How to Do Free Phone Number Search Online (2024)

Mobile phones have become part and parcel of our daily lives and it’s seen as unnatural if you don't own one. Although they happen to virtually anyone, with cell phones, however, spam calls and unknown numbers have become more common and there will come a time when you’ll want to find exactly who’s calling you for one reason or the other.

In the past, all you needed to find someone's number was a phone book but phonebooks are rarely used nowadays and most of the numbers there are either for businesses or landlines.

So how do you perform a free phone number search nowadays? You do an online search, of course.

Tracking someone's number may seem difficult even though nearly everyone owns a mobile phone in today’s modern world, but it's not entirely impossible. While you can no longer look up someone's mobile number in a phonebook, there are several tricks that you can use to get exactly what you want.

Phone number search involves applying a number of techniques online to track someone's phone number even if they’re calling from an entirely different country or area. These techniques include reverse phone number lookup on Google, use of social media, username search, alternative search engines and, to some extent, paying for some online software that can do a phone number search for you.

Phone Number Search with Google

Since the person who's calling you and whose number you’re trying to find isn’t listed, you can’t rely solely on a phone book but you have to think outside the box. Google is one of the resources that you can use to find numbers online and there are a few ways that you can use the most popular search engine to find the number you’re looking for.

Depending on the number, you can either look for personal or business numbers. In both cases, Google is your friend.

1. Personal Numbers

Google's phonebook search feature is no longer in use, but you can still use this search engine to find personal phone numbers in two ways.

  • Enter the full name of the person followed by their zip code and Google will give you all the relevant information for that search which also include a map to find out exactly where they are.
  • A simple web search of the person's name will give you all the relevant information about them including their phone number if they have put it anywhere online. Just type the name then go on Google and see what results will come up.

You can also do a reverse phone number lookup if the number isn’t a mobile phone number, if you don’t know the full name of the caller or the person is already listed in the public directory.

2. Business Numbers

Business numbers may be the easiest to find on Google since a majority of businesses are already listed in public directories. There are a number of ways that you can use to find business numbers.

  • To begin with, if you’re not familiar with the business name but have an idea of the niche they work in you can type something generic like ‘coffee shop’ followed by the zip code and Google will give you a number of results which include maps, reviews, phone numbers and even website URLs.
  • The other way you can find a business number is to search the business as well as the city, for example, ‘Colorado restaurants’ and Google will return everything there is regarding such businesses.

If this sounds like too much work, you can do it the old fashioned way and enter the website name of the business to be directed to the ‘Contact Us’ page where you’ll probably find all the numbers you need.

Rather than just doing a general web search, Google has what’s called a specialized search that tends to focus on one segment. With a specialized search, you can use the name, nickname or the username of a person to find their phone number. You can also use Google Scholar which is a part of Google where you can find numbers based on scholarly or research work.

Screenshot Google Scholar
Fig.1 - Screenshot Google Scholar

Phone Number Search on Facebook

Almost everyone who owns a mobile phone is on Facebook and, that being the case, there are people who use their phone number when creating their Facebook accounts or just add them later so that people can contact them easily.

By searching the name of the person, mutual connections or their email address you would be surprised at how much information you can get about someone just from their Facebook information.

You could also use the ‘people you may know’ section to find someone and get their phone number or search for classmates or former colleagues if you don't have their email address or username.

Phone Number Search with Alternative Search Engines

Besides Google, Bing or Yahoo, there are many other search engines out there that are meant to help people find information about others. Such search engines will come in handy when you have tried everything else to find someone's phone number, but without success. These are Pipl, Wink, Zabasearch, LinkedIn and Facebook.

The good thing about these alternative search engines and why they work is that they only give you information tied to an individual like their address, email, phone number of social media username information. The only thing you need to note is that each of these alternative search engines will give you different information and as such it would be best if you typed the name of the person in the search bar to see what comes up.

Phone Number Search with a Specialized Phone Directory

The specialized phone directory is another way you can use to find someone's phone number when all other methods have failed. There are a number of phone directories online, but you need to be very careful because not all of them can be trusted and sometimes you may end losing your hard earned money in the process.

If you’ve ever got a call from a number you don't know, specialized phone directories can help you find out exactly who called you including what others are saying about that person especially if they’re scammers.

Phone Number Search with Toll-Free Number Directories

Don't we all love toll-free numbers, especially because you’re not charged anything to make a call and they’re the easiest way to learn more about any company? There are a number of toll-free directories online with 1-800 extension although you can use any search engine from Google, Bing to Yahoo to track down toll-free numbers.

  • You can type ‘800’, substitute the name of the business with ‘company’ and see what comes up.
  • The other way is by typing ‘contact us’ in the search bar and following that up with the company name such as, for example, ‘contact us McDonald's’.

Phone Number Search by Domain

You can use this method to find business numbers when everything else fails to produce results. This is useful especially if you’re looking for numbers related to government or educational institutions.

For instance, if you want to find the contact page of Stanford University, all you need to type is ‘.edu University of Stanford contact us’ and that way you limit the search to only .edu domains and the contact page of the university.

Screenshot Phone Number Search by Domain
Fig.2 - Screenshot Phone Number Search by Domain

Phone Number Search with Zabasearch

If there’s any personal information about you online from your birth date details, residence and phone number, it will always come up on Zabasearch when someone searches.

Though this search engine is marred with controversies, it’s legal and it works by collecting information online and putting them in one place where they can be accessed easily. The only downside is that you have to pay when you use their ‘search by phone number’ option otherwise every other search, like by name, is free.

Screenshot Phone Number Search with Zabasearch
Fig.3 - Screenshot Phone Number Search by Domain

Technological advances have made it easy to find someone's phone number online since we share so much on the web and social media sites.

Here are some of the best ways to look up for cell phone numbers online:

  1. Google Reverse Phone Number Lookup
    This works if you already know the phone number but don't know the owner. All you need to do is enter the phone number in Google and if the number has ever been used anywhere online, a profile of the person will show up.
  2. Use of Social Media
    Given that almost everyone with a mobile phone is on social media, you can easily find the number online using either Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. This is because social media has made it easy for us to share information about us with others and that also includes our phone numbers.
  3. Username Search
    A person's username is one of the ways you can use to find their phone numbers. Since most people use usernames to log into social media sites as well as other online accounts and pages, you just need to type the username and if they have their phone number anywhere on the web, you’ll find it.
  4. Alternative Search Engines
    Besides Google, there are other alternative search engines like Pipl, Wink, Zabasearch, LinkedIn that exist for people to find personal information like phone numbers and physical addresses of the person they want to find. It’s likely you’ll find a cell phone number you need in one of these places if every other way fails.
  5. Paying Someone Online
    There are sites that you can pay to find cell phone numbers if nothing else works. The only problem is that most of these sites are unreliable and not trustworthy and you may lose your money for nothing in the process.

Area codes are used to identify the geographical area when you call a number. You can now find area codes online by doing a simple web search. The USA is divided into different regions that have their own area codes with bigger states having more than one area code.

If you receive a phone call but are not sure who’s calling or where they’re calling from, a simple web search will give you all the information you need. All you need is to extract the area code from the stranger's number and put it on Google.

Google will generate the exact results showing the specific geographical region the person is calling from and the same applies to international calls.

Things have significantly changed today due to technology and now more than ever things like phone numbers can be easily accessed through simple online searches. As long as we continue sharing information about ourselves online including phone numbers, finding out who called you will be very simple.