Find Out Where An Email Really Came From

By | March 2, 2013
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We all get spam. Sometimes the spam looks like it came from a friend or someone we know. Sometimes it looks like it came from a company we trust or a store at which we’ve shopped. Wouldn’t you like to know where an email really came from? You can find out.

All the information about an email is in its headers. But email headers can be confusing – they are not structured to be read by us humans. Headers are made for computers to read and not us to read which means it’s pretty difficult for you or I to sit down and analyze Email headers without getting a header ache….er I mean headache.

We’ve found a site that will read the headers of an email for you and tell you from whence it came. It’s really easy to use. All you have to do is copy the email’s header information and paste it into a form on . In a few seconds you’ll see the entire route the email took as it passed through mail servers along the way. You’ll see where it originated and (yes EB you know where it ended up). It’s a great tool that can help you find out where an email came from, and to help you learn about email headers too.

The next time you get an email you think is a little fishy, investigate it. Be an email Sherlock Holmes. Use the email header parsing tool available free at  .

13 thoughts on “Find Out Where An Email Really Came From

  1. E Muriel Schlecht

    Thank you for this website. I often check headers of suspicious emails before I open them, by using “properties”. For many years I was able to copy and paste headers and forward them along with “phishing” emails to the designated approprite email address (ex. spoof@paypal dot com). However since Verizon started scanning (censoring) all my outgoing email without the abaility to turn them OFF, I can’t forward those occasional phishing emails to anyone…not to Verizon or even the FBI site set up for doing just that. It comes back with a canned “threatening message”
    from Verizon. I have been livid about this email censorship for years, and it’s only gotten worse because
    too many people think getting SPAM is worse than protecting our freedom of personal choice (delete key)or protecting ourselves from censorship. A mailman, or you and I would be put in jail for tampering with personal mail.

  2. Robyn Walker

    Thank you.. thank you once again to you both for keeping us informed…it’s very true our freedom is being violated in many ways that soon we won’t have any freedom at all.. thank you and bless you both for looking after us always:)
    Robyn (Aussierob)

  3. Mary

    After many years of using Outlook Express I am now learning to use Outlook as my email prog. It may be a dumb question but can you please tell me how to find the header information in an Outlook email. Also I use a program called Mail Washer to look at my email before I d/l it / magic program. cheers Mary

    1. E Muriel Schlecht

      I have a version of Outlook that came with MS Office. It’s an older version. I have outlook set up to open showing the “from – subject – received” columns. From that list, when you highlight an email, simply right-slick on it and you’ll see the email header window. Just use the scroll arrow in that window to see the whole thing.

      1. E Muriel Schlecht

        Oops. I’m sorry. Right click on email, then select options. Then you’ll see the email header

        1. Mary

          Thank you so much for your reply Muriel, just now remembered that I had asked the question

  4. Linda

    Can you read the headers in Gmail with this site??? I can see them in my other email account, but not in Gmail.

    1. David

      To see the headers in Gmail click on the drop-down link above the email where you would normally select Reply/Forward and select Show Original. You’ll be able to copy the headers from there.

  5. Melinda Kurtz

    Where do I find the email header? I hasve the title and the email address from the person that send it. I am confused. Please help.

  6. Amy DeMeo

    Recently I’ve received a few emails that when I try to put them in junk and block them, I get a pop notice that says they can’t be blocked because they do not have the normal email address format. This has never happened to me…can you explain this pls?

  7. Linda

    In order to see the Header in Gmail, one would have to open it first and then see who it actually came from. In the case of “spam” that would indicate to the sender that their email was opened which is something that I would rather not do. So, in essence, that would not work for those who want to find out first who the sender was.

  8. Alice Visilia

    I have a email that was sent to me from a fake email account. How can I find out who sent it or where it was sent from?

    1. infoave Post author

      Alice, this is exactly what the article you’re commenting on shows you how to do.


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