How to use Google for a reverse phone lookup

Today’s phones will happily let us know the name of the person calling us if it’s in our contacts list but not if an unknown number calls. In that case, only the number itself is displayed but not the caller’s name.

Luckily, it is possible to find the caller’s name and one of the methods that can work is to use Google for a reverse phone lookup.

What is a reverse phone lookup?

A reverse phone lookup might sound more complicated than it really is since it’s simply typing in the phone number to a search engine or directory and see if the results show a listing associated with that number.

While there are various methods you can use to find a phone number online, in today’s guide we’ll be using Google for a reverse phone lookup since it is the most popular search engine and it can access a wealth of information which gives us a real chance at getting a result.

How to use Google for a reverse phone number lookup

use Google for a reverse phone lookup

Google used to have a phonebook search operator that could have been used for a reverse phone lookup but they shut it down in 2010 because a lot of people were sending requests to be removed.

For this reason, the reverse phone number lookup is slightly more difficult but not that much. You simply need to type in the complete phone number, including the area code in Google’s search box. The number might show up being listed at multiple phone directories.

If the number belongs to a business it will typically be displayed in the top 5 search results. If the number is attached to a private household the address won’t be displayed in most cases. Nevertheless, if that person has published their phone number on any website or social media network that listing will be displayed.

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Do a free phone number search with Google

Search engines can deliver more focused results if you provide additional information. As a result, if you know the person’s name and their ZIP code it’s a good idea to use that in a search, for example, “john smith 5629”.

This type of search could return a name, address, phone number and even a Google Map with instructions on how to get there. However, if the person you’re trying to find didn’t make their address public this information will not show up in search.

How to remove yourself from Google’s phone directory

As I already mentioned above, Google shut down their phone search operator in November 2010 so this information is not public anymore. However, if your information was listed in the directory you can still remove yourself.

You can find out all about Google’s policies on information and have your information removed, if such is the case, by visiting the Google Legal Removal Requests page.

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Does Google reverse number lookup really work?

Using a reverse number lookup on Google can often bring positive results but it’s not 100% guaranteed it will work. If the phone number calling you was never listed or if it’s a mobile phone number chances are it’s not available online.

While there are quite a few services that require a premium fee to find this information we do not recommend you pay for them. The main reason behind this is these services can access practically the same information as the rest of us, so chances are the results they will deliver will be similar to your own.