The Insider’s Guide to Anonymous Email
Living in a digital world has its fair share of advantages.
But you often trade our anonymity and privacy to be able to enjoy them. And you do that without a second thought.
Sometimes, however, you don’t want the other side to know it was you who messaged them.
Can You Send an Anonymous Email?
It’s hard to imagine life today without using email. For many, it’s the first thing they check in the morning (58% of adults do this) and the last they see before they go to bed.
Every day, you receive dozens upon dozens of emails and send almost as many.
Unfortunately, by doing this, you are often giving away your privacy and anonymity.
But you don’t have to.
All you need to do is learn how to send an anonymous email.
Can you send an anonymous email in the first place?
Absolutely, and we’ll show you how.
Can You Send Anonymous Email from Gmail?
Now let’s look at the most popular email service in the world.
Can you send anonymous email from Gmail?
Unfortunately for billions of people using Gmail every day, it’s almost impossible.
That’s because you would have to first register an anonymous email account and that alone is difficult for three reasons:
- Gmail requires SMS verification. One way to go around this is by using a fake number. For example, you can use a website called Fake Phone Number for that.
- It stores cookies every time you visit a website (you can clear cookies though)
- And finally, your IP address can tell a lot about you to Gmail
Now, it’s not entirely impossible to send anonymous email over Gmail. To do that, you will need to do three things:
- Use a VPN to change your IP address
- Browse in “incognito” mode
- Use an SMS privacy service
The problem with this is that a lot can go wrong.
Your VPN might not be as secure as you think or you configured it incorrectly.
Or, the SMS privacy service you chose is not so private.
Or, there can be any number of other things that can go wrong.
So, can you send anonymous email over Gmail?
In theory, yes, but in practice no.
Can You Send Anonymous Email from Outlook?
Ok, if not Gmail, can you send anonymous email from Outlook?
Unlike Gmail, Outlook does give you an option to conceal your real address when sending a new email or replying to one.
To do this, you have two options:
Change your account settings
- Go to File and select Account Settings from the Account Settings dropdown menu.
- On the Email tab, select your email address and click on Change.
- In the Email Address field enter a different address.
- Click Next. In a few moments, the Test Account Settings window will show Completed.
- Finally, click on Close and Finish.
Change Individual Messages
- Start composing a new email message or reply to an existing one.
- Select Options and then From in the Show Fields.
- Click the From menu and select Other Email Address
- Enter another email address in the window.
- Click OK to confirm.
If you do this, you should be able to remain anonymous while sending or replying to messages on Outlook.
Can You Send Anonymous Email over Yahoo?
Finally, let’s do a trifecta and answer can you send anonymous email with Yahoo?
Yahoo doesn’t allow you to leave the From name blank. However, you can change this to anything you want by going to the General Preferences page.
Depending on your version of Yahoo, the steps to do this are slightly different:
- Classic Yahoo Mail
- Click Options
- Select Mail
- Go to Accounts
- Select an account you want to edit
- Edit and Finish
- All-New Mail
- Go to Options
- Select Mail Options
- Choose Accounts
- Select an account to edit
- Edit and Finish
Can My Anonymous Email be Traced?
Ok, now that you know how to send anonymous email over the most popular services, there’s one more thing to discuss.
Can someone trace an anonymous email?
And if so how?
Tracing an anonymous email is indeed possible and takes two steps:
- Locate the IP address in the email header.
- Find the location of that IP address.
Let’s see how to find the IP address in the email header first.
- Open the anonymous email in your Gmail account.
- Click on the three dots to the right of the Reply arrow
- In the dropdown menu select Show Original
- In the new window, Original Message, find: Received: from. If there were multiple emails, you’ll want the last one down.
- Find an IP address. It should be something like 188.8.131.52.
- Go to View in the Outlook email options and select Options.
- In the next dialog box look for the Internet Headers box.
- In it, find the Received: from and find the IP address there.
- Open your Yahoo account and email.
- Click Actions in the menu bar.
- Click View Full Header.
- A new pop-up window Full Header will now open.
- Find the last Received: from email and look for the IP address next to it.
Okay, now that you know the IP address, you still need a way to track it.
The most accurate way to do this is by using an IP Geolocation API tool.
Simply enter or paste the IP address you found in the email header into the field and hit Enter or the search button to the right.
IP Geolocation isn’t 100% accurate and you won’t be able to find the exact location of someone, but it will give you a good general idea of where they are.
It will let you see the sender:
- Postal or Zipcode
- Time zone
You can, however, hide your IP address and prevent someone from tracking your anonymous email.
We won’t get into the technical details here, but here are are a few ways to hide your IP:
- Use a proxy server.
- Use VPN software.
- Use a public WiFi (not recommended for security).
- Use a mobile network (not encrypted).
- Use the TOR browser.
So, if you were wondering if you can send an anonymous email to someone from Gmail, Microsoft Outlook or Yahoo, in theory, you can.
However, in practice, it’s not that simple.
Yes, you can, for instance, sign up to Gmail using a fake name, mobile phone or address, but someone can still trace your general location by tracing your IP address.
As you can see, Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo weren’t designed with user anonymity in mind. If you want to keep your privacy intact when emailing, you’ll need an actual anonymous and encrypted email service. There are a few anonymous email services to compare and choose from, but we strongly recommend CTemplar for its encryption, anonymous payment options and not tracking the user’s IP.