How Do You Trace an Email?

How Do You Trace an Email?

Trace an email back to an Internet protocol address and approximate location through its Internet service provider. However, you cannot get specific names or addresses with the trace. Emails using Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail and AOL can all be traced using an IP address.

  1. Search the header

    Routing and IP address origination can be found in the header of an email. The header location depends on the email client. In Outlook, right click the message from the Inbox menu and click Message Options. This opens a window with the headers at the bottom. For Windows Live, right click the email from the Inbox and click Properties. Select the Details tab. In Gmail, open the email, click the diagonal arrow near the word Reply in the upper right corner, and choose the Show Original option. For Hotmail, right click the memo and choose View Message Source. In Yahoo mail, right click the note, and click View Full Headers. For AOL, click Action, followed by View Message Source.

  2. Find a lookup service

    Once you have found the IP address, record it, and navigate to a free IP lookup service on your preferred browser. For example, go to, and click on IP Lookup.

  3. Conduct the search

    For WhatIsMyIP, enter the IP address in the search box, and click Lookup. If using another IP trace service, follow the instructions provided there. With this trace, you can find information that includes the city, host, region, state, ZIP code, country name and code, time zone, longitude and latitude, ISP, domain name and net speed.