It is the age of instant messages and emails. Millions of emails are sent everyday over the Internet and everyone gets a lot of them. The worst part about the ever growing reach of Internet is that a majority of emails sent over the Internet today are either abusive in nature or are spam/phishing/spoofing mails.
Whenever an email arrives in your inbox, it comes with many additional information including IP address of the sender. Locating the IP address of the sender of the email can come handy in many situations, for example – you can report this to the server admin, from where the email was originated or can keep a digital proof of this in case you want to register an official complaint about the sender. Checking the IP address of email sender is not so much effective in all the situations, especially when the email was sent directly from a top-level email provider like Gmail or Yahoo. In this case, you will not have sufficient information to pinpoint the exact sender of the email. Still you can give it a try assuming the mail was sent from an independent domain.
If you ever received a spam/abuse mail and felt like checking IP address of the sender who has sent the mail, here are the steps for it :
( We are taking Gmail as the example email service here but the steps are similar for all the major email providers. You can search for options like – Show Original or Show Header in your mailbox for locating email header)
1. Login to your Gmail Inbox and open the email for which you want to track the IP address.
2. Click on the dropdown menu on the extreme right of the email and select “Show Original”.
3. A separate browser tab will now open with the email header in a raw format and looks like below
Once the email header is opened, search for occurrence of string “Received: from” (highlighted in RED above). If the email thread has a lot of mails in it, the string can occur a number of time. Locate the last occurrence of this string. At the end of the line of this string, you will find an IP address enclosed in brackets.
Voila ! You have successfully found the IP address of the email sender. Once you have the IP address of the sender of email, you can use free online service like who.is to find out additional information about the IP address.