Keeping up with your inbox feels never-ending some days. Between work, your personal life, and all that spam, you might have hundreds of emails to sift through.
Junk mail getting you down? Do something about it. Spending a little time once will save you from clicking “trash” all day long. Tap or click for five simple ways to stop spam.
When it comes to catching up with an old friend or finding contact details for a potential business partner, reaching them by phone may be your first step. Tap or click for all the best ways to find anyone’s cellphone number.
If you strike out, turn to email. Maybe you wrote down someone’s email address incorrectly, or you have been trying to track down a relative and hit a dead end. I can help.
1. Start with a search
It might seem obvious, but one of the best ways to find an email address is to do a quick search for it online. If a search like “John Smith” + “email” doesn’t yield any results, there are several other ways to go about it.
When you use quotation marks in your search, it tells Google to search for that whole phrase. In the example above, results will only be displayed for John Smith. A regular search might produce results related to many people named John and tons of Smiths.
You could also try to guess the email provider the person is using. Try searching for “John Smith” + “gmail.com” or “yahoo.com.” Include the company that the person works for as well, like “John Smith” + “Acme Inc.” + “email.”
►Google like a pro: Seven tricks to find exactly what you’re looking for
2. Use a site like White Pages or web directories
Usually, when I talk about online directories, it's advice on how to remove yourself. These sites gather up a ton of information you might not want accessible for just anyone to find.
Tap or click to delete yourself from all the big people search sites. Be careful and follow the directions carefully; they try to trick you. Never pay to remove your info.
If you’re the one doing the searching, it’s worth seeing what you can turn up. With WhitePages.com, you can find cellphone numbers, addresses, business details, relatives and property details. It might not provide you with the email address, but it will undoubtedly give you more information to work with.
►Need to share proof of vaccine? Here's how to store your COVID-19 vaccination card on your smartphone
Hunter.io lets you search through a company's domain for an email address and lists them with some information redacted for business contacts. If you find the person you are looking for, it will give you a good idea of their email address. A free account will provide you with 25 free searches a month.
3. Try social media sites
There’s a chance you can find the person's email address on their social media profiles. Some professionals will list their contact info on sites like Twitter or LinkedIn.
If you do find a social media profile, send the person a direct message. Ask if they can share their email address or how you can get in touch with them.
►True or false: If you look someone up on Facebook, they know about it. Tap or click for the truth.
4. Try a plugin
Web browser plugins like Email Extractor for Chrome can help you find email addresses on web pages. While you can't search for email addresses with the plugin, it can extract all the addresses listed on a domain.
This will make it easier to find a specific address if you know where to look. Email Extractor fetches IDs from the website’s source code to show you hidden addresses and addresses listed in plain text.
Email Hunter is another Chrome plugin you can try. It extracts addresses from pages as you visit them and automatically saves them to a notepad.
5. Make your best guess
If all else fails, guess. Really! Most companies use simple naming structures for addresses, like John.Smith@acmeinc.com.
Using the Hunter.io web directory, you can easily see what the structure is for a searched company. The website shows you the most common pattern in their address when you search for a business, like (first)(last)@acmeinc.com.
►Bonus Tip: Is your boss watching your every move?
Thanks to invasive software, companies can track your every click, keystroke and movement – even outside of work hours. In this episode, security researcher Cooper Quintin reveals how so-called bossware works, what it tracks and how badly things can go when organizations use it to see every single thing you're doing.
Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Connecting or reconnecting: How to find anyone's email address online