How to Find Out Who an Email Address Belongs to for Free

By Techwalla Contributor

When I get an email from an email address I do not recognize, the first thing I want to know is:"How do i find out who an email address belongs to". I want to know who the email is from before opening it and I want a free tool to do it with, not one that I have to pay for.Nowadays there is so much junk mail going around, that you don't want to open an email unless you know who it is from. Who knows if the email might contain a virus or spyware or is just a large file I don't want clogging my computer.There are actually several ways to find out who an email address belongs to for free. Read the steps below to find out how.

Step 1

Check your email address books. This might sound obvious, but nowadays, people have so many email addresses, each one with their own address book. Sometimes we forget an email address that we have saved in one of our address books. So before going crazy, check out all your address books. (Free and easy way to find out if you know the person sending you the email.)

Step 2

Read the subject of the email. This might sound obvious, but if I want to know who an email address belongs to, I often look at the subject line. Many people will write their name in the subject line, especially if they are writing from an email address they do not usually write from. Many people have various free email addresses and switch off which ones they write from.

Step 3

Look at the first part of the email address (before the @).Many times there is a part of a first or last name you might recognize. So analyze the first part of the email address and see if you recognize either a first or last name in there. Common email forms include:* Many email addresses add numbers to the end of the email address to make the address unique. Just ignore them.* First initial and last name (so take off the first letter and see if you recognize the rest of the email name)* Partial last name (especially if the last name is very long)* Initials of first name, middle name & last name (so if you get an email address like "BRF2009@blablablabla.com" try to think if you know anyone whose initials are B.R.F.)

Step 4

Look at the domain name of the email address.The next step in how to know who email addresses belong to is to look at the domain name.Do you recognize the domain name?Does the domain name look similar to a company you know?Domain names are very inexpensive nowadays, so companies and individuals buy them freely. The domain name might belong to a friend of yours who purchased a private domain name so see if the domain name resembles a first and/or last name of your friend (see step above).

Step 5

Search a for the email address in Google. See if any webpages come up with that email address.

Step 6

Search for the domain name in Google. See if there is a website associated with the domain name. Is it a website for a company that you know? Is it a website of a friends' blog?

Step 7

View all the headers in the email address.Depending on your email program or software, there are different ways to do this, but by viewing all the headers, you will get insight into who the email address belongs to.

Step 8

Look up the IP address.Do an IP address search to find out where the email originates from. See if you recognize the location.

Step 9

Do a domain name look up search on the domain name of the email address. (Search google for "domain name look up"). This will return you information on who the domain name belongs to.

Step 10

Reverse email search. There are various services online that let you do reverse email searches. Look them up in Google. Some will charge money, but some offer at least partial information for free (or a free limited time membership).

Tips & Warnings

  • Before doing all kinds of searches, look at the email address address closely - that is the first step in answering the question: "how do i find out who an email address belongs to"