How To Find A Music Video Without Knowing The Name

It’s a frustrating situation that we’ve all experienced at one time or another. You want to see a music video of that song you love – the one with that lyric about the girl and the guy – but you can’t remember the name of the song! If you had a recording of the song, even if you didn’t know its name, you could use an app like Shazam, a popular tool that lets you identify a song by playing it, or a similar app.

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Learn how to fine-tune your searches for music!
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But if you’re trying to find a music video, and you don’t have the song to play, and you can’t remember its name, it seems like you’re out of luck.

Have no fear, because help is on the way. All you need is Google and this article. I’m going to show you how to use unique search engine operators to find that music video and fine-tune your search queries for any occasion.

How Do You Find A Song You Don’t Know The Name Of?

Step One: Identify What You Know

The first step in narrowing down your search is to establish what you know. Do you know the name of the artist? Do you know the genre of music the song falls under? Do you know when the song first came out? Most critically, do you know any of the lyrics? If you know any of these things—even if you can only remember a few words of the song—you’re in a much better position to find it online.

You have two choices for conducting your search: one is to do a direct search on YouTube, and the other is to try to establish which song you’re looking for on Google and then switching to YouTube once you figure it out. Since YouTube’s search engine runs entirely on Google, these basically amount to the same thing.

However, I do recommend searching on Google because it will be easier to find information about the song rather than just the song; for complicated searches, partial information is a good foundation.

Step Two: Try Some Basic Searches

Go to your search engine, whether YouTube or Google and start trying some basic searches. Let’s say that the song we’re looking for is “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi, but we don’t remember either the title or the artist. We only remember one phrase from the song: it has the words “an angel’s smile.” Let’s go to Google and type in “an angel’s smile” in the search box and see what we get.

Hey hey! Look at that, there are three songs with that title right at the top of the listings, along with (yikes) 203 million other hits. OK, this will be easy to check—hit those links and see if they’re our song!

Alas, we checked all three, and none of these songs—though they contain our lyric—are the song we’re looking for. We could go through the next few pages of Google results, but clearly, “an angel’s smile” matches too many songs. We’re going to have to dig deeper.

Step Three: Combine Your Terms

By combining terms, you can tell Google that you have several related concepts that you want to consider while searching. The combine operator is the comma, the “,” character. For example, a search on “green tomato recipes Mississippi cookbook” will bring up about 921,000 results, each of which will have some or all of those keywords. If you enclose the whole search string in quotes, Google will give you only those results which have that exact string (zero, if you’re wondering). However, if you use “,” to combine your concepts, you can get a list of results that has connections to all three sets of concepts. Searching for “green tomato recipes, Mississippi, cookbook” tells Google more precisely what you’re looking for and gets you better results.

In our search for the angel’s smile song, let’s add some combined keywords that might help Google out. You know that the song you’re looking for is rock and roll. And you think it probably came out in the 1980s because you remember your dad singing it in the car all the time back then. Let’s add those keywords, and do a search on “an angel’s smile, rock, and roll, 1980’s”.

And bam, there we go! It’s the first search result. Telling Google the general period and the genre really lets it focus in on what we’re looking for (you can leave the comma out, and Google will do a pretty good job of guessing which words go with which other words, but it’s better to use the comma).

Step Four: Other Operators, Keywords, And Techniques

The combine operator isn’t the only powerful tool you can utilize.

Advanced YouTube Search

As YouTube is owned by Google, there are some advanced search operators you can use to find what you’re looking for. Here are just a few.

BAND or ARTIST, partner – Type the band or artist name and then partner to restrict the search to official videos and filter out fan videos.

ACTOR, movie – Type the actor’s name and movie to see clips, teasers, and even full movies on YouTube.

News, live – Type news, gaming, or whatever else you’re interested in, and then live to show live feeds of the subject in question.

SUBJECT, today – Type a subject, movie, actor, or whatever and then a time to filter by. For example, ‘Politics, this week’ might give a slightly more varied amount of footage than what you’ll find on the television, especially if anyone in your household is prone to only relying on one network.

SUBJECT, HD or 4K – Type a subject and then format to filter out non-HD or non-4K content. This works for 3D and will work for VR or 360 content, too.

ARTIST, playlist – Type the artist and then playlist to compile or find an existing playlist for that artist. You can save or copy them if you plan on using them often.

Advanced Google Search

Search operators allow you to refine your search to specifics and narrow down the results, and they are surprisingly powerful when used correctly. Here are a few you could try:

  • Search a hashtag: #videosfromthe90s.
  • Exclude words: Add a ‘-,‘ so ‘-female vocalists’ to filter out music videos with female singers.
  • Exact match only: Use speech marks, “You give love a bad name” to specify those words only in search.
  • Missing words/Wildcard: Add ‘*’ to search for a wildcard, For example, ‘The best * of all time.’
  • OR: Use OR to apply multiple filtersHairspray rock OR male singer OR band OR guitar OR give love a bad name’.
  • AND: Use AND to tell Google to include things that match your whole list. “Bon Jovi AND angel’s smile AND 1980s.”
  • Group: use parentheses to group operators. “(the 1980s AND Bon Jovi) angel’s smile.”
  • Use relations: Use ‘related’ to find supplemental information, ‘related: Bon Jovi.’
  • Search by the year/Genre: If you really don’t remember any details about the song or music video, search by music videos that can out that year and the genre.

Step 5: Use Reddit or Another Online Forum

It won’t matter where you are in the world nor how popular the song was if you can ask every music enthusiast alive today. Say hello to the “r/tipofmytongue” subreddit. A collection with over 1.3 million people who are willing and happy to help you find your missing song.

You can post anything from “I need help with a song that has these lyrics…” to “There was a music video from the mid-2000s where two guys were at a bar.” If someone is familiar with it, they’ll comment with the name of the Artist, Title of the Song, or a link to the music video. Use this subreddit to find the lyrical information you seek.

Alternative Methods – If All Else Fails

A lot of the music we’ve been introduced to comes from a friend or family member. If the song you’ve forgotten is something that another person introduced you to, check their social media accounts and even their Spotify profile for clues. This is assuming you’re still friends, but even if you aren’t they may have listed their favorite bands on their Facebook profile which is usually Public.

Next, if none of the search options above turned up any valuable results try something like “Best Music Videos of the 90’s” or “Lesser-known artists from the 2000s.” A plethora of blogs will appear so it’s time to get reading. This may take a while, but it’s the only other option when you have no information beyond the scenery in the music video.

You should be able to find a music video without knowing the name with any of the above tips!

Got any other ways to identify a music video without knowing the name? Any apps or services that can do it? Tell us about them below!

30 thoughts on “How To Find A Music Video Without Knowing The Name”

Avatar Dane says:
Looking for a video with a dancing traffic man. Maybe from Indonesia, maybe north in the name of group female singer.
Avatar jim says:
I cant for the life of me find the song I’m looking for. All I can really remember is the music video it had a person inside a big blue hairy monster costume and a man not in a costume. they go to a bar and they sit on the edge of a side walk that is all I can remember
Avatar c.d.b. says:
U may have gotten your answer by now but im thinking “Best Day of My Life” (this is gonna be) by American Authors.
Avatar RobKru says:
Saw a few seconds of the video for this song a couple of years ago at the gym. Couldn’t hear the lyrics because of the noise. It is a rough sketched/animated video in one color. The part I saw was of two figures stacking three boxes on top of one another. It is a pop-ish song with a female singer. Please help me find this song.
Avatar Raven says:
out of curiosity i wonder if anyone can identify this song from a music video. I remember a section of the music video that looks from the 2009s or less, its a black and white video with four guys standing in a darkened room and the camera kind of pans in and out of the rooms. each room meaning something different. but the main one is that the more eerily room has four guys standing in the middle. at some points a beating heart is shown and a guitar is laying around. But it is not Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown or Take me out – Franz ferdinand. My father lost all data on old music we used to listen to off of old youtube, and one of the songs that ii remember, looked like this. ive been hunting this song for a looong time.
Avatar Kupogir says:
Sounds similar to the Three Days Grace song “Break”
Avatar E says:
I’ve been cracking my head… Looking for a song, the music video was about the last day of high school (3 times the same day, but a different year, one was in the ’70s I think), there was a homeless guy was wiping the window of the car with a newspaper, the band was sort rock/ emo-ish, but I remember it was a bit nostalgic.
Avatar Chioma Iheme says:
I’m looking for this music video, the people are getting their faces painted time lapse and the band is playing a song. I think the song is from the 1980’s or 1990’s.
Avatar Ward says:
I tried all of these and still can’t find the video I don’t remember the band, the song title or even any of the lyrics. But I know it was an early 2000s alt rock/almost grunge type band. The video was shot entirely in a warehouse type shoot, there was a bunch of leaves & other debris that was being blown around during the chorus & just before the chorus hit, the video slowed down to an almost stop & the chorus itself had a big “change up” in style.

If someone could help with this, it would be really appreciated. It’s been plaguing me for a while now. Something made me want to revisit that video.

Avatar Meg says:
A mud man (yes, he consist of dirt) goes into a local swimming pool where he falls in love with a girl and they have good time together then each of them take shower in the end and the dirt man simply washed off, leaving an earthworm, she looks in his shower place and there wasn’t anything. She leave like she never gave a fuck.
Does anyone know what music video it is? It’s creepy but I liked the music as well as their other videos.
I used to be addicted to their music videos like 10 years ago but it’s a pity I don’t remember any of their song lyrics or titles, or band name…
Avatar Matthew says:
Looking for a music video where it looks like a guy and girl come home to an apartment after a date, hit and heavy of course. But when they ‘get down’ there is a shift and you see smaller figures battle it out in the bedroom. Think like Owen wilson and Steve Coogan like size. I think the little battles show up like 2-3 times, where it plays out as if it were a one night stand, but then got more serious with fights.
Avatar Jason S says:
A song by a alternative rock band where in the beginning of video people are putting on full body suits. And the video shows them in a factory type setting making a disc type object? Who is band or what is song name ?
Avatar Nika says:
i need to find a song! i cant remember any of the lyrics but the videoclip is basically cuts of the band playing and cuts of girls dancing in front of a yellow background.
it’s a rock song, the band sounded similar to arctic monkeys
Avatar k says:
i’ve been trying to find a music video for the last 2 years. i believe it’s some kind of eletronic music from 90s / early 00s. it’s about random people walking in the street, they go on kissing each other :(
Avatar Ellie says:
is it girls by the 1975
Avatar João David says:
Also looking for a specific music video here. I though the band was The Strokes but no.
I just remember the video was the band playing in a room with all the instruments, and towards the end of the video it starts to shower water inside and you see droplets in slow motion even i think, on the drums. I remember the vocalist was wearing a headband and had longish, dark hair. It’s from between 2005 and 2015 I think. Does anybody know something like this? T_T
Avatar k says:
hey, i think it is probably ok go! :)
Avatar João David says:
I think it’s not T_T But I’ll do some research on their videos! Thank you! :D
Avatar João David says:
Yup, unfortunately it’s not them :( But thank you so much for your hint! Hopefully someone else will have another idea :) Thank you really!
Avatar Ryan says:
Spanish heavy metal music video, 2000s. Lead singer has long hair. Music video shows a bald or short haired skinny kid on a street with a ball or globe. He rolls it to some random stranger, and the ball continues rolling to various people around the area. At the end of the video the ball or globe returns to the weird kid.
Avatar Ashlie says:
im trying to find the name of a song, but i can only remember some of the music video. this guys head is in a clear case singing , and at different times, different things happen like water fills the tank, or he had silly string sprayed on him, help!!!
Avatar Devin George says:
I can’t remember a music video where the female artist is invisible and all you could see was her red(?) stilettos
Avatar Raven says:
Is that garbage? cherry lips?
Avatar Marc says:
I am also trying to find out a song from the mid nineties. I think it was on MTV amp. It begins with a plain room (possibly a warehouse) with a pair of headphones hanging down from the ceiling. A girl walks into the room and puts the headphones on. Once she does, the music begins and the scene changes and the girl is in a rave. Thought it might be Robert Miles video, but haven’t had any luck.
Avatar Aj says:
Hey guys, looking for a song with music video. Two black singers. they will be singing in the midst of the crowd in a concert. simultaneously people will be danicing in huge groups in different cities.

Any idea???????????

Avatar Ambrus Szabolcs says:

Looking 4 a song two girls song it holding a te lephone in the hands singing hello hello, then they was displayed in a sandwish singing some tropical area and water.

Avatar Darrell says:
Is it Telephone by Lady Gaga and Beyonce?
Avatar Darrell says:
Telephone by Lady Gaga?
Avatar Amber says:
music video maybe late 90’s or early 2000’s. fuse tv timeframe.
the video had a band playing in their house with kind of an indie video vibe and the band became zombies. eventually a guy zombie is chasing this girl until she lets him bite her and becomes a zombie too. the video ends with them walking down the middle of the street together both as zombies.
Avatar Bree says:
Looking for a rock (more pink rock) music video from around 2014-2015. It is a band/group. The music video is black and white (or really shot out in while) the group is wearing dark clothing, and behind them is a white platform with a throne on it. The video mainly shows the lead singer singing. I think at the end the guy throws a crown. Or the song lyrics sing about a crown. It was a popular song at the time, but the group wasn’t popular. It may have been there only big song.
Avatar Alexis says:
I am looking for the music video clip 90s-2000s. It s made as a vector graphics video story in black red and white colours. Story about hitman police crime robbery, something like that. Last fragment was about guy who appeared to be killer, who shot somebody with his sniper gun. Then he met girl, hugs her, but she stabs him in his back…)) Love this music. I tried to find it soooo many times…((. I cant remember neither name of the artist nor name of the video, but just few few words like eye, your, right in name. smth like right your eyes or right behind your eyes…but not really sure. Pleaaaase, if somebody can remember this video.
Avatar bellange says:
Cinema Bizarre-Love songs ?
Avatar bellange says:
Cinema Bizarre-Love songs
Avatar azul says:
the video im trying to find dates back between the 60’s and the 90’s. i remember i was watching how deep is your love by the bees gees on YouTube and this video was recommended. also the name of the song/or artist was quite long and convoluted, to my 10 year old self it sounded like a really long made up shape name. also the video was quite colorful and psychedelic. i can remember a carrousel and the artist being a band.
Avatar Gemini007 says:
Girl in club left swipes guys and finds a suitable black guy and right swipes him and then dances with him and then gets married where everybody is wearing white.
Avatar Emma says:
Theres this song that i dont remember the words or title, just the music video.
Its of a girl on a bike in the beginning and i think she had long nails. She went to peoples doors and killed who i assumed broke her heart at one point and went to another and another well you get what i mean. She was possibly wearing yellow and may have teamed up with a girl in the process. If you could help me find out that would be great. Thanks
Avatar Charles says:
I don’t remember any of the words of the song or its title, but the video has 3 guys – tall white guy with long hair, an Asian guy, and the last guy whose race/ethnicity I can’t recall. One scene from the music video had the Asian guy and the unknown guy on a tandem bicycle, and the white guy with long hair was crouched on a skateboard and being pulled behind the bike; he stood up very slightly when they went over one or two speed humps. And in part of the video they’re all dressed in white. I’ve been wracking my brain for days…does anyone know the song and/or artist? Thanks.
Avatar Jessica says:
I‘be been looking for this song for about a year now and only remember the video. Think it’s indie/alternative maybe 90’s or early 2000’s. There is a blonde little girl with a fringe and bob hair cut, I think she has a balloon but not 100% on that part. She’s walking down some streets. The band are playing in a building but we see through a giant hole in the wall. Then the main singer is playing the guitar on floating chairs and I think there’s a lot of floating furniture but again I’m not 100% sure on that, there is definitely at least one floating chair.
Avatar val says:
Röyksopp – What Else Is There
Avatar Justin says:
I’m trying to find a song/video by a guy who kinda sounds like Nick Drake (?). Music video is stop motion with a man and woman lying in a bed with a camera right above them (from the ceiling)
Avatar Shannon says:
I think it’s “Her Morning Elegance” by Oren Lavie
Avatar toni says:
im trying to find a video of a brother & sister in cages with big giant trolls keeping them captive then they get out and are running from them & they have like a little glowing fox helping them escape and at the end the little brother gets away in a statute that turns into a rocketship and leaves the sister behind
Avatar Austin Charles says:
I’m trying to find a music video where a blonde haired businessman wakes up in his office at the end but he was dreaming of doing his same daily routine everyday waking up at 7 or 8 AM and figuring out his car got booted so he has to walk down an alley to work and he ends up bumping into a guy on a skate board and noticing that everyones looking at him and before he gets to work that whole cycle repeats at the same time and each time it does the dream gets worse cause the peoples faces start to distort and then he looks at himself in the mirror and everything starts going black and white basically losing there colors and he starts running through the alley and people keep telling him a certain line that I cant remember and he ends up getting tripped by a homeless man who says the same thing before he stairs off into the sky then wakes up like I said at the beginning.

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