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Shortcut: Phone Numbers and Addresses

Google no longer supports personal telephone and address searches because of numerous user complaints.

Finding the phone number of a person who lives in the United States used to mean searching the white pages of the telephone directory. Printed residential phone books are getting scarce, but Google has an alternative: the Residential PhoneBook service. Just enter a person’s name and a city, state, or zip code in the standard web search box. You can also enter a phone number to find the person’s name and address. Then hit the ENTER key or click the Search button.

Google search box with [ John Doe New York NY ].  

On the results page, phonebook listings are next to a telephone icon:

Screen shot of a link to a Google phonebook listing.

Clicking on the “Phonebook results” link just above the telephone icon takes you to the Residential PhoneBook page, where you may find more results:

Screen shot of a Google PhoneBook listing.

The end of the PhoneBook listing has a link to the Google Phonebook Name Removal form. Be aware that, once you’ve removed your number from the listings, you can’t add it back.

Google’s residential phonebook feature recognizes inputs in several formats.

To find a US residence, enter … Examples
First name, last name, city, state John Doe New York NY ]
First name, last name, state John Doe NY ]
First name, last name, area code John Doe 212 ]
First name, last name, zip code John Doe 10128 ]

Google adjusts their search algorithms from time to time, so you may find other search methods that work. (For example, using someone’s first initial used to give listings for everyone whose name started with that letter. As of this writing, using a first initial brings up listings with just that initial but no first name.)

Google supports reverse look up. You can enter a phone number with area code and learn to whom that number belongs.

Be aware that some listings are out of date.

If Google doesn’t return a phonebook link, try using the phonebook: search operator.

Google search box with [ phonebook:Dorothy Kansas ].  

Need an email address? Though it would be a nice feature for you and me, Google doesn’t offer an email-lookup service, since spammers could use it to get your address and send you unsolicited spam email.

When you search for a US business phonebook listing, business name and location or phone number, Google will return a map — and a website, if Google has found it. You can read more in the next section, Street Maps.

Exercises

This problem set gives you practice with looking up phone numbers and addresses. For hints and answers to selected problems, see the Solutions page.

  1. Search for friends or relatives in various ways: by entering a name and state, a phone number, and so on. Notice who has the same name but isn’t the person you’re looking for.
  2. Check whether Google knows your phone number and address. If you wish to remove your listing from Google’s PhoneBook, complete the name removal form.

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This page was last modified on: Sunday February 26, 2012

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By Nancy Blachman and Jerry Peek who aren't Google employees. For permission to copy & create derivative works, visit Google Guide's Creative Commons License webpage.

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