How to configure Apple Mail.app to show name from mail headers "From: " field and not from Contacts.app???

Apple Mail.app shows me always the name from Contacts.app (card is a read only download from global catalog), e.g.:

But we have more than one who use this address. And this people configure there clients as follow:

When I look to the mail headers, there are the correct names inside, but in Apple Mail.app the list view shows only:

So I'm not able for differing the sender of mail without reading this.

And I do not want to manage a private address card for this address, because the people behind this address are changing all 4-6 weeks! The version I use before has done this correct, is El Captain a downgrade or have I to change to Thunderbird?

  • this depends not on "Smart Addresses"!
    – mccpts
    Mar 22, 2016 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


You can see the actual sender email address by clicking on the email, then clicking the small down arrow next to the sender name. The menu that appears has it grayed out at the top of the menu:

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Simply switch off Smart Addresses.
Prefs > Viewing > Use Smart Addresses

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Then, instead of Fred Bloggs it will read Fred Bloggs <[email protected]>

  • this depends not on "Smart Addresses"! the "Smart Addresses" option do only change the view between "Addressbook Name" and "Addressbook name <[email protected]>"
    – mccpts
    Mar 22, 2016 at 0:11
  • 1
    -1 because asker asked for Sender address. This option only affects Recipient addresses when composing an email. Just displaying the actual email address on hover would be nice, like in Gmail. Even better would be a column with the email address. Oct 28, 2019 at 8:31
  • This does indeed work with smart addresses, but the UI is bugged. See here for details: reddit.com/r/MacOS/comments/k6t2vr/…
    – apfelbox
    Jun 7, 2021 at 12:25
  • @apfelbox - the 'bug' was noted 6 months ago. This answer is five years old. I doubt it's the same thing.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 7, 2021 at 12:29
  • @Tetsujin I noticed that the original answer is quite old, the only thing I can say however is that it works today. That is important information for anyone who comes here from Google (like me originally). And the UI bug is still present today, so that's also essential information. =) Doesn't matter if it was correct or not at the time, it is however today.
    – apfelbox
    Jun 14, 2021 at 15:14

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