To locate someone for free, search social media, Google, public records, people search engines and informational directories. It may take some time and require multiple searches, but it is possible to locate many individuals without leaving your home or spending a dime.
First, try searching for the person on social media websites. Facebook is easily the most popular social media site, and you can often find someone there right away. If not, there are several other sites you can check, like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Instagram. The more you know about the person, the more easily you'll be able to tell them apart from others who may share the same name.
You can also enter their names, business names, phone numbers and addresses on Google's search engine. You may find their social media profiles there, along with pictures, mentions in newspapers, obituaries and interviews.
Public records are another source of information you can use to find census records, birth certificates, marriage licenses and other public information. Although many records can be accessed through your local records office, there are several websites that make it possible to obtain them from various states and counties online.
People search engines like Zaba Search focus on searching for data specifically related to individuals. This narrows down the list of results, eliminating irrelevant information.
You can also look people up in specialized directories, such as phone directories, business directories and obituary indexes. There are even directories specifically designed for looking up doctors, lawyers and 1-800 numbers.