Best Email Search and Reverse Lookup Tools

Email search tools
Learn how to search for email addresses and find the person you're looking for.

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

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 name and last name, you’ll get the best results by running an online People Search using BeenVerified. This simple online tool will search through billions of public records in just a few 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.

To run a search, just enter the information in the online form and click search. You’ll get a list of possible matches and you can dig deeper into the results for each.

The other option we recommend is the Intelius email search tool. Use Intelius to conduct a quick search to find the person you’re looking for. Just go to the form, enter the person’s first name, last name, and the 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Hotmail – Microsoft Hotmail is no longer active.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, compose and read messages. – is a free service with free forwarding. Many interesting addresses to choose from

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 maybe a helpful place to look for 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 records sources and then compiles all this information into a single report that is easy to use and understand.

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 that provides a variety of 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 show up on a social media profile, a website, in a comment box, in an article, a chat room, or elsewhere. A Google search should be a part of any search effort due to its broad indexing of web content.

Another expert tip is to use various sites and databases to access different sets of data. 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 that first 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?

There are billions of email addresses in the world that generate trillions of emails each year. A recent study noted that 72% of people who use email have more than one account. Private investigators need to know how to look up email addresses, how to run a reverse search, and match an email address to a name, when possible.

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

If you know of any other resources that may be helpful to run an email search, please leave a 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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