Always Show the Full Name & Email Address of Recipients in Mail for Mac OS X
You may have noticed that when composing and replying to emails in the Mac Mail app, only the recipients name shows up in the “To” and “CC” fields. This is a feature called “Smart Addresses”, which hides the full name and email address from view, which can help to reduce screen clutter, but for some users it can lead to erroneously sending an email to the long address, since the email address isn’t clearly shown in the To, CC, and BCC sections.
Fortunately with a quick settings adjustment, you can have Mail always show the complete name and email address of any recipient in Mail app of OS X, thereby making it easy to have visual confirmation that your email is going to be sent to the proper place.
How to Show Full Email Address & Name of Recipients in Mac Mail App
- Open the Mail app if you haven’t done so already and go to the “Mail” menu and choose “Preferences
- Select the “Viewing” tab
- Uncheck the box for “Use Smart Addresses” – under this you’ll see a note about “Turn this off to always display names and addresses.” which is exactly what we’re looking to do
- Close out of Preferences and go to any email composition or reply window, enter an email address or contact as usual and you’ll see the difference – the complete name and email address will now be shown
Here’s a quick before and after the setting is enabled, with the Use Smart Addresses feature enabled, an email address is shown only as the recipients name and the actual address itself is truncated – no email address is shown at all:
With Smart Addresses turned off, you will see the complete recipient name, and the complete recipient email address, exactly as desired:
This is a helpful setting to enable particularly if you work with individuals who have multiple email addresses, since it’s quite easy to inadvertently send a message to the wrong email address due to autocomplete. This is all the more relevant with Mail tabs and sending messages to different individuals with similar names. It’s also invaluable if many of your contacts have the same names or just similar names, as it can prevent a message going to the completely wrong location.
This is a simple trick can should improve erroneous email sending in the Mac OS X Mail app, give it a try. If you don’t like it, you can always turn Smart Addresses back on again and hide the emailing addressee details.