Why Won't Facebook Let Me Search for People?

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Facebook lets members search for other individual users, organisations and groups using a text box at the top of each and every page of the social networking site.

Facebook does not have a function that lets you randomly search names for people you know; the search tool only lets you look for specific people, so you must narrow your search to look for individual users based on name.

How To Search

In order to search for another Facebook user, you must first sign in to your Facebook account. Once you log on, find the text box at the top of your Facebook home page. This is the search text box; you'll be able to locate users by typing an individual's name in the box. Facebook allows multiple users to have the same profile name, so you may have to sort through numerous hits before finding the individual you want to find.

Once you log on, the search text box remains in the same location -- on the top centre of the website -- on every page you visit; this means you're always able to launch a new search, regardless of what page you're currently on.

Why You Can't Search: Reason #1

If you aren't using the correct search parameters for finding people, you won't be able to locate individual users. Once you type a name into the search text box, you'll be taken to the search page. On the left side panel of this page, you'll be able to narrow your search. Options include searching for people, pages, groups, applications or all of the above. To search for people, click on the "People" option. You must have a name typed into the search text box; Facebook does not have a tool that lets you search through all the people who have accounts.

Why You Can't Search: Reason #2

Facebook only supports a handful of web browsers. These compatible browsers are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari. Other browsers -- including Mosaic and Linx -- are not currently supported by the social networking site. If you are using one of these unsupported browsers, you will not be able to use Facebook's search text box to find people; in fact, you won't be able to use Facebook at all.

Why You Can't Search: Reason #3

If you are searching for a specific user, know the person in question has a Facebook account and still can't find him, that individual may have blocked you -- not only from viewing his profile but from searching for his account. If you want to do this yourself, clicking on the "Privacy Settings" option under the "Account" tab at the top right of the Facebook home page is the first step. Once you arrive at the privacy settings page, scroll down to the bottom til you see the "Block Lists" section. Clicking on this section lets you name certain individuals who will not even be able to search for your profile.