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How to trace an email address

Updated June 13, 2017

If you are unsure of who sent you an e-mail, there are ways to trace the email address and the sender's location. Every e-mail has a header that contains information about the sender and the route the email took to your inbox. The header has a lot of information that looks jumbled, but you can trace an e-mail once you know what to look for. Once you get their IP address, you can get other information about the sender.

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  1. Open your e-mail program and highlight the email you would like to trace.

  2. View the header of the email. This option varies depending on what mail program you are using. See Resources for where the option will appear in your e-mail program. You can generally view the header by right clicking on the email or looking under "Options." If your program is not in the list, check the program's help section for header information.

  3. Browse through the header to look for the IP address of the sender. Every e-mail contains a unique ID and it will be found under "Message-Id" or "Received From." The IP address listed is the IP address of the sender.

  4. Go to an IP address lookup site, such as What Is My IP Address? The link is in this article's Resources section. You can look up the IP address to find information on the sender. What Is My IP Address? also offers an e-mail tracing service where you can paste the header into their box and it will search out the information for you.

  5. Warning

    There are some servers, such as Gmail that may not be trackable past the mail servers location.

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Things You'll Need

  • IP tracer

About the Author

Angie Briggs has been a health and fitness writer since 2006. Her articles have been published on eHow, LIVESTRONG.COM and GardenGuides. She graduated from Thompson Institute with a diploma as a computer support specialist and received certification from CareerStep as a medical transcriptionist and medical language specialist.

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