How can I find out the IP address of someone using webmail?

Joseph Monticciolo April 10, 2012
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I would like to know if it’s possible to find the IP address of a sender as it concerns web based email services such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Zoho etc.

  1. mango wodzak
    April 15, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    one simple solution is to sign up with whoreadme.com

    once you have an account set up with them, you can then send an email to the person in question, but append ".whoreadme.com" to the end of their email address. once they open their email, you will receive notification that the email was opened, and details of the persons ip address and physical location.

  2. FIDELIS
    April 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Hello, have you tried checking the email message headers? The following link will show you how to view email message headers in several web based email providers.  Keep in mind that gmail encrypts the email sender address because of their policy.

    http://www.johnru.com/active-whois/headers-yahoo-gmail-hotmail-aol.html#Gmail

    Email headers should work as long as smtp was used.  If an email was sent using gmail webmail, chances are you will not be able to see the address.  Here is another link:

     http://aruljohn.com/info/howtofindipaddress/

  3. Mike
    April 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Your only chance is to look at the raw data or (at least) full header of the email you received. The first "hop" (undermost received header) may contain the users IP address.

    While Gmail does not "forward" the clients IP address some others do ~ I can't verify for the other providers since I don't have an account there.

    Not quite sure how useful the IP address would be in the first place. With people having dynamic IP addresses, some even using proxies or VPN you may not get any valuable information from that.

  4. Carpenter__RichardCarpenter
    April 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    You use to be able to look at the header of the email and see the ip addresses the email pass through, but with a web app it will not show the IP address of the user (just the providers IPs). There is no way to get it that way... atleast no legit or legal way.

    Why are you needing someones IP address? There are only a few reasons to need that info, alot of them not good....

    • Bruce Epper
      April 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

      If they are doing it through a browser, their IP may or may not show up depending on the webmail service itself.

      If they are accessing it through POP or IMAP by using a desktop client, the client will put in the IP address of the machine that it is running on and you can see the entire chain of handoffs from one end to the other.

      If they are using an anonymizer, it may strip out those IP addresses (depending on how the service is set up).  Any other proxy servers or VPNs will normally leave that data intact.

      I guess in the long run, the overall answer to the original question becomes "It depends".

      • Carpenter__RichardCarpenter
        April 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm

        Yes, I was trying to not to go too deep with my answer.  My certs don't help too much if I can't word anything :)

        I look at the headers on my email quiet a bit, and your right it just depends.

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