How to search facebook posts for keywords

Today, I’m going to show you how to find posts on FB. Find a picture published recently or in the past. It’s easy to find a Facebook post, and the filters are great.

This is useful for times when you want to dig up an old post that you or someone you know published and you don’t want to go sifting through all of the other content just to find it.

Using the Facebook search feature is quick and easy if you can remember a keyword that was used in the post you want to find!

Find Old Posts on FB

How to search facebook posts for keywords

I’ll be showing you how to do this from the desktop version of Facebook. First, you want to go to the search bar at the top of the page, and you can use this to search all of Facebook.

For example, if I want to find a picture of my dad for Father’s Day, I would just go to the search bar and type in ‘Father’s Day.

When you first type in Father’s Day and click on search, it will automatically show you posts by anyone. These will be pages, public posts, or people you don’t know.

To find a specific post you published, go to the filter results on the left side, and under the section marked ‘Posts From’, you can select ‘You’. This will filter your search results to only show published posts containing the keywords you searched for.

Now you can see that I can view every post I made about Father’s Day, and sure enough, I have easily found a picture of my Dad.

How to search facebook posts for keywords

Another cool way to use the Facebook search feature is when you want to find a post from one of your friends.

For example, maybe there was a post the other day about a friend who posted about the Disneyland Fast Pass, and you want to find that post because it had excellent information.

You would again use the search bar to type in ‘Disneyland Fast Pass’, and then using the filter options on the left of the screen, you can select it to sort by ‘Friends and Groups.

How to search facebook posts for keywords

Similarly, if you want to search for a specific friend or group, you can open the ‘Choose a Source’ option below Friends and Groups and type in one of your friends’ names to view what they said about the post you’re searching for.

The Facebook search feature is very easy and a fast way to find exactly what you’re looking for – whether it’s posted images, videos, or anything else that has been published on Facebook!

NOTE: As Facebook continually updates their ability to search timeline via the graph search, I continue to test and update this post about fb search capabilities at the bottom, so be sure to read all the way through. If you still have questions, feel free to ask in a comment and I will help where I can.

Three different people asked me similar questions about their Facebook timeline in the last month, which leads me to believe that, even though this capability has existing for a while, some folks aren’t aware that you can search your Facebook feed for a post from the past.

Yep, that’s right, if you were wondering how to find old posts on Facebook, there is a way to do it and it’s pretty easy. And it’s not just posts from the last week, it’s posts that go back years.

Here’s the latest question that I received about the topic:

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Hey Sean – Can you help me figure out how to find a Facebook post that I posted on my own timeline a few years ago? To be clear, I’m just looking to search my Facebook posts in order to find one of my own status updates. I don’t want to have to scroll through years of posts on my Facebook timeline.



Thanks for asking, Janet! The good news is it’s pretty easy to search for a post on Facebook, so…here’s the answer.

When Facebook introduced their updated search graph a while back, one of the capabilities was the ability to search for posts from a specific person or even posted by you. The goal was to make it so you wouldn’t have to scroll through your Facebook timeline, which likely contains thousands of posts, to find the one you want. 

So, I thought I’d put together a quick tutorial on how to search on Facebook that will hopefully help other folks out.

Table Of Contents - Click To Expand Or Hide -->

  • Searching For Your Own Facebook Posts
  • Searching Other People’s Facebook Posts
  • Update #1 – Facebook Mobile Search Capabilities On Android
  • Update #2 – Facebook Mobile Search Capabilities On Apple iOS
  • Update #3 – Can’t I just use my browser’s search capability to find past posts on my Facebook timeline?
  • Share This Post With A Pin!

Searching For Your Own Facebook Posts

If you want to learn how to search on Facebook, the first thing you need to understand is that it’s not as easy as just typing the phrase and pressing the Enter key, like on Google. You have to know a little bit about the Facebook graph search syntax because it’s the special language that powers Facebook search. It might seem complex at first, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty straight-forward.

As an example, I wrote a few haikus on Facebook quite a while back and I wanted to show them to my daughter while she was in the process of writing a haiku for school. In order to do that, I needed to search my own posts for the keyword “haiku”. Keep in mind that my haikus were posted a LONG time ago (relatively speaking in the world of Facebook).

To do this, I simply typed “Posts by me with Haiku” and Facebook returned all posts where I was the author and I included the word “haiku”.

Don’t judge my poetry.

How to search facebook posts for keywords
How to search facebook posts for keywords
Graph search gives me the ability to search for a post on Facebook without having to scroll through my timeline. 

The key to searching in Facebook is understanding the syntax.  In the search above, there are basically three components:

  • Posts – Tells Facebook that we’re searching for post content like status updates, not images or videos.
  • By me – Tells Facebook that I only want to see the posts that I authored.
  • With Haiku – Tells Facebook to find only those posts that have the word Haiku in them.

Easy, right? Using this simple structure, you can search old Facebook posts, so long as you remember at least one of the words that you posted. And that’s just how to search Facebook posts for content that you posted.

The Facebook search feature also allows you to go beyond searching for your own posts and find Facebook posts that were published by yoru friends and family.

NOTE: You can still use the search box to type in Facebook keywords. When you do that, it will return friends, pages, groups, etc…that match the keyword. So if you type in McDonald into the Facebook search and press Enter, it will return your friends who are named McDonald, it could show you the McDonald’s Facebook page, or even a group called “Old McDonald Had A Farm”. The keyword search on Facebook still works, it just returns a LOT of varying results.

Searching Other People’s Facebook Posts

If you want to use Facebook search for other people’s posts, you could easily switch up the syntax and ask something about your friends.

For example, imagine that you can’t find an awesome infographic that one of your friends posted about social media community management.

Just use a query like “Posts by my friends with social media management”. In this case, the query breaks down like this:

  • Posts – Search only posts.
  • By my friends – In this case, Facebook is only going to return content that your friends have posted
  • With social media management – Facebook is going to find those posts that contain the words social media management

Cool, right?

TIP: If you use a multi-word phrase like social media management, the Facebook search algorithm will do it’s best to find all of those words, but will also return posts that have just the word social or media or management. If you really want to hone in on a phrase like social media management and you ONLY want to see results with the full phrase, then just put the phrase in quotes. That way it would look like Posts by my friends with “social media management”.

While most people use the search function to find friends or pages, it really does offer a pretty robust content search capability.

Here are a few more queries that you might give a try:

  • Pages liked by me who like Nike – This will show you all the pages that both you and Nike like
  • My Friends who like Nike – Pretty self-explanatory
  • Friends of my friends who work for Garmin – COOL! You can actually find out who in your social network works for a company that you might be considering. In addition, because you have a relationship with them (via your friend), you might be able to connect directly with them to ask questions.

There you have it. Search capability that allows you to find those posts you were looking for or had maybe even forgotten about.

If you really want to dig in and learn more about Facebook search and all of it’s robust commands, there’s a pretty good help section on Facebook dedicated just to search.

Hope that helps others out there!


Update #1 – Facebook Mobile Search Capabilities On Android

Great questions came up about whether this solution works on mobile devices. As you can see in the screen capture below, the solution works great on the Android Facebook app. I’ll be testing later today on iOS and will report back.

How to search facebook posts for keywords
How to search facebook posts for keywords
You can use the Facebook graph search to search your timeline for old posts on Android devices


Update #2 – Facebook Mobile Search Capabilities On Apple iOS

As you’ll see below, testing on an Apple iPhone confirms that the search function works with the most recent version of the Facebook app. If you aren’t able to use the search function, be sure to check to be sure you’re using the most recent version of the app.

How to search facebook posts for keywords
How to search facebook posts for keywords
You can use the Facebook graph search to search your timeline for old posts on iOS devices


Update #3 – Can’t I just use my browser’s search capability to find past posts on my Facebook timeline?

I got a question from a reader that asked whether they could just use the Chrome or Safari search feature that is included in the browser to find older posts in your Facebook timeline. Unfortunately, the short answer is “no”. Here’s why.

In case you were wondering how to search for a word on a page in a browser, you can just press CRTL+F in Chrome or Firefox or CMD+F in Safari to open a search box. Type in your search term and the browser will identify any instances of your search term on the page that is open.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for social networks like Facebook and Twitter because they use a technology called Ajax to only load a certain number of posts at a time. As you scroll down the page, Ajax makes a call to the server and loads more posts. This means that to use the browser search feature, you would have to:

  • Load the page
  • Open the browser search and type your work or phrase
  • Click Find.
  • If no results were found, scroll down the page to load more posts
  • Click Find.
  • …and so on.

It’s not a very easy way because you could be scrolling for hours to find the post that you want. It’s just easier to use the Facebook search feature to locate the post.

How do you search for words on Facebook?

Search for a chat or message on Facebook.
From , click Messenger in the top right..
Below Chats, click Search Messenger in the top right..
Search for a contact name, the conversation name or keywords. If you're searching for a keyword, click Search Messages for "[keyword]"..

How do I find old posts on Facebook without scrolling?

You can do this by clicking on your name next to the Home button on the navigation bar at the top of your screen, or by clicking on your name at the top of the navigation menu on the left-hand side of your screen. Click View Activity Log. This button will be in the lower-right corner of your cover photo.