How to Find Out Someone's Real Name Using Their Email Address

Updated March 21, 2017

Most people use several e-mail addresses. One is for personal use, another is for work and sometimes there are others for online groups, purchasing online products and more. For security reasons, these e-mail addresses might be a mix of numbers and letters or monikers that give no indication to the person's real name. However, there are techniques and searches for finding the name behind an e-mail address, some of which are free.

Send a message to the email address. If there's no reason to hide your purpose for knowing the person's name, simply ask. Introduce yourself, politely explain your reason for wanting to know the person's name, and request a response.

Conduct a deep Web search. One free deep Web search engine is Pipl, which offers an e-mail search that checks online documents, newspapers, blog posts and more. Go to and click the "Email" link. Next, enter the email address and press the "Search" button. In the listed results, check for any names associated with the email address (for example, the email address might display in the byline of an online article that also shows the person's name).

Search Google. This is most extensive, public search engine available, and it costs nothing to use. Go to, enter the email address in the browser window and press the "Google Search" button. The results show online sites and documents where the email address displays (such as in blogs, websites and online ads). Review the information in each listing for a person's name associated with that e-mail address.

Search social networking sites. People sometimes list their real names, along with their e-mail addresses, on such sites. One fee-based social networking search engine is Spokeo. Go to, and sign in with your e-mail address and password. On the page that displays, enter the email address you're researching into the field at the top of the page and press the "Search" button. Spokeo searches dozens of social networking sites and displays in which ones that e-mail address appears. To view the complete search results, click the "View More" button next to the listing and follow the instructions.

Hire a private investigator. There are investigators who have the resources and expertise to find a real name associated with an e-mail address. To find a qualified investigator, contact your state professional private investigator association or contact a reputable law firm and ask which investigators they recommend for locating people through e-mail addresses.

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About the Author

In 1997 Harlequin published Colleen Collins' first novel, followed by many more by Harlequin and Dorchester. Her articles and writing have appeared in "P.I. Magazine," "Pursuit Magazine" and "Cosmopolitan." She earned a B.A. in theater arts from University of California, Santa Barbara and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America.