible prison sentences and fines as punishment.

The line between simply looking for information and illegal stalking generally involves what someone does with that information; if someone uses the information for anything that might be taken as harassment, the trouble begins. However, this is not legal advice – cyberstalking laws and protections are still relatively new and constantly evolving. Fortunately, there’s one anonymous way to avoid this possible issue.

4. Find an Address With a People Finder Website

Our recommended suggestion on how to find out where someone lives only requires a name and last known state of residence. Not only are the searches instant – they’re also completely anonymous. In addition to helping you find someone’s address, people finders can find many other details, including an email address, mobile phone numbers, other associates and relatives, and much more. People finder sites exist specifically to help find someone’s address and contact information so you can choose how you want to proceed – privately and in your own time.

Even if a person hasn’t lived in a particular state for decades – or even if they’ve moved multiple times since they last lived at the address you know – a people finder can trace a person’s moves so that you can locate where the person is now. You’ll receive instant results with free preview information – including their age and other relatives – so you can be confident when you’ve found the right person, then you can pull a full report in just moments.

Through our partnership with, you'll receive Industry-Leading data by combining over 43 Billion Verified Public Records giving you the most comprehensive Background, Criminal, People, Marriage and Divorce Checks available Online. We receive income from our partnerships.

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What information do you receive?

In addition to all their current contact information, you’ll receive other public record information, such as marriage records, divorce records, and foreclosure records. You’ll also receive criminal records – all of which may help you determine which subjects to avoid if you get in touch (or if you want to get in touch at all).

And unlike many social media sites, your search is completely anonymous – the person you’re looking for has no way to check if someone’s looking for them (or who’s looking for them).

But think about this positively. How wonderful would it be to become reunited with someone you haven’t seen for years? We get regular feedback from people saying thank you for helping them on their journey. Why don’t you start yours now?

Related Posts on find where someone lives / finding someone’s address:
1. What will I get with a USA people search by address?
2. How to do a Background Check (hint: it’s easy!)
3. What information will I get with a public records search?

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