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How to Trace the Source of an Email

Finding the origin of an email has many advantages. Making sure you know exactly who sent the email before you open it can save your computer from being infested with viruses and spyware. This article will show you how to find the location of the computer which sent the email.

There are numerous email providers in the world. The focus here will be on the large providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL. If your provider is a different one you can read through the steps and see if you can find one of the examples that will work with your email provider.

Gmail

To see the senders IP address in Gmail you will need to open the original message. To do this you have to select the message you want to trace and click on the down arrow next to the reply button in the top right hand corner of the message and then select “show original” from the drop down menu.

When the new screen opens press ctrl + F to open a search box. Type “x-originating-IP” in the search box. Search for the highlighted text in the page. If this does not work type “Received from” in the search box. You will have to search for the highlighted text closest to the bottom of the page. Once you found the correct line of text, look for the IP address in block brackets, [192.186.0.1] or something similar. Copy the IP address and open a new tab. In the new tab search for IP2Location or type www.ip2location.com in your address bar. Find the live demo box on the right hand side of the page, paste the IP address in the text box and click find location. The website will then give you a list of everything associated with that IP address. Look for the Latitude/Longitude column and copy and paste the coordinates into Google maps. Google will show a map view of the sender’s location.

Yahoo

Yahoo works similar to Gmail. You just need to follow different steps to see the original message. Log into your Yahoo account and select the message you want to trace. Right click on the subject of the message and select “View full header” from the drop down menu.

After this step use the step explained in the second paragraph for Gmail.

Hotmail

To view the original message in Hotmail you have to right click the message and select “view message source” from the drop down menu.

After this step use the step explained in the second paragraph for Gmail.

AOL

In AOL you click on the action button in the top row and select “view message source” from the provided menu.

After this step use the step explained in the second paragraph for Gmail.

There are a lot of websites on the Internet that provide IP to location services. You will need to find the one that works the best for you. Some you have to pay for and others are free.

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