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Whether you’ve found an email address you previously saved somewhere and you’re wondering who’s email is this, or you’ve received a mysterious email from an unknown sender, there are plenty of reasons why you’d want to find the owner of an email address. And the good news is that there are also a couple effective options available to trace email addresses. Doing a background check on the person is one of them 😉

Whether the email is with Gmail, Yahoo or some other provider, here are your options to look up its owner.

Search for the Email Address on Social Media

Social media networks require several pieces of personal information when users sign up, which typically includes:

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to find the owner of an email address through a social media network, as this depends on their privacy settings. It’s worth giving it a shot, though. Their is more options to find an owner of a Gmail address.

This is easier to do on Facebook and LinkedIn, as both those social networks allow you to search for an email address. If the user has chosen to make their email address public, their profile will come up.

While you can’t search by email address on Twitter, there is a workaround. You’ll need to save the email address into your email contacts, and then use the Find Friends feature. Authorize it to access your email, and if the unknown email is tied to a Twitter account, you’ll see that account.

Instagram doesn’t allow you to search by email address, and there isn’t a workaround, either.

Conduct a Reverse Email Search

If the social media method doesn’t work for you, a reverse email lookup could be more effective. FreeBackgroundCheck.org makes this a quick, simple process. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to the homepage and next to the Find Records Fast: heading, click the Email tab.
  2. Enter the email address into the field and click Search.
  3. Click View Report Details when the site finds the report for you.

You can get a detailed report about the owner of the email address, including their full name and quite a bit of additional information, such as their date of birth, phone number and current address, although what the report has will depend on the information that’s available for this person.

FreeBackgroundCheck.org also has plenty of other search options available. For example, you could search for an email address by name if you’re having the opposite problem and need to find out what someone’s email address is so that you can contact them.

Perform an Email Trace

Another option is going to WhatIsMyIPAddress.com, which has a Trace Email tool available. All you need to do is get the header information from an email sent to you by the email address in question, and then enter that information into the tool. This can give you information on the IP address behind that email, and there is often much more information accompanying the IP address, including the name of the person using it.

The process for getting an email header depends on the email provider that you use, but you typically need to open the email from the email address you wish to look up, and then look for a down arrow to provide more options. This may be near the Reply option. Find the Show Original option and click it. You’ll then see the full original email with the header intact. WhatIsMyIPAddress.com also includes an example of what this header will look like.

Tracking Down Who Owns an Email Address

You can always send an email to the email address asking who owns it, although this can be a strange request if they haven’t emailed you first, and you may want to avoid this if you received an odd email from them.

If you want to avoid the direct approach, one or more of the methods above will likely provide plenty of details on the owner of the email address. Give them each a try until you find out what you want to know.