Searching Facebook profiles is possible with limited access for people without an account. The access to view Facebook profile information largely depends on the privacy controls set by the profile holder. Some Facebook profiles are accessible through general search engines, while others are private and barely accessible by Facebook users.
User Privacy Settings
The privacy settings used by the Facebook profile owner ultimately determine the accessibility by other Facebook users and nonusers. These settings can block everyone except those chosen by the owner, or they can be open to general search engines for a public view. The layers of controls make it easy for the profile owner to restrict access.
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If the account is set to the maximum privacy levels, locating and viewing the profile is impossible unless you have a direct connection to the user. In the best-case scenario, the profile shows the name and a photo but only for other Facebook users. An account with mid-level privacy controls allows more access and is likely to show limited information for users and nonusers unless they specifically chose to remove the search settings.
Mid-level accounts tend to show a few photos, posts and general information without revealing the entirety of the account. It's a limited view of the profile, intended to be enough information to determine if the contact is known and should be added as a friend.
A surefire method of accessing an account is to set up a Facebook account and directly friend the person with the desired profile. If the user accepts, you can view photos, posts and account information.
General Search Engines
Search engines list a Facebook profile if the user leaves the search engine settings as active. Locating the profile requires knowledge of the profile name and ideally, the location. Open Google, Bing or any other search engine and type the person's name and location in this format: "facebook.com, user name, city, state." Press "enter" to retrieve the results.
The search query may retrieve one or more names that match the association, and you must go through and view each of the results to see the profiles. After clicking the search result, the web browser opens to Facebook and shows the profile, likely in a limited view. Expect to see a profile photo and a few aspects of the account but not the entire account without having a Facebook profile of your own.
You can also use social-specific search engines to achieve the same result. The social-search option retrieves the same profiles and profile information as a general search engine, but the query process is designed to be more intuitive for social-profile searches.
View Facebook Profiles
Facebook offers a profile search option for nonusers. The platform encourages you to create an account, but you can still run a general profile search as a nonuser. Again, the results allow you to view profile information based on the user's security settings. Don't expect a full view of the profile without having your own account and a friend connection to the user.
Open the Facebook homepage and click on "People." Click the box to confirm you are not a robot and enter the individual's name in the search box and submit it to retrieve a list of results. Scroll through the results and click on the desired profile. You have access to the same limited view of the profile as provided through other search modes.
If you must see the profile without an account, ask a friend with an account to search for you. Your friend may have access to more of the profile if the user has open privacy settings within the Facebook platform.