How to Do an Advanced Search on Facebook

With well over 2.5 billion active monthly users in 2020, Facebook remains the most popular social media platform in the world. With that in mind, chances are most of your friends and family have a Facebook account, if not an avid user.

Considering how commonplace Facebook is, searching for people, posts, or photos might prove difficult at times. When you do a basic search in the app, you’ll probably get a ton of results. This is when you want to use Facebook’s advanced search filters to get the results you’re looking for.

How to Do an Advanced Search on Facebook on a PC Browser

Accessing Facebook’s advanced search options in a PC browser is pretty simple.

  1. Open a web browser on your computer and go to
  2. When the Facebook page opens, you’ll see the Facebook search box in the top left corner.
  3. Type anything in the search box and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  4. Now the advanced search page opens, giving you access to 11 search categories in the menu to the left:
    1. Posts – Look for your friends’ posts or those mentioning your friends.
    2. People – Find people based on location, education, or workplace.
    3. Photos – Search for photos by type, location, year, or even person (the poster).
    4. Videos – Look for videos by the date, location, or whether it’s an FB live.
    5. Marketplace – This category allows you to search for products that are available on Facebook’s market. Please note that not all users can access this option, depending on the marketplace’s availability in your country
    6. Pages – Use various filters to narrow down specific pages. For example, you can search for products or business pages and also stores from which you can purchase products and services.
    7. Places – Here you can look for places like restaurants, clubs, takeout places, and more. You also get a map of your location for more convenient searching.
    8. Groups – Narrow down groups by location, private or public status, and your membership status.
    9. Apps – This category doesn’t have any detailed filters.
    10. Events – Choose if you’re looking for an online or physical event. Set the location, set how many days in the future you’d like to search, and define what kind of event you’re looking for. Finally, you can select if you’re looking for a family-friendly event and if it’s popular with your friends.
    11. Links – Just like the “Apps” category, this one doesn’t have additional filters.

Each of these has an additional set of search options, helping you define the results further. To show you how this works, let’s use Posts and People as an example.

Searching for Posts

When looking for a specific post that someone added to their wall, it might prove time-consuming to scroll through all of their posts. That’s where the Posts category can prove extremely useful.

  1. Open Facebook’s search page as explained above.
  2. In the search bar, enter the name of the person whose post you’re looking for and hit Enter on your keyboard.
    One thing to note here is that when you’re typing someone’s name, don’t click the suggestion that appears beneath the search bar. If you do that, it will take you to that person’s profile page.
  3. Click Posts from the menu to the left.
  4. Now the Posts category will expand, revealing additional search options:
    1. Posts You’ve Seen – Toggle this to on or off.
    2. Date Posted – This drop-down menu allows you to choose the year when the post appeared.
    3. Posts From – Select either You, Your Friends, Your Groups and Pages, or Public Posts.
    4. Tagged Location – To narrow down the location mentioned, enter the name of the city.
  5. As you select the options above, you’ll see the search results automatically refresh in the main portion of the screen.

Searching for People

To search for people, click the “People” category in the left menu. This filter provides four options as well:

  1. Friends of Friends – If you set this toggle to on, the results will show only your friends’ friends (but not yours). This is pretty useful when looking for someone with a common name that you’re sure to be a friend of your friends.
  2. City – If the person has disclosed their city, this will help you find them.
  3. Education – Just like with the city, this will work only if the person has specified their school for the Facebook profile.
  4. Work – Like City and Education but for the workplace.

The rest of the categories work similarly to Posts and People with the corresponding filters.

How to Do an Advanced Search on the Facebook Android App

Just like Facebook on a browser, the mobile app for Android also has advanced search.

  1. Open the Facebook mobile app on your device.
  2. Tap the “Search” icon in the top right corner of the app (magnifying glass).
  3. Enter some text into the search bar.
  4. The advanced search page opens, allowing you to choose various categories to narrow down the search results. These are the same as in the browser version of Facebook. The only difference is that the mobile app arranges them into tabs. To access all of them, simply drag the tabs left and right.
  5. Now type in someone’s name into the search box.
  6. Next, tap one of the categories. Notice that the “Options” icon will appear in the top right corner of the screen.
  7. Tap the “Options” icon to reveal additional filters for each category.
  8. Set your filters and the relevant results will appear in the main portion of the screen.

For example, when you tap the “Photos” category, the options menu allows you to set the following parameters:

  1. Posted by – Here you can choose Anyone, You, Your friends, or Your friends and groups.
  2. Tagged location – Either choose “Anywhere” to look for all available locations or use the in-menu search to find a specific city.
  3. Date posted – Although this option has “date” in its name, you won’t be able to choose months or days but rather only years.

To learn more about how the “Posts” and “People” search categories work, check the section above.

How to Do an Advanced Search on the Facebook iPhone App

Similar to the Android app, the iOS Facebook app on iOS has the same set of advanced search options. The app is available for download in Apple’s App Store.

To access the advanced search, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Facebook app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. In the search box, enter anything to access the advanced search options.
  4. Now you’ll see tabs for various categories. Since the screen is not as wide as in the browser version, you’ll have to drag the tabs left and right to access the rest of the categories.
  5. Enter the criteria that you want to search for in the search box.
  6. Tap one of the tabs you’d like to use.
  7. In the top right corner of the screen now you’ll see the options icon. Tap it to set the filter options.
  8. Set your options and the search results below will refresh, providing you with the relevant results.

Advanced Facebook Search Done Easily

Now that you know how to do an advanced search on Facebook, you can easily find people, posts, and even items on the Facebook marketplace. Whether you’re using a browser or mobile app, this search allows you to use various filters to narrow down the results.

Do you find Facebook’s advanced search good enough? Have you managed to find what you were looking for? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

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