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Every so often, you’ll run into a situation where you need to find out somebody’s email address. The easiest thing to do would be to ask them directly, but maybe you need their email because you currently have no way of contacting them.

For business and school email addresses, you can sometimes guess at them based on their typical format. If John Smith’s email at XYZ Corporation is johnsmith@xyzcorp.com, then you can reasonably guess that Jane Doe’s email would be janedoe@xyzcorp.com. But it’s rarely this easy, and it usually is impossible to guess what email address someone chose, if they went with Gmail or Yahoo, and so on.

There are a few ways to search for email by name, though. Here are the best options:

Checking Their Social Media Profiles

Whenever you need information on someone, it’s best to start on any social media accounts they have. To start, see if they have profiles on the following sites:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

You’re more likely to have success finding emails on Facebook and LinkedIn, where there are specific fields for users to publicly share their email addresses, but some users also provide their emails in their other social media profiles.

Looking Them Up with a Search Engine

One option that can be very hit or miss is using a search engine. The more specific you can get with your search string, the better. The simplest option would be to enter the person’s first and last name, followed by the keyword “email” or “email address.” If you’re lucky, this will bring up what you need, but that’s unlikely if the person has a common name.

You could have more luck by entering info that narrows down the search a bit. For example, if you know where the person lives, you can enter that into your search. By entering more info, you’re more likely to find the person in a site that collects personal information and organizes it into listings. These listings can include a variety of info about a person, including their email.

Following a Trail of Clues

It can take a bit of detective work to track down a person’s email online. Use all the tools available to you and keep track of the information you find. You may be able to combine multiple resources to eventually find the email address.

For example, let’s say that you don’t have any success looking the person up on social media networks. To continue your search, you do the following:

  1. You input some basic information about them into a search engine, and it provides a Twitter account you hadn’t found.
  2. On that account, the person has listed a personal website.
  3. You go to the website, and they’ve listed their email address there.

As you can see, it took a few different tactics put together to find what you wanted. You may also have more success by refining your search terms as you get more information on the person. It takes some trial and error, but you never know when you’ll get a hit.

Using FreeBackgroundCheck.org

If you’re short on time or you just want to use the most thorough option right away, FreeBackgroundCheck.org has several email lookup tools that provide detailed listings on people. It’s also easy to use.

From the homepage, click the tab for whatever type of search you wish to perform. By default, a name search is available. You simply type in the person’s first and last name, along with their city and state, should you have that information. The site will then bring up any matches.

Once you find the person in the search results, you can click Access Report to view a report on the person, which will include all the information the site has about them. This often includes their email address.

  1. FreeBackgroundCheck.org also has other search options available if you want to look someone up through other means, such as their phone number. Or, if you received a strange email and you’re wondering who owns this email account, you can click the Email search tab to find the owner of an email.

Finding an Accurate Email Address

There’s no guarantee that you’ll find an email address for a person through the above methods, but in many cases, at least one of them will get you the information that you want. Once you’ve found the email address, you may want to test the waters and send a message asking if it belongs to the person you think. You wouldn’t want to send any private or sensitive information before you’re sure.