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If I'm going to receive/send email through Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo, would I be able to see the IP of the sender? I know there's nothing to do with the IP but would it give away the location from where I'm sending emails? Just curious if such email providers send this information.

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migrated from superuser.com Oct 10 '12 at 14:52

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3 Answers

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Short answer: Yes (at least if the sender used an email program).

Long answer: Each email message contains a number of headers, which describe things like the sender's and recipients' email addresses, where the message originated from, and so on. As the message passes through SMTP servers, which relay it to the recipient(s), each of them adds a Received field to the header. The last (because new fields are prepended to the existing header) such field, then, should show the IP address of the sender. However, if the sender used web-based email (as opposed to an email client like Outlook or Windows Live Mail), then the first Received field often contains just the IP address of the email server, rather than the sender. (At least that's the case with Gmail, according to this article.)

Some email providers might also use other header fields. For instance, Outlook.com (aka Hotmail) at one time used the X-Originating-IP header.


To see the headers of an email message yourself, you can do the following:

  • in Outlook.com, open the message, click Actions and select "View message source"

    enter image description here

  • in Gmail, click on the More button (next to the Reply arrow) and select "Show original"

    enter image description here

  • in Windows Live Mail, right-click on the message and select Properties, then go to the Details tab

  • in Mozilla Thunderbird, double-click the message to open it in a new window, then go to View → Headers → All

    enter image description here
    (image credit: http://www.emailquestions.com)

  • in Outlook (2007 and later):


Several websites (such as these two) allow you to paste the source of an email and will automatically parse it for the sender's IP.

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I have just tried to send an email from Hotmail to Gmail address, in this case it does include the originating IP address assigned by ISP but if I send an email from Gmail to Hotmail it doesn't have the original IP address from ISP. –  user121032 Oct 10 '12 at 10:48
    
The original sender's IP address may also be mentioned in SPF related headers if they use a mail client and SMTP. Mail sent using a WebMail interface usually won't have it anywhere. –  Brian Oct 10 '12 at 10:56
    
@user121032 I've been updating my answer, so perhaps you didn't notice the remark that web-based email services often don't send the sender's IP address. I just tried sending an email through Gmail using Windows Live Mail, and the headers definitely do contain the sender's IP address. –  Indrek Oct 10 '12 at 10:59
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@user121032: The sender's IP address is included; however, what is considered the "sender" depends on the service. Gmail considers its server to be the sender. Hotmail considers the user to be the sender. –  David Schwartz Oct 10 '12 at 11:41
    
I don't believe this is right, when sending from a web-based client (browser logged into Hotmail/Gmail etc.) Maybe things have changed, but Hotmail doesn't include any originator IP information in emails –  peteski22 Feb 19 at 10:23
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You can see email details in gmail when you open the email.

At the header navigation of the opened email there is a down arrow for more options. In the following list click on Show original.
Now you see all email header information's. The information of the sender gateway is Received: from.

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Sometimes I have noticed that the sender IP address is different. Is it really the IP address from ISP? –  user121032 Oct 10 '12 at 10:34
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@user121032 - The address in a google mail header is not the user's ip address. –  Ramhound Oct 10 '12 at 11:26
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Internet emails are designed to carry the IP address of the computer from which the email was sent. This IP address is stored in an email header delivered to the recipient along with the message.

For Details Check this

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Could you edit in a brief summary of the link in case it goes dead? –  jonsca Oct 10 '12 at 10:47
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