I have a picture of a friend however I've lost contact with them and can't find them by name. Is there a way to use this picture to find their Facebook profile?

  • I came across a project that does exactly what you want, but only for Russian popular social network Vkontakte. Here is a link (in Russian, feel free to use an on-line translator) about an experiment during which a guy was taking pictures of random people and how he was able to find their accounts in the social network by using this service. (I am not affiliated with any services or companies that could be listed in the article)
    – VL-80
    May 15, 2016 at 17:28
  • Have you tried TinEye or the alternatives from this answer? Which one did finally work for you? May 16, 2016 at 1:24
  • looks like you are searching for a girl you just photographed..
    – Ayrat
    May 16, 2016 at 14:24

4 Answers 4


Have you tried Google Image search?

Facebook profile photos are public (for discoverable accounts). If they have used the photo relatively recently a reverse image search may be helpful.

From Google Image Search, click the camera icon in the search bar ("search by image"), then choose the option to upload an image. (If you have a modern browser, you can also drag-and-drop an image file.)

Google will then use the image to find other images that either match exactly or come close.

There isn't a way within Facebook to use reverse image searches.

  • "Facebook profile photos are public" Only if the user has chosen for them to be. May 16, 2016 at 9:38
  • 3
    @Lightness: Not according to Facebook Help. Among the items under "Information you share that is always public" is listed "current Profile photo". Also, in the instructions for changing the profile photo it says "Note: Your current profile picture is always public."
    – ale
    May 16, 2016 at 12:23
  • The privacy setting is automatically "public" on ones current profile photo, yes — though not the Profile Photos album, so you can hide older profile photos) — but that only makes a difference if your profile is discoverable. Mine isn't: I can open an incognito tab and go directly to my profile by URL and get [effectively] 404'd. There is no way to reverse engineer my identity through my profile photo unless we have mutual friends (and this is quite by design), or I've commented on/liked some (public) post of yours. May 16, 2016 at 13:41
  • @Lightness: I'll add some clarification.
    – ale
    May 16, 2016 at 14:04
  • I think this only works well if it's the same photo. It's not a facial recognition algorithm as far as I've used it. It's a great way to find the original photo someone on Facebook (or match.com or Twitter or whatever) stole to create their fake profile. Jun 9, 2016 at 22:51

There is no official way to do so.

But if you found that picture from web and have not changed the name that file, you can search the id of Facebook profile using the number given in photo file name.

For example: suppose you have downloaded that pic from web and it saved as 41480_10738811_7375_n.jpg, so here the middle number i.e. 10738811 is the profile ID from a Facebook user's profile. At the end put the profile ID number you copied from the filename: http://www.facebook.com/people/@/10738811

Source: turbofuture.

I personally have not tested this. You can give a try.

  • 2
    I may be wrong, but pretty sure they've change the naming conventions of photos so this won't work.
    – hd.
    May 16, 2016 at 7:22
  • @hd. They means who?
    – serenesat
    May 16, 2016 at 7:32
  • 1
    "They" means Facebook.
    – hd.
    May 16, 2016 at 7:44
  • I confirm, they changed this naming convention some years ago exactly to prevent this kind of actions (and similar).
    – Federico
    May 16, 2016 at 8:32
  • @Federico Indeed they have. Please have a look at this answer from May 15th '16. Aug 11, 2016 at 15:02

I am afraid that the answer given by serenesat earlier does not apply any more.

There are other alternatives as well apart from using AI E. solution of Google images.
Keep in mind that you cannot upload an image at Google Images’ mobile site since there’s no option to upload an image. You can do search though with the help of some text.

You can also use other "Reverse Image Search Engines" such as:


FindFace could do the trick, but I ignore if is still available


You should try.

  • 2
    Always essential content of of the link into answer. Link only answer is invalid here.
    – serenesat
    May 18, 2016 at 6:14

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