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How to find and add friends on Facebook

Can I join your friends club?

Published onNovember 28, 2023

Facebook facilitates socializing by allowing you to find, add, and tag friends in special events on your profile. When setting up your account for the first time, think of every person you’ve encountered, find their names, and search for them on Facebook. After all, who wouldn’t want to see if the school bully is now working in fast food? Here’s how to find and add friends on Facebook.


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


How to find friends on Facebook

Of course, the easiest way to find someone on Facebook is to ask the person for their profile link. But this is only feasible if you are in touch with the person. If you have lost contact with the love of your life from 30 years ago, and you want to reconnect, then you will have to search for that person. Remember, though, that the more common the name, the harder it will be to find them, and that’s assuming they still have the same name and live in the same place. People do get married and move away.

How to find friends on Facebook using desktop

  • Go to the Facebook website and log into your account.
  • Click on the search bar.
  • Select Search for [their name].
  • In the left side panel, choose People; a dropdown menu will appear.
  • Apply additional information to narrow down the search scope.
  • Scroll through the results to find them.

How to find friends on Facebook using desktop

  • Open the Facebook app on your device.
  • Tap on the magnifying glass icon at the top right corner of the screen.
  • Enter the person’s name you want to find.
  • Select See results for [their name].
  • Choose People at the top bar to narrow down the search scope.
  • If you still can’t find them, tap on the slider bar icon at the top right corner; the options menu will appear.
  • Apply additional information to narrow down the search scope.

If you can’t find them, see if their parents or siblings are on Facebook. They could point you in the right direction. It’s very rare that somebody completely drops off the map (unless they’re in witness protection.)

How to send a friend request on Facebook

  • Once you’ve found the person, click on their name in the search results to go to their profile.
  • Click the Add Friend button.
facebook add friend button

A notification will now be sent to them that you want to connect. Once they approve, you will be notified back. However, if they don’t approve your request, you will not be notified.

If there’s no Add Friend button, this maybe because they disable this button in the profile settings to prevent nuisance friend requests. You can either send them a message using the Messenger button and request to be added from their end, or you can click the three horizontal dots below and select Follow. This enables you to see their public posts and doesn’t require approval from the other person.

facebook follow

If you change your mind and no longer want to be their friend on Facebook for any reason, we have an article on how to unfriend someone on Facebook.


Most likely because they have disabled the Add Friend function in their profile settings, or they have limited it to Friends of Friends. In this scenario, you would have to reach out to them via Messenger and ask them to send you a friend request from their end. But if they’ve gone to all the trouble of switching the function off, they are not likely to respond to your request, unless they know you well.

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

Facebook is constantly using its algorithms to make connections between you and other people, to determine “who you may know.” Part of this is based on who your friends know, and Facebook assumes you know these people too as a “mutual friend”. To see Facebook’s suggestions, click Friends on the left panel > Suggestions.

On Facebook home page, click Friends on the left side panel > Friend Requests to see your friend requests on Facebook.

Go to the Facebook profile page of the person in question. The Add Friend button will now be replaced by a Friend Request Sent button. Click it to cancel the friend request. If the text on the button reverts back to Add Friend, then the cancellation has been successful.

To hide your Facebook friends list, go to your profile > Settings & privacySettings > Privacy checkup. Scroll down till you see Who can see your friends list? and click the Edit button. Select your privacy setting to one of the available options, other than Public.

Lock down your privacy settings in the Facebook privacy settings, scroll to How people can find and contact you and How you get message requests. Click the Edit link next to each option and limit who can contact you.

Figuring out who follows you on Facebook is as simple as clicking the “Followers” option when looking at your friends list.

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