How to Track a Hotmail Email Address
By Jonah Quant
Hotmail (full name: Windows Live Hotmail) is an online email service that offers free accounts. When a user sends an email from a Hotmail address, Hotmail keeps track of the Internet Protocol (IP) address from which the email was sent. The recipient can look up that IP address, and then use a free IP locator service to gain more information about the physical location of the message's sender.
Launch your email client application for the account where you received the message from the Hotmail address. The specific way of performing this step depends on your email client. For example, for Yahoo! Mail, launch a Web browser and navigate to "http://mail.yahoo.com." Enter your user name and password, then press "Enter."
Open the message whose IP address you want to find. For example, for Yahoo! Mail, click on the subject of the message.
Have your email client display the full headers for the message. For example, for Yahoo! Mail, click on the "Actions" pull-down menu, then select "View full headers." A new window will open displaying the message with all its headers.
Find the last line starting with "Received: from" before the body of the message. The sender's IP address is listed on that line between square brackets.
Open a new Web browser window, then navigate to the query page of an IP address locator service. Many such free services are available (see Resources).
Type the IP address you want to locate into the query form. For example, for Geobytes, type the IP address into the empty text field next to "IP Address to locate," then click "Submit."
Find the geographical location within the results section on the same Web page. For example, Geobytes displays the approximate latitude and longitude of the current location of the IP address. It also displays a Google Maps street map at the bottom of the results page.
- Alternatively, you can use IP locator sites "IP-address" or "What's my IP address?" by following the same steps.
Jonah Quant has been writing about computer science since 1990. He has contributed to international conferences and journals such as those of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery. Quant has a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California.