Can You Trace an Email You Received From an iPhone?

by John Granby
Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

It is possible to trace any email you receive to the IP address that originally sent the email. It is easiest to directly identify the sender if the IP address does not change often or at all. However, nearly all IP addresses used for consumers, including those of iPhones, are dynamic. This means the address is likely to change every time the iPhone connects to the network. For this reason, it is difficult to guarantee the IP address sending an email is an iPhone or some other device. You can, however, compare the unknown email originating IP address to known senders' IP addresses in your mailbox to gain more confidence in identifying the source.

Step 1

View the full email header of the email you want to trace. The full header is not displayed by default in many email readers so you must locate the setting that will allow you to view the full email header. For instance, in Microsoft Outlook, double-click on an email to open into its own window then click "File" then "Properties." The full header is in the bottom of the "Properties" window.

Step 2

Locate the lines in the email header for "Subject" or "Date." These lines will be toward the bottom of the full email header.

Step 3

Look carefully at each line moving back to the top of the header. Identify the first line you see with any text similar to "Received from" or "X Received: from." A common mistake is to use a line with the text "Received by." It is important the keyword "from" is in the line.

Locate the IP address in the line containing the text similar to "received from." This is the IP address that originated the email. If you suspect the email is from another one of your contacts, you can compare this IP address to other emails received from the same sender.


Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

John Granby began his writing career in 2000 as a founding member of a tech industry website targeted at WAP developers. He has provided in-depth coverage of the wireless industry, served as a speaker at several conferences and authored a book on Bluetooth. Granby earned a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from Purdue University.

More Articles