How to Find Old Accounts on Social Media

Fill out this form to receive free tips each week

Note: Many of our 400+ resources now require a low-cost membership to help us deliver great research and expert safety guides. Become a member today, login here, or have your district request a partnership to make these resources free for your community.

How to Find Old Accounts on Social Media

September 11, 2017

You're not logged in! 
Become a member or log in to view this resource

District Admins and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to share our resources with your community.

Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!


Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.


Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.


Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Green Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at

Gray Zone

Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at

Red Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at

Dangerous Social media challenges

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge. Knowing about social media challenges before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at

Table of Contents

, you're logged in! Thank you for your support. Enjoy your membership resources and videos.

It’s not uncommon to create social media profiles only to forget about them later on. Maybe you wanted to try a new app but ended up deleting it later. What most people don't know is that these old social media profiles can have a negative effect on their online footprint. So, in order to build a positive online reputation, it's important to find old accounts on social media.

What are old social media accounts?

  • Old social media accounts are social media profiles you no longer update
  • Deleting apps doesn’t automatically delete your accounts on the apps
  • Old social media profiles can also include any accounts you made anonymously, especially if they’re tied to your email address or phone number

Why should students care?

Social media accounts usually require personal information upon activation. If there was a data breach on that social media platform then your personal information can be easily leaked, this can hurt other profiles too if you’ve used the same password across platforms.

Why colleges & employers care

  • When colleges and employers look you up online they want to get a better idea of who you are as an applicant. If old social media accounts are discoverable, it can make it hard for them to determine which accounts you are actively using
  • If your old social media accounts have negative posts or aren’t a positive representation of who you are then they can impact your chances of being accepted into your dream school or dream job

How to find old accounts on social media using Google

We recommend using the Chrome browser to search for your old accounts. Open a new incognito window and search the queries below, in Google:

  • Search for your username
  • Example: @JoshOchs
  • Look up your email address
  • Example:
  • Search for your first and last name
  • Example: Josh Ochs
  • Use your nicknames
  • Example: Joshua Ochs
  • Add networks to the end of your search
  • Example: Josh Ochs Facebook
  • Don’t forget to check the image results tab

Example of how old social media accounts can be negative

According to a new report, turning down young job candidates because of what they post on social media has become commonplace. Even if it’s an old social media account, employers and colleges will assume that’s you (and they have no idea when you created it). The report, by On Device Research, states that 1 in 10 people between ages 16 and 34 have been turned down for a new job because of photos or comments on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networking sites.

Logged in and still not seeing content? This course may not be part of your membership plan. Click here to join.

Share Your Thoughts With Our Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Become a Very Informed Parent (VIP) to get our social media suggestions in your email every Tuesday & Thursday.
Dotted arrow to right
Learn about our
"Very Informed Parent" 
VIP Program
Right arrow
Josh Ochs headshot Round
Schools & Districts: Partner with us to protect your community online

Our remote presentations (and website) teaches over a million students each year how to shine online. We teach students how their accounts can be used to create a portfolio of positive accomplishments that impress colleges and employers.

Partner with
Right arrow
SmartSocial podcast logo
Join Our Smart Social Podcast each week on iTunes

With over 240 episodes, Josh Ochs interviews psychologists, therapists, counselors, teachers, and parents while showing you how to navigate social media to someday shine online.

Listen on:

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts

Read More From Smart Social:

Read More Posts On Our Blog
Right arrow

Free Parent Night: 25+ Dangers On
TikTok,  Snapchat, Instagram, Fortnite, Netflix, YouTube & More (Multiple Dates).

Join Josh for a presentation that will teach you the hidden safety features of TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix, Discord, Fortnite, Twitch & more! (Register Here)

Register For Our Free Parent Event
Right arrow
Parent Event: 25+ Dangers on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Fornite, Netflix & YouTube by Josh Ochs