How to Find Anybody's Email Address

6 tips for locating someone's email address

Man looking through a keyhole.
John Wieringa / EyeEm/GettyImages

Finding an email address can prove difficult if you're not even sure where to start, but it's usually fairly easy if you know at least a few details about the person.

You might want to find someone's email address if you used to contact them over email but have since lost their address. Maybe you've already tried finding their phone number and so are looking for another way to contact them.

No matter the reason for wanting to locate an email address, there are several methods you can employ to take a whack at it. Some are more helpful than others depending on who owns the email address, but it's best to try every method for the fullest approach.

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Search for the Email Address on Social Media

Screenshot of a public email address found on Facebook
Public Email Address on Facebook.

Everyone needs an email address to make an account on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, so you might be able to scour the person's account for an email address.

Visit each of those websites, or any others that you know or suspect that they use, and search for the person by name, age, school, company, hometown, etc.

Even if a person's profile page isn't public, they might allow their email address to remain visible to anyone so that someone who isn't a friend or follower on the site can still contact them.

If you're not sure what social media sites they use, if any, try performing a simple name and location search on Pipl. Results will show any known social media sites associated with that person.

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Use a Web Search Engine to Find Their Email Address

Screenshot showing how to search for anybody's email address on Google
Email Addresses Found With Google.

You might have luck finding the person's email address through a web search. A web search engine can check millions of websites in seconds, so it's by far one of the best ways to search for something as specific as an email address.

Use a large and extensive search engine like Google to garner the best results. There are tons of advanced Google Search commands you can try to narrow down the results.

For example, putting the person's name in quotes (e.g., "Sally Holmes") refines the results to show only instances where both the first and last name are present. However, if the individual you're looking for has a common name, like "John Smith," you're going to need some additional information.

If you know more about the person, such as their hometown and birth year, you could try adding those other parameters to the search, like this: "Sally Holmes" AND "Brooklyn" AND "1992".

If that proves successful but there are too many results, you can even add in one or more domains that correspond with popular email services, like this: "gmail.com" OR "yahoo.com" OR "outlook.com".

In some cases, you might have more luck searching for mailto, too, but doing so will probably drastically cut down on the results (which might not help).

This method will most likely show lots of email addresses. To confirm whether the address you find is the one you want, open the page the email address is found on and look for any context that would point to the person in question.

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Check Web Directories or White Pages for the Email Address

Phil Ashley/Getty Images

From public records and white pages to web directories, there are email address repositories that you can find on the internet.

For example, you might have luck finding an email address with Whitepages so long as you know the person's name and location.

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Guess Somebody's Email Address

Screenshot of email address syntax information on Email Format
Email Format.

Most organizations do not let people choose email addresses freely but instead assign them by name. You can take advantage of that by assuming the email address using some syntax guessing. Of course, you have to know where the person works for this to be effective.

Try separating the individual's first and last name with a period. If you look at a company's email directory online and everyone's email starts with their first initial and the first three letters of their last name, you can try this combination.

For example, if the addresses on the company website are all in the format firstinitial.lastname@company.com, John Smith's would be j.smith@business.com.

However, if you see on a company's website that an employee named John Smith uses the address john.sm@company.com, it's likely that all the other employees follow that same pattern. So, the email address for someone named Emma Osner would probably be emma.os@company.com.

Email Format is a website that can do the guessing for you after you enter the website name.

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Use an Email Scraper to Locate an Email Address

Screenshot showing how to use an email scraper to find email addresses
VoilaNorbert.

Programs exist that can scour a web page or even an entire website for email addresses, and then give you a list of what was found. These can be helpful if the email address you need is hidden behind a form or might exist somewhere on the website but you don't have time to look yourself.

One example of such a tool is Email Extractor, a Google Chrome extension that runs in your browser to find email addresses on the page you're viewing.

Another is VoilaNorbert, which is free for the first few dozen successful searches. Enter a name and the website domain, and it will spit out any email address that matches that criteria. It works a lot like Hunter.

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Search the Dark Web

Picture of a man sitting in front of a computer with a black screen and random code

Photo by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇭🇨🇦 on Unsplash

It may have a scary name — Hidden Web, Invisible Web, Dark Web — but it contains a treasure-trove of information if you know where to look.

There are plenty of not-so-well-known search engines that are designed to search the Dark Web, including Wayback Machine (helpful when the site is no longer live), Pipl, Zabasearch, and others.

Some of these websites require registration, and some may offer only limited information without a fee. Remember where you are and don't be eager to enter your payment information.