Tracing an email to the Sender

If you are harassed or defamed through an anonymous email account, you might be looking for a way to trace an email location to find the sender. If you trace an email location, you can find out where the sender is based. An IP will give you an approximate location, which may help you rule in or rule out some of your suspects. To trace an email location you need to find the sender’s IP address. This can be done in several ways, depending on the email provider of the anonymous email address. 

If the anonymous email is Gmail, you most likely won’t find the IP address in the email header. In some cases though, it might include the sender’s IP address. To check, follow these Gmail tracing steps. If you are dealing with a Yahoo email address, follow these steps. If it is a Protonmail email address, you won’t find an IP address easily. Not even through a subpoena. If this is the case, or you can’t locate an IP through the email header, you have two other options which we will get into further in this article. 

Trace email location to a VPNRemember that if the individual harassing you is smart enough, he or she might hide behind a VPN or proxy. In this case, the IP address will give you a false location. If you found an IP address and are unsure if it is a VPN, run it through This is an excellent source to find out if an IP is a VPN.

What does an email location trace tell you

The Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of standards for addressing and routing data on the Internet.

An IP address will give you basic details about the:

  • Internet Service Provider 
  • Hostname
  • Country 
  • Region/State
  • City 
  • The estimated latitude and longitude of the location
  • The area code for that region

An email location trace by IP won’t give you a street name, or phone number. Only an approximate location. 

Trace an Email Location through a Subpoena

If you traced the IP, you can subpoena the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to request customer information. Otherwise, you first have to subpoena the Email Provider to obtain the IP addresses, and then you can subpoena the ISP. The ISP’s data is critical and will lead you to the identity of the email sender. 

To serve a subpoena, you need to file a civil lawsuit against “John or Jane Doe”. The problem with civil lawsuits is that you are “telegraphing your punches“, you are letting the email sender know that you’re coming for them. Email providers and ISPs are very reluctant to provide this information and in most cases will give the account holder 30 days to file a resistance. By law in the US, an unknown defendant acting as John or Jane Doe is allowed to respond anonymously to challenge the subpoena. 

This makes serving a subpoena a very costly and time-consuming process, but it may eventually lead you to the email sender’s front door. 

We prepare subpoenas for our clients’ lawyers or law enforcement on a daily basis. We know exactly what to ask for and how to ask for this data to reduce the chance of the ISP returning incomplete information. 

I need a subpoena

Trace an Email Location through Cyber Investigators

As stated above, the problem with serving a subpoena is that the email sender will know you are coming for him or her. But if you trace an email location through us, we can identify the sender without them expecting it.  

To identify the individuals behind anonymous emails, our cyber investigators apply a combination of high-tech expertise and old-fashioned instinct. This process is in almost all cases cheaper and faster than serving a subpoena to the email provider. Especially when you have a suspect. We have ways to confirm whether the suspect is the email sender or not. If it is the same person, you don’t need to subpoena and confront the individual directly, through the police, or in court. 

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