How To Find A Music Video Without Knowing The Name

It’s a frustrating situation that we’ve all experienced at one time or another. You want to see a music video of that song you love – the one with that lyric about the girl and the guy – but you can’t remember the name of the song! If you had a recording of the song, even if you didn’t know its name, you could use an app like Shazam, a popular tool that lets you identify a song by playing it, or a similar app.

How To Find A Music Video Without Knowing The Name

But if you’re trying to find a music video, and you don’t have the song to play, and you can’t remember its name, it seems like you’re out of luck.

Have no fear, because help is on the way. All you need is Google and this article. I’m going to show you how to use unique search engine operators to find that music video and fine-tune your search queries for any occasion.

How Do You Find A Song You Don’t Know The Name Of?

Step One: Identify What You Know

The first step in narrowing down your search is to establish what you know. Do you know the name of the artist? Do you know the genre of music the song falls under? Do you know when the song first came out? Most critically, do you know any of the lyrics? If you know any of these things—even if you can only remember a few words of the song—you’re in a much better position to find it online.

You have two choices for conducting your search: one is to do a direct search on YouTube, and the other is to try to establish which song you’re looking for on Google and then switching to YouTube once you figure it out. Since YouTube’s search engine runs entirely on Google, these basically amount to the same thing.

However, I do recommend searching on Google because it will be easier to find information about the song rather than just the song; for complicated searches, partial information is a good foundation.

Step Two: Try Some Basic Searches

Go to your search engine, whether YouTube or Google and start trying some basic searches. Let’s say that the song we’re looking for is “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi, but we don’t remember either the title or the artist. We only remember one phrase from the song: it has the words “an angel’s smile.” Let’s go to Google and type in “an angel’s smile” in the search box and see what we get.

Hey hey! Look at that, there are three songs with that title right at the top of the listings, along with (yikes) 203 million other hits. OK, this will be easy to check—hit those links and see if they’re our song!

Alas, we checked all three, and none of these songs—though they contain our lyric—are the song we’re looking for. We could go through the next few pages of Google results, but clearly, “an angel’s smile” matches too many songs. We’re going to have to dig deeper.

Step Three: Combine Your Terms

By combining terms, you can tell Google that you have several related concepts that you want to consider while searching. The combine operator is the comma, the “,” character. For example, a search on “green tomato recipes Mississippi cookbook” will bring up about 921,000 results, each of which will have some or all of those keywords. If you enclose the whole search string in quotes, Google will give you only those results which have that exact string (zero, if you’re wondering). However, if you use “,” to combine your concepts, you can get a list of results that has connections to all three sets of concepts. Searching for “green tomato recipes, Mississippi, cookbook” tells Google more precisely what you’re looking for and gets you better results.

In our search for the angel’s smile song, let’s add some combined keywords that might help Google out. You know that the song you’re looking for is rock and roll. And you think it probably came out in the 1980s because you remember your dad singing it in the car all the time back then. Let’s add those keywords, and do a search on “an angel’s smile, rock, and roll, 1980’s”.

And bam, there we go! It’s the first search result. Telling Google the general period and the genre really lets it focus in on what we’re looking for (you can leave the comma out, and Google will do a pretty good job of guessing which words go with which other words, but it’s better to use the comma).

Step Four: Other Operators, Keywords, And Techniques

The combine operator isn’t the only powerful tool you can utilize.

Advanced YouTube Search

As YouTube is owned by Google, there are some advanced search operators you can use to find what you’re looking for. Here are just a few.

BAND or ARTIST, partner – Type the band or artist name and then partner to restrict the search to official videos and filter out fan videos.

ACTOR, movie – Type the actor’s name and movie to see clips, teasers, and even full movies on YouTube.

News, live – Type news, gaming, or whatever else you’re interested in, and then live to show live feeds of the subject in question.

SUBJECT, today – Type a subject, movie, actor, or whatever and then a time to filter by. For example, ‘Politics, this week’ might give a slightly more varied amount of footage than what you’ll find on the television, especially if anyone in your household is prone to only relying on one network.

SUBJECT, HD or 4K – Type a subject and then format to filter out non-HD or non-4K content. This works for 3D and will work for VR or 360 content, too.

ARTIST, playlist – Type the artist and then playlist to compile or find an existing playlist for that artist. You can save or copy them if you plan on using them often.

Advanced Google Search

Search operators allow you to refine your search to specifics and narrow down the results, and they are surprisingly powerful when used correctly. Here are a few you could try:

  • Search a hashtag: #videosfromthe90s.
  • Exclude words: Add a ‘-,‘ so ‘-female vocalists’ to filter out music videos with female singers.
  • Exact match only: Use speech marks, “You give love a bad name” to specify those words only in search.
  • Missing words/Wildcard: Add ‘*’ to search for a wildcard, For example, ‘The best * of all time.’
  • OR: Use OR to apply multiple filtersHairspray rock OR male singer OR band OR guitar OR give love a bad name’.
  • AND: Use AND to tell Google to include things that match your whole list. “Bon Jovi AND angel’s smile AND 1980s.”
  • Group: use parentheses to group operators. “(the 1980s AND Bon Jovi) angel’s smile.”
  • Use relations: Use ‘related’ to find supplemental information, ‘related: Bon Jovi.’
  • Search by the year/Genre: If you really don’t remember any details about the song or music video, search by music videos that can out that year and the genre.

Step 5: Use Reddit or Another Online Forum

It won’t matter where you are in the world nor how popular the song was if you can ask every music enthusiast alive today. Say hello to the “r/tipofmytongue” subreddit. A collection with over 1.3 million people who are willing and happy to help you find your missing song.

You can post anything from “I need help with a song that has these lyrics…” to “There was a music video from the mid-2000s where two guys were at a bar.” If someone is familiar with it, they’ll comment with the name of the Artist, Title of the Song, or a link to the music video. Use this subreddit to find the lyrical information you seek.

Alternative Methods – If All Else Fails

A lot of the music we’ve been introduced to comes from a friend or family member. If the song you’ve forgotten is something that another person introduced you to, check their social media accounts and even their Spotify profile for clues. This is assuming you’re still friends, but even if you aren’t they may have listed their favorite bands on their Facebook profile which is usually Public.

Next, if none of the search options above turned up any valuable results try something like “Best Music Videos of the 90’s” or “Lesser-known artists from the 2000s.” A plethora of blogs will appear so it’s time to get reading. This may take a while, but it’s the only other option when you have no information beyond the scenery in the music video.

You should be able to find a music video without knowing the name with any of the above tips!

Got any other ways to identify a music video without knowing the name? Any apps or services that can do it? Tell us about them below!

30 thoughts on “How To Find A Music Video Without Knowing The Name”

Aleina says:
So I’m looking for a music video I do not know the name of. It’s a song for teenage girls around 2008-2013, if I remember correctly, the artist is a black girl, she sings in English. In the song, she sings about different times or phone numbers, Type 4 5 6 in the morning. She is brunette or black haired. The song is most likely a love song. Anyone?
aleina says:
So I’m looking for a music video I do not know the name of. It’s a song for teenage girls around 2008-2013, if I remember correctly, the artist is a black girl, she sings in English. In the song, she sings about different times or phone numbers, Type 4 5 6 in the morning. She is brunette or black haired. The song is most likely a love song. And I remeber the musicvideo had a lot of animation effects.
Leo Palmer says:
A music video in black and white, located in a bar with a old band playing their instrument, while the new alternative rock is in a hover image effect. Its like an overlay of the old band is all I remember good up beat music guitar strumming.
r. f. kramer says:
female singer who’s father was a musician, in her early 50’s, sings with a group of five band mates.
Tim says:
Been trying to remember a music video I saw between 2004-2009. Metal. Shot in all White including the singer in White Tux and Top Hat. Him walking down the White steps and only lyrics I remember was “woman”. NO, It’s Not the Ozzy one back in his day. It’s Somber but Powerful at the same time. I know mot much to go by, only saw it 2 times. On Youtube on my Original Account they deactivated.
If you know and can reply, Put “WHITE MUSIC VIDEO” has your Subject so I don’t mark it as Spam.
Marc Schellenberg says:
Hi guys, maybe you can help me out here,
i search for an old motivational video on Youtube, where a guy get a breakup with his girlfriend, which chose his unlovely workmate.
hes sad but starts working out in the gym. He gets new clothes and flew to another place to have a holiday.
There he goes to a Celebration and later he meets 2 girls.
At the end one of the girls stays with him and his (Ex-)Boss calls him but he dont catch the call.
Then there was just something written as Inspiration and the Video endet. I Used hours to find it, pls help me… ty
:_D
SKYLARDAEES says:
I’m looking for this song name of an ad I saw on Youtube of this white guy sitting in a car at night rap-singing about something. as the tune gets more intense this blue/white florescent-looking overhead light comes on and he starts swinging his head rhythmically. I don’t have a lot to go off of, but I really need to find it!
Joyce says:
Hi Meg,

Is it Party people by Alex Gopher?

Paulo says:
Looking for a music video where the whole video is self recorded by a person with a video camera on its hand. This person enters through a small passage (the person actually has to crawl inside it), and inside it is full of mirrors. Inside the small room there’s only a low lights so I think the whole video is shot in between natural light and infrared. I think at some point some kids are seen entering the room through this small passage too. It’s kind of electronic, calm music.
Does it ring anyone a bell?
Nika says:
i need to find a song! i cant remember any of the lyrics but the videoclip is basically cuts of the band playing and cuts of girls dancing in front of a yellow background.
it’s a rock song, the band sounded similar to arctic monkeys
Elliott says:
Ok so I’m trying to find a song I listened to on xfinity a lot back in 2013ish, it was a Latin (Latin pop?) song, relatively fast paced and from what I can remember took place at night, possibly in a graveyard? I think it may have been about werewolves or had moon somewhere in the title but it was all in Spanish and I have no clue. I’m pretty sure the lead/only singer was female?
Brad says:
I’ve been trying to figure out a song that I really liked maybe 10 years ago?, but can’t think of it. Here’s where it gets fun. I can’t remember the artist, the title, or lyrics. LOL…I can’t even really remember the melody. But I CAN remember the music video
As for the artist – not a big name…more of an indie band. It’s the only song by them that I had heard of. I maybe equate them to a Grapes of Wrath kind of sound?

Here’s what I remember from the video:

• Takes place in an older house, and the lead vocalist (dark haired, 20’s) just keeps climbing stairs, going from room to room, and when he gets to what seems to be the attic door and goes through it, he winds up at the base of the house again and repeats the process
• The video is basically the people he sees in the different rooms as he climbs the stairs over and over
• Each band member is in his own room
• The people he sees are both band members and some that are not
• One room has 2 older teen blond girls playing violins
• One room has the drummer I believe next to a X-Mas tree that I think eventually starts on fire
• The dining room has them all around the table (with a few other people) and they are all dressed up – one is a gorilla, one I think is like a P.T. Barnum type of guy, etc. – strange

Brad says:
I’ve been trying to figure out a song that I really liked maybe 10 years ago?, but can’t think of it. Here’s where it gets fun. I can’t remember the artist, the title, or lyrics. LOL…I can’t even really remember the melody. But I CAN remember the music video – I can see it quite clearly.

As for the artist – not a big name…more of an indie band. It’s the only song by them that I had heard of. I maybe equate them to a Grapes of Wrath kind of sound?

Here’s what I remember from the video:

• Takes place in an older house, and the lead vocalist (dark haired, 20’s) just keeps climbing stairs, going from room to room, and when he gets to what seems to be the attic door and goes through it, he winds up at the base of the house again and repeats the process
• The video is basically the people he sees in the different rooms as he climbs the stairs over and over
• Each band member is in his own room
• The people he sees are both band members and some that are not
• One room has 2 older teen blond girls playing violins
• One room has the drummer I believe next to a X-Mas tree that I think eventually starts on fire
• The dining room has them all around the table (with a few other people) and they are all dressed up – one is a gorilla, one I think is like a P.T. Barnum type of guy, etc. – strange

Chelsea D. says:
Looking for a music video with upbeat music. It’s a split screen starts off with two parties, a kids party and an adult party. Eventually at the end of the video the two parties join and it’s not split screen anymore.
Travis says:
Im trying to find a punk music video with a burning piano getting burned throughout the video.
Dane says:
Looking for a video with a dancing traffic man. Maybe from Indonesia, maybe north in the name of group female singer.
jim says:
I cant for the life of me find the song I’m looking for. All I can really remember is the music video it had a person inside a big blue hairy monster costume and a man not in a costume. they go to a bar and they sit on the edge of a side walk that is all I can remember
c.d.b. says:
U may have gotten your answer by now but im thinking “Best Day of My Life” (this is gonna be) by American Authors.
RobKru says:
Saw a few seconds of the video for this song a couple of years ago at the gym. Couldn’t hear the lyrics because of the noise. It is a rough sketched/animated video in one color. The part I saw was of two figures stacking three boxes on top of one another. It is a pop-ish song with a female singer. Please help me find this song.
Raven says:
out of curiosity i wonder if anyone can identify this song from a music video. I remember a section of the music video that looks from the 2009s or less, its a black and white video with four guys standing in a darkened room and the camera kind of pans in and out of the rooms. each room meaning something different. but the main one is that the more eerily room has four guys standing in the middle. at some points a beating heart is shown and a guitar is laying around. But it is not Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown or Take me out – Franz ferdinand. My father lost all data on old music we used to listen to off of old youtube, and one of the songs that ii remember, looked like this. ive been hunting this song for a looong time.
Kupogir says:
Sounds similar to the Three Days Grace song “Break”
E says:
I’ve been cracking my head… Looking for a song, the music video was about the last day of high school (3 times the same day, but a different year, one was in the ’70s I think), there was a homeless guy was wiping the window of the car with a newspaper, the band was sort rock/ emo-ish, but I remember it was a bit nostalgic.
Chioma Iheme says:
I’m looking for this music video, the people are getting their faces painted time lapse and the band is playing a song. I think the song is from the 1980’s or 1990’s.
Ward says:
I tried all of these and still can’t find the video I don’t remember the band, the song title or even any of the lyrics. But I know it was an early 2000s alt rock/almost grunge type band. The video was shot entirely in a warehouse type shoot, there was a bunch of leaves & other debris that was being blown around during the chorus & just before the chorus hit, the video slowed down to an almost stop & the chorus itself had a big “change up” in style.

If someone could help with this, it would be really appreciated. It’s been plaguing me for a while now. Something made me want to revisit that video.

Matthew says:
Looking for a music video where it looks like a guy and girl come home to an apartment after a date, hit and heavy of course. But when they ‘get down’ there is a shift and you see smaller figures battle it out in the bedroom. Think like Owen wilson and Steve Coogan like size. I think the little battles show up like 2-3 times, where it plays out as if it were a one night stand, but then got more serious with fights.
Jason S says:
A song by a alternative rock band where in the beginning of video people are putting on full body suits. And the video shows them in a factory type setting making a disc type object? Who is band or what is song name ?
Nika says:
i need to find a song! i cant remember any of the lyrics but the videoclip is basically cuts of the band playing and cuts of girls dancing in front of a yellow background.
it’s a rock song, the band sounded similar to arctic monkeys
k says:
i’ve been trying to find a music video for the last 2 years. i believe it’s some kind of eletronic music from 90s / early 00s. it’s about random people walking in the street, they go on kissing each other 🙁
Ellie says:
is it girls by the 1975
João David says:
Also looking for a specific music video here. I though the band was The Strokes but no.
I just remember the video was the band playing in a room with all the instruments, and towards the end of the video it starts to shower water inside and you see droplets in slow motion even i think, on the drums. I remember the vocalist was wearing a headband and had longish, dark hair. It’s from between 2005 and 2015 I think. Does anybody know something like this? T_T
k says:
hey, i think it is probably ok go! 🙂
João David says:
I think it’s not T_T But I’ll do some research on their videos! Thank you! 😀
João David says:
Yup, unfortunately it’s not them 🙁 But thank you so much for your hint! Hopefully someone else will have another idea 🙂 Thank you really!
Ryan says:
Spanish heavy metal music video, 2000s. Lead singer has long hair. Music video shows a bald or short haired skinny kid on a street with a ball or globe. He rolls it to some random stranger, and the ball continues rolling to various people around the area. At the end of the video the ball or globe returns to the weird kid.
Ashlie says:
im trying to find the name of a song, but i can only remember some of the music video. this guys head is in a clear case singing , and at different times, different things happen like water fills the tank, or he had silly string sprayed on him, help!!!
Devin George says:
I can’t remember a music video where the female artist is invisible and all you could see was her red(?) stilettos
Raven says:
Is that garbage? cherry lips?
Marc says:
I am also trying to find out a song from the mid nineties. I think it was on MTV amp. It begins with a plain room (possibly a warehouse) with a pair of headphones hanging down from the ceiling. A girl walks into the room and puts the headphones on. Once she does, the music begins and the scene changes and the girl is in a rave. Thought it might be Robert Miles video, but haven’t had any luck.
Areka says:
Soic Empire is the title.

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