How to Find People on Twitter Without an Account

Twitter profiles are publicly searchable and usually easy to find.
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As long as you know someone's name, it shouldn't take long to find his Twitter account, whether you yourself have an account or not. Finding celebrities and public figures is seldom difficult because Twitter verifies their accounts. If you're looking for a friend who spends a lot of time online, your search results will usually be more accurate if you know your friend's online handle, especially if he doesn't use his real name online.

1 Twitter Search

The fastest way to find someone on Twitter if you don't know his Twitter username is to go directly to the Twitter Search page (see Resources for direct link). When you type someone's name in the search field, and then click the "People" link in the left menu, a list of accounts most closely matching that name will appear. Look at the profile pictures beside each account to quickly find a friend, celebrity or anyone else you know by sight. If you happen to know the person's username, you don't need the search page. Just type "" in the address bar of your browser, followed by a slash and the person's username, such as ""

2 Advanced Search

If someone has a common name, or if the person you're looking for doesn't use his full name on Twitter, finding that person can be a bit more challenging. Clicking the "Advanced Search" link on the Twitter search page can help narrow down the results. Type the person's first and last names in the "Any of These Words" field. To narrow down the results even more, type the person's city in the "Near This Place" field. If you are still getting too many results, you can remove results by adding words you know won't be in the person's profile to the "None of These Words" field.

3 Other Resources

Twitter's Search page isn't the only way to find a link to someone's Twitter profile. Search engines are also a good place to look for people, simply by typing someone's name with the word "Twitter" beside it. However, you generally won't find results that aren't listed in Twitter's own Search page. If the person has his own website or a social media account on other platforms, there's a good chance you will find a link to his Twitter account on his profile pages.

4 Verified and Protected Accounts

If you're looking for a celebrity or other public figure on Twitter, keep an eye out for a blue "verified" badge with a white check mark, located on the corner of the person's Twitter profile picture. This badge indicates that Twitter has verified that the account is authentic, rather than a fake or parody account using a celebrity's name. If you see a lock icon on a profile page and no posts, this indicates the account's tweets are protected. To see the person's full profile and her posts, you need to get a Twitter account. After you click the "Follow" button, that person must give you permission before you can have access.

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.