GitHub user email addresses: how to find them

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In this post, we will show you how to find the email address for most GitHub profiles (even if they don’t publicly share their email).

For the sake of this guide, We will use FlamptX‘s profile to demonstrate how to find a user’s email address.

Screenshot 2022-11-27 at 12.14.47 PM
his GitHub profile does not include his email. However, we can still find his email address. There are three basic steps to finding almost any GitHub user’s email address.

Locate a non-forked repository

The first step is to locate a non-forked repository. A forked repository is a repository that has been copied from someone else’s GitHub account and in most cases will not contain the target user’s commits (and therefore not helpful for us). You can tell if a repository is a fork because it will be prefixed with “Forked from”.

Screenshot 2022-11-27 at 12.14.47 PM

If the user has a non-forked repository there’s a good chance you will be able to find their email address. Once you find a promising repository click on the name to be taken to the repository view. For this guide, we will be using “paginator.py” repository.

Find a commit by the user

Within the repository view, you can see a “commits” link on the right-hand side of the page. The image below points it out. The more commits there are, the more likely it is to find a commit by the user. In this case, we see 40 commits. All we need is to find a single commit by the target user to find their email address. Click on the commits link to be taken to a commit history view.

Screenshot 2022-11-27 at 12.28.16 PMWhen viewing the commit history your goal is to find one or more commits created by the target GitHub user. In our example, we are looking for commits by FlamptX .

Screenshot 2022-11-27 at 1.25.17 PM
Once you locate a promising commit click on the commit ID on the right-hand side to view the actual commit.

Convert to the patch view to locate the email address

Screenshot 2022-11-27 at 1.31.44 PM
The commit view is not very interesting to us, however, this is where the real trick comes in. What you want to do next is look at the URL in your browser navigation bar. Add “.patch” to the end of the URL and then hit “enter” to load the patch view.

Once the patch view loads you need to examine the commit info to find the target author. All authors have a name and email address. Locate the user’s email address!

Screenshot 2022-11-27 at 1.26.52 PM
Note, GitHub has a privacy option to enable masking user emails. Some users enable that privacy option. In that case, you will notice an email that looks something like this: username@users.noreply.github.com. In that case, you should ignore the email (maybe try an older repository).

With the trick, you can find most email addresses on GitHub as long as the person has a commit history. GitHub is a powerful source for leads and shouldn’t be missed! Add the technique from this blog post to your tool belt, it will come in handy more often than you think!

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