How to Trace a Skype Message

by Teddy Wilson

You can make and receive voice, video and text messages from anywhere in the world using Skype. Any two computers or mobile devices connected to the Skype network can connect. Skype only displays the username of the person on the other end of the call, providing you with no way of determining where the call originate from. There could be many reasons why you might want to trace a call made via Skype such as harassing messages or trying to find a missing family member. By using your computer's command prompt and some online tools, you can determine a caller's IP address' physical location.

1

In the Start menu or at the Start screen type "cmd" into the search box and press "Enter," which should launch the Command Prompt window. You can also find the Command Prompt utility in the Programs menu under the Accessories folder.

2

Open Skype and sign in to your account. If you want to trace a recent call you should see the username in your “Recent Contacts.” Otherwise you may need find them in your contacts or search the Skype directory.

3

Click on the contact that you wish to track and their profile information should appear in main window. Click on “Call” and wait for the person to answer. In order for you to trace their IP address, the contact must answer.

4

After the contact answers the call type "netstat" into the Command Prompt window and press "Enter." You do not need to speak to them to complete the trace. You can also complete a trace by sending a file that takes a least a minute to transfer to the contact. The command prompt will create a series of IP addresses. In the Skype entry you will see the IP address of the contact listed under “Foreign Address.”

5

Using one of many IP address-tracking websites you can trace the IP address such as What Is My IP Address, Whois.net, or IPaddress.com (links in Resources).

Tip

  • Finding the IP Address will not usually give you exact physical location of the person making the phone calls or sending messages. It will give you the state, city, and ZIP code of the person, and law enforcement agencies can use the IP address to find suspects.

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About the Author

Teddy Wilson is a journalist based in College Station, Texas. He is a reporter covering national security and military issues, as well as a social media marketing and coaching consultant.

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