Best Email Search and Reverse Lookup Tools


This article explains how to run an email search and reverse email search to find a person. First, let’s talk about email in general before we get to the best email address search tools.

What is Email?

Email is short for Electronic Mail.  It is the exchange of electronic messages and computer files through a telecommunications network such as the Internet or mobile device.

An email address is a series of letters, words, and symbols that identify a user so that he/she can receive Internet email messages. An email address usually consists of a name that identifies the user to the mail server, followed by an @ sign and the hostname and domain name of the mail server. The standard format is username@domain name (for example,

The Best Resources for Finding Someone’s Email Address

The following are some of the best resources for running an email address search, conducting reverse email address searches, or learning about types of accounts and service providers. Most are free email address search tools, while others are available for a small fee.

If you have the first and last names, you’ll get the best results by running an online People Search using BeenVerified. This simple online tool will search billions of public records in seconds. You can search by name, phone number, email address, or property address. Search for a specific city and state, or search the entire country.

Enter the information in the online form and click search to run a search. You’ll get a list of possible matches, and you can dig deeper into each result.

The other option is the BeenVerified email search tool. Use Intelius to search quickly to find the person you’re looking for. Go to the form, enter the person’s first name, last name, and city/state, then click search.

Email Service Providers

  • AOL – Service from the once-popular America Online.
  • GMail – Gmail, from Google, is built on the idea that email can be more intuitive, efficient, and useful.  Gmail offers free email accounts.
  • Hotmail – Microsoft Hotmail is no longer active.
  • Inbox – Inbox allows you to send and receive attachments up to 20MB, easily organize your messages, quickly find archived messages, view full conversations, and compose and read messages.
  • – is a free service with free forwarding.
  • Yahoo – Yahoo! Mail is a free webmail service provided by Yahoo!. It is currently the largest web-based email service, followed closely by its competitor, Windows Live Hotmail. However, Yahoo had multiple data breaches in the past that exposed millions of users to identity theft.

Other Search Tools

  •— is not a search site, but it may help you find people. Use the website to reconnect with old friends, reunite with classmates, find family members, track down lost loves, military buddies, etc.
  • – Spokeo aggregates information about people from different public record sources and then compiles all this information into a single, easy-to-use, and understandable report.
  • Switchboard– Switchboard can be used to find accounts using an online search form. Now owned by
  • ZabaSearch –  ZabaSearch is an easy-to-use search engine with various public record search tools. This site is one of our favorites.

Tips from the Pros: Getting Better Search Results

Start by doing a simple Google search. Google won’t dig down into the data on these various sites, but a person’s email address may appear on a social media profile, a website, a comment box, an article, a chat room, or elsewhere. A Google search should be a part of any search effort due to its comprehensive indexing of web content.

Another expert tip is using various sites and databases to access different data sets. The information you’re looking for may not be found on one site but may come upon another.

Try to enter as much information as possible in the search form. It’s ok to enter partial information if that is all you have. For example, you may know that someone’s first initial is “J.” Try searching for the initial and the last name. Also, try leaving the first name blank.

Try variations of a person’s name. If a subject’s first name is Joseph, try searching for Joseph and Joe. In addition, try using their nickname if they have one. If the name is hyphenated, try searching with and without the hyphen.

Consider looking for family members, relatives, friends, and known associates. Sometimes, you might be able to locate someone by getting in touch with someone who knows them.

What Do Private Detectives need to know?

Billions of email addresses worldwide generate trillions of emails each year. A recent study noted that 72% of email users have multiple accounts. When possible, private investigators need to know how to look up email addresses, run a reverse search, and match an email address to a name.

In addition, private investigators need to know how to decipher the critical components of an email message, especially the headers, and how to trace the path of an email.

If you know of other resources that may help run an email search, please comment below. If you’re interested in learning more about how to find people, read about how to use the white pages to find people.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


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