Email Header

Since there are different types of email clients and websites that send emails there are different steps needed to locate email headers. For many applications you can right click on the email and choose properties or open an email and access properties from the toolbar. You may find that your email account has an options tool. Clicking on options will enable you to access the header. It’s important to realize that any time an email is traced you must use information contained in the header.

How to find and view Email Header by different email clients

To find email headers in Microsoft Outlook choose the “options” tool then you’ll see the headers. On a Mac computer use “Shift-Command-H” to see headers on emails.



Those with Mozilla Thunderbird can use “CTRL-U” and then select message source. If you are using Google Mail (GMAIL) click on reply then select “show original.” A new window will open and the email header will be displayed.

If you are using Windows Lie Hotmail right click on the email message then select “view source”. A new window will open and you will have full access to the email header.

Those using Yahoo Mail may find the headers by right clicking on the email message then selecting “view full headers.” A new window will open and the headers will be visible.

Email Header Information

The email header contains all of the information regarding who sent the email, where the email is going, what time the email was sent, how many times it was transferred and includes information such as the subject of the email and other information.

It is imperative to understand that when reading email headers you must begin from the bottom and work your way up to the top.

Email Header and IP Address

You can easily determine basic information from email headers, such as the sender’s name, email address, the recipient’s name and email address, the date and time the email was sent and the subject of the email. You’ll also notice the “received from” section. This enables you to determine where the email originated from, where it was received next, and so on until it reached its intended recipient.

Read the received information from the bottom to the top as the bottom information contains the original sender’s statistics. The received information will contain IP addresses. You can use these IP addresses to determine the location of the sender. If you receive an email that proposes to be from the IRS or an organization like PayPal, yet an IP address from the original sender reveals it came from Nigeria, you can be certain that the email is a scam.


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