Finding somebody’s email address can be difficult because unlike phone numbers and physical addresses, there’s not a phonebook-like database of email addresses. However, there are a few tips you can employ that will make your email-finding process easier.

Find an Email Address With a Search Engine

Google or another search engine is a great place for finding all sorts of information, and if the tool you use has advanced searching capabilities, finding an email address can be easy.

When you use a search engine to find someone’s email address, you’re able to quickly sift through a huge database of websites at once. This is the best way to find anybody’s email address, so it should be your very first method.

However, it’d be next to impossible to move through all those websites by hand to find each email address, and then filter through all those addresses to find the one you’re after. It’s important, then, to use any tools available to you to narrow down the results.

With Google, for example, you can use search operators to get really specific about the person you’re looking for. Here’s one example if you were looking for Jerry Carl’s Gmail address:

“@gmail.com” AND “Jerry Carl”

Of course, adding any other relevant information might be helpful. If you know where this person works or lives, or anything else about him or her that might show up alongside his email address on an online profile of him, use it here.

Here are some other examples of using Google to find anybody’s email address:

  • “@yahoo.com” AND “new york” AND “Pat Neises”
  • “@aol.com” OR “@hotmail.com” “Colorado State University” AND “Elizabeth”

If you’re sure which email provider they use — whether it’s Outlook.com, Gmail.com, Yahoo.com, etc. — you can try each of them separately or with the OR option like shown above.

Search Their Website for Email Addresses

Does this person have their own website? Maybe they go to a specific school and you suspect that their email address is posted somewhere on the school’s website. There are a few ways to can narrow down your email search to just one particular website.

The first is to use a search engine or the website’s search function. For instance, head over to Google and enter site:example.com “@gmail.com” AND “Mary” to help find Mary’s Gmail account. This type of search is limited to example.com only, so you can change it to whatever website their address might be listed on.

Another way to gather email addresses from a website is with an email scraper like VoilaNorbert. Just enter the person’s first and last name along with the website URL to get a list of matching email addresses. You get 50 successful searches for free.

Guess the Email Address

Sure, you may have already thought about doing this, but there are a few tips you should know that can help you guess someone’s email address.

If you already know their username (the part before @), go ahead and try all the domains you can think of. For example, if the person’s username is texas4life1991, try adding @gmail.com, @outlook.com, @hotmail.com, @aol.com, @yahoo.com, etc., until one works.

However, if you’re not so lucky to know their username, start by guessing things you know about them, such as their birthdate or graduation date. Lots of people like to use those facts in their username, but if not, maybe it’s just as simple as their first and last name.

Here are some examples if we consider the person’s name to be Christina Rodriguez.

Also consider small changes like underscores or hyphens. The username might instead be christina.rodriguez, rodriguezchristina, or christina_rodriguez.

If this person goes to your school or a university that you know the domain for, try something simple like their name with the school’s address for the domain.

For instance, if Christina goes to school at Colorado State University (colostate.edu), her email address probably ends with @colostate.edu. In this case, you could try all the username tips from above but end the address with this domain instead of a public one like Gmail or Yahoo.

Tip: Schools often use the first letter of the first name, such as crodriguez, but might sometimes shorten the last name, too. You might try chrrod or chr.rodriguez.

If you’re having troubles coming up with possible usernames, plug the person’s name into Email Permutator+ and have it generate a bunch of possible addresses.

Find Email Addresses With Pipl

Pipl is a “people search” tool that will gather all the information it finds on someone into one page, for free. All you have to do is make a free user account to see the results.

This tool might show you someone’s email address but will most likely reveal their online presence instead, which you can then use to do further research. Once you’ve landed on somebody’s social media profile, for example, you can most likely email them there or find their email address posted publicly on their page.

All you need to know about someone to use Pipl is their name, username, or phone number. A location will be much more helpful, but it’s not required. After performing the search, the results can be filtered by location and age.

Find a Past Email That Includes Their Address

Don’t forget not to overlook the obvious: open an email they’ve already sent you. If you’re trying to find someone’s email address so that you can send them a message, but you don’t have them in your contact list, do a quick search through all your emails for a message from the person. In the email is a record of their email address.

Most email providers have a large search tool at the top of the page where you can enter details about the message you’re looking for, like the subject, details in the recipient’s email signature, their name, etc. Enter anything you know about the person and see if an old message appears.

When you open the email, look for the details area where you can see when the email arrived, who it was sent to, and who sent it. The “from” address is what you’re looking for.