Tell me if this has happened to you. You receive an email from someone, and you cannot figure out the sender’s identity. They may be an old friend, a relative, a colleague, or just an acquaintance. The email doesn’t contain enough information to identify the sender, and it feels rude to ask them. This is a situation that most of us have experienced in our lives, at least once. Well, with reverse email lookup services, you can easily solve this problem. They can help you dig information about the sender using just their email. So, if you want to save yourself from such embarrassing situations, read to find out how to find an email sender’s identity and location using reverse email lookup in 2021.
Reverse Email Lookup: Find Email Sender’s Identity in 2021
A reverse email lookup tool is a service that helps you search for a person’s details using only their email address. There are several tools and methods that you can use to figure out a sender’s identity using their email. We will list them down starting with the free resources and then move on to the paid ones.
These methods work with any email service provider including Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, Rediff mail, and mails with custom domain names. We have added a table of contents for all the methods mentioned on this list. You can click on them to jump within the article:
1. Do a Simple Google Search
Google Search has become a powerhouse of a search engine, complete with an ever growing list of Google tips and tricks, and there is almost nothing that it cannot find. If you want to find the user behind an email address, the first thing you should do is search for it on Google. Google will extract and reveal any information that it can find on that account. Since most of the free email users use Gmail as their email service provider, Google can provide you with their information.
It can track any social media accounts linked to that email, find out their LinkedIn profile, and more. It’s the easiest way to find out information about an email account. And if Google doesn’t work, you can try out some of the Google alternatives that might be able to the job done.
2. Reverse Email Search on Facebook and Other Social Media Websites
Seeing how people happily share their personal information on Facebook, it is the best place to find information on people. Facebook’s search box allows you to search for people using their email ID. Copy and paste the email ID in Facebook’s search window and hit the search button. If a sender is using the same email ID for their Facebook account, their name will appear in the search result.
You can check out the sender’s photos and basic information. However, there is one drawback to this method. Since Facebook’s privacy setting allows users to disallow people from searching for them using email ID, you might not get a result. You can disable this for your Facebook account as well, or better yet, completely delete your Facebook account if you don’t want people to find information about you on Facebook.
Still, it’s an easy and free method to start your search from. Similar to Facebook, other Facebook alternatives and social media sites like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter also allow you to search for people using their email ID. Chances are most of the times you will find the sender’s details using at least one of these social media platforms. You can also use a website like Lullar which automatically searches for your query on multiple social media platforms at once.
You might not always get direct results from Lullar, but it will definitely help you navigate to all the different social media platforms’ search pages with your query typed in already for you.
3. Using Email Clients that Automatically Extract Sender Information
Probably the best way to keep track of all the emails that you are receiving and the persons who are sending them is by using a dedicated email client that automatically extracts the sender’s information and displays it right beside the email. Since I am using a Mac, my favorite email client that does it is Polymail (free trial, $13/month/user). If Polymail doesn’t suit your taste, you can also take a look at our list of the best macOS email clients.
Polymail is perfect for me for many reasons, but today, I am mentioning it here because it is the best email client for extracting and displaying the sender’s information. You don’t have to go anywhere to perform a complex search. All the information that you need is right there. Take a look at the picture below to see how Polymail displays sender information.
While Polymail is now available on Windows as well, you can check out MailBird (free trial, $19.5/year) on Windows as well.
It’s not as functional as Polymail but it has some of its functionalities. For example, MailBird allows you to directly look up emails on LinkedIn to find information on its sender. Again, MailBird might not be as feature rich as Polymail, but it’s still better than having nothing at all. Alternatively, you can check out some of the best email clients for Windows 10.
4. Using Browser Extensions
Another way to do a reverse email search is by using browser extensions for Chrome or the browser that you’re using. There are many browser extensions that can help you find the sender’s information when you open the email in your browser.
One of the extensions I’d recommend is called ‘Clearbit Connect’ (download). This is a handy extension that also installs a Gmail add-on so you can identify email senders easily. The extensions handily provides reverse email lookup right beside the email.
The free version of Clearbit Connect offers 100 reverse email lookups every month, which should be plenty for most users. It even identifies the company that the sender works at, and you can see more of the company’s employees as well.
If Clearbit Connect is not working for your then there are many alternatives which you can check out. There used to be an extension called Rapportive a few years ago, but it’s no longer useful for finding email sender info. You can check out our list of Rapportive alternatives to find other extensions that can identify email sender in 2021. These extensions work with all of the best free email providers online, like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo and even custom domain email addresses.
My favorite such extension is “Contact+ for Gmail” (free, $8.33/month). It works flawlessly and always comes up with some information that can be used to identify the sender.
5. Use Reverse Email Search Engines
If the above four methods do not work and you still don’t want to ask the sender who they are, you have one last resort to find their identity. There are various reverse email search or reverse people search engines which allows you to find out the information about someone by just using their email address. However, one drawback with using reverse email search engine is that generally they are paid.
That being said, over the past few years, many free people search engines have cropped up and they work great. You can check out our full list of email or people search engines by clicking on the link. The services mentioned on this list include Pipl (visit), BeenVerified (visit), Spokeo (visit), and more. All of them employ different search parameters hence the results will vary depending on the service you are using.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How Does Reverse Email Lookup Work?
There are many ways to trace back an email address. When we do a Google search or Facebook search, they use the data that users themselves have provided to provide you the information. Facebook allows you to disable finding your account using your email address. But you have to manually enable it. If you haven’t enabled this feature, anyone can use the email to find your profile.
On the other hand, services that specialize in reverse email lookup have the databases that they create by scraping websites like Facebook, Google, and more. Since they are using more advanced algorithms, they can gather more information than we can find by doing a simple search. Also, they consolidate all the data in one place, allowing users to make one search and find all the possible hits.
Q. Is there a free reverse email search?
Yes and no. If you use free tools like Facebook and Google, you don’t have to pay any money. Other reverse email look-up providers give you some data for free and charge for the full results. Some restrict you by the number of searches you can make in a month. If you only need to trace emails once in a while, the free versions will serve you well.
Q. Are there any international reverse email lookup services?
While most services focus more on the US market. They do work for people living in other countries. The results depend more on how actively that email address is being used than on the country of origin.
Q. Can you trace a Gmail email?
Yes, all the methods mentioned in this article work with Gmail email addresses.
Q. Can you reverse lookup an email address?
Yes, if you use all the methods mentioned in this article, you will be able to reverse lookup the email address.
Use Reverse Email Lookup to Extract Sender’s Details
The five methods mentioned above should help you find an email sender’s identity, unless the sender is using a fake email address. In that case, no search or lookup service can tell you any information about the sender. However, considering most of the people will be using these services just to get a little more information about the sender, who in most cases will be a real person, these methods will help them figure out the required information. Try these methods and let us know if this worked out for you or not by dropping them in the comments section below.