How Do I Check the Availability of an Email Address?

By Irene A. Blake

Beyond serving as a point of contact for electronic messages, an email address also acts as an online identifier that people associate with a person or business. To find out if an address that best represents you is available, check it through an email provider or online search tool.

Sign Up for a Service

Any service provider's automated system will tell you if an address already exists during the new account signup process. If you can’t get the exact address you want, check the availability of different variations of the username. Abbreviate or change the spelling of the name, and/or modify it with one or more capital letters, numbers and/or special characters, such as asterisks, exclamation points or periods.

Log in to a Service

You can sometimes check the status of a new address by attempting to log in to an existing account with it instead of the one you already use. Type the new address in the “Username,” “User ID” or “Email Address” field and enter your existing password. Additionally, you can sometimes receive confirmation from your current service provider when retrieving or resetting an existing password. Click a password help option on the login screen, such as “I Can’t Access My Account” or “Forgot Your Password?,” and then attempt to retrieve/reset your password with the new address.

Use a Verification Tool

Several websites offer tools that perform online address searches, such as’s Email Address Checker, TechStroke’s Email Availability Checker and’s Free Email Address Search Reverse Search tool (links in Resources). Enter the new address when prompted and press your keyboard's “Enter” key.