How to Locate Who Owns an Email Address

Updated March 23, 2017

Sending and receiving e-mails has become a serious concern for some people. Viruses and phishing scams arrive through e-mails masked as legitimate messages. You want to avoid these threatening issues but don't want to ignore e-mail messages that might be important. There is a way to find out who the owner is of an e-mail address so you can determine if it is from a trusted source.

Locate the IP address in Google Gmail. Go to the Gmail website and log into your account. Click on the message that you want to trace. Click the drop-down arrow at the top of the message window and click "Show original." Look for the line in the text that says, "Received: from." The IP address is the number in brackets and has the format An example IP address is

Locate the sender's IP address if you are using Yahoo. Click on the email that you want to trace. At the top of the email window, click on the drop-down arrow next to "Standard Header" and click on "Full Header." Locate the line that starts with "Received: from." Make note of the IP address in the brackets.

Find the IP address in Microsoft Outlook. Double-click the email you want to trace to open it in its own window. Click on "View > Options" from the menu in the message window. Look at the text inside the "Internet Headers" box in the "Internet Options" window that appears. Locate the "Received: from" line in the text and make note of the IP address in the brackets.

Locate the IP address with any other e-mail application other than Outlook, Yahoo or Gmail. The IP address is usually listed with the headers or in the original text. You will have to open the email message and find the options menu. Click on anything that say something about "Headers," "Options" or "Original" to see the text. The IP address is listed on the line that starts with "Received: from."

Go to ARIN WHOIS Database Search. (See Resource section for a link.) The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) gives you information on who owns the IP address that sent the email.For a simple search of the ARIN database, you do not need to register or sign up for a membership.

Input or paste the IP address into the search box at the top of the page on the right side that says, "SEARCH WHOIS."

Click the arrow next to the search box to begin the search of the IP address. It only takes a few seconds for the information on the IP address to pop up.


Other databases, like IP2Location, can give you information on where the person is located. You can find out the country, city, state and region of the IP address.

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About the Author

Tiesha Whatley has been writing for over 10 years. She has been published in "Marie Claire," "Ebony" and "Modern Bride" magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has been working in the wedding planning industry for over 13 years.