How Do I Ping an Email Address?

By Andrew Meer

The Command Prompt console in Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 lets you check the validity of an email address by pinging it. Once you get the list of MX (Mail Exchange) records for the domain of an email address, you can connect to the domain's mail server and communicate with the email address for verification. You must, however, turn on the Telnet remote access protocol before you can start the process.

Step 1

Press **Windows-R** to open the Run box, type **optionalfeatures**, and then press **Enter** to open the Windows Features panel. Check the box next to **Telnet Client**, and then click **OK** to turn on Telnet. Restart your computer to finalize the changes.

Step 2

Press **Windows-X**, and then select **Command Prompt** to open the Command Prompt console in Windows 8/8.1. On Windows 7, click the **Start** button, type **Command Prompt**, and then press **Enter**.

Step 3

Type **nslookup –type=mx domain.com** into the Command Prompt console, replacing **domain.com** with the domain of the email address that you need to ping. Press **Enter** to load the list of MX records for the domains, which you can find next to Mail Exchanger. For example, MX records read as **gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com** for Gmail, **mx1.hotmail.com** for Hotmail.com and Outlook.com, or **mta5.am0.yahoodns.net** for Yahoo.com.

Step 4

Use the Telnet protocol to connect to the domain's mail server. For example, when connecting to Gmail, enter **Telnet gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com 25**, where you can swap **gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com** with any of the other Gmail MX records. Press **Enter** to connect.

Step 5

Type **HELO**, and then press **Enter** to communicate with domain's mail server. Next, type **mail from:youremail@address.com**, replacing **youremail@address.com** with your email address. Press **Enter**, and then type **rcpt to:checkemail@address.com**, replacing **checkemail@address.com** with the email address that you need to ping.

Step 6

Press **Enter** to ping. If the email address exists, you receive an "OK" message. If the email address isn't valid, you get a "Does Not Exist" or "Disabled" message.

Tips & Warnings

  • Websites such as VerifyEmailAddress.org, Email-Checker.com and Email-Validator.net (links in Resources) let you verify email addresses without you having to input any commands.
  • To turn off Telnet after pinging an email address, open the Windows Features panel, uncheck **Telnet**, and then click **OK**.