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Inbox does not display sender’s email address

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  • 26 have this problem
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  • Last reply by Ruebe

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I would like to see the sender's email address in lieu of a name.

The inbox SELECT COLUMNS TO DISPLAY does not offer an option to DISPLAY THE SENDER’S EMAIL ADDRESS.

Both From and Correspondents display the same names. Perhaps replacing one of those with the SENDER’S EMAIL ADDRESS?

I would like to see the sender's email address in lieu of a name. The inbox SELECT COLUMNS TO DISPLAY does not offer an option to DISPLAY THE SENDER’S EMAIL ADDRESS. Both From and Correspondents display the same names. Perhaps replacing one of those with the SENDER’S EMAIL ADDRESS?

Chosen solution

The Message List 'FROM' column header contents display depends upon what is contained in the header of the 'FROM' email header and whether they are already a contact in address book and whether you have entered a different display name for contact and whether you have instructed Thunderbird to use that display name in preference.

If sender only sent the email address then you see the email address in FROM column providing you have not set up an alternative. If sender sent both a display name and email address then the from display name is shown in FROM column header. If sender is a contact in one of your address books and you have entered a Display name, then you will see that contact display name if settings state to use the display name in address book.

One method to always display email address for contacts in address book is to enter the email address in the 'Display' name section and instruct Thunderbird to use it.

Alternative which still works inversion 102.12.0 Use an addon extension called full address column Info here: https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-GB/thunderbird/addon/full-address-column/?src=search

The info below instructs on how to perform a quick install from within Thunderbird. In Thunderbird

  • Menu app icon > Addons & Themes
  • Select 'Extensions'
  • In top search type: full address column
  • A new tab opens showing options and the top one should be Full Address Column addon
  • click on the green 'Add to Thunderbird' button
  • You will get a couple of pop ups - clickon 'Add' and click on 'OK'

It is auto installed. In Message List - column headers - you should now see an option 'Sender (@)' This will show the email address. You can position the column header adjacent to the FROM if desired.

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All Replies (20)

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If the individual is in your addressbook, the fact that the address does not show may be due to having that option set in settings>general.

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When answering a question, always be specific. General responses such as "due to having that option set in settings>general" does not supply enough information as a solution.

The proper response would be something like this: SETTINGS > GENERAL > READING & DISPLAY > DISPLAY NAME > SHOW ONLY DISPLAY NAME FOR PEOPLE IN MY ADDRESS BOOK

If the above is was what was intended, the above has nothing to do with my question about displaying the sender's email address as toggling did nothing to display the sender's email address.

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Chosen Solution

The Message List 'FROM' column header contents display depends upon what is contained in the header of the 'FROM' email header and whether they are already a contact in address book and whether you have entered a different display name for contact and whether you have instructed Thunderbird to use that display name in preference.

If sender only sent the email address then you see the email address in FROM column providing you have not set up an alternative. If sender sent both a display name and email address then the from display name is shown in FROM column header. If sender is a contact in one of your address books and you have entered a Display name, then you will see that contact display name if settings state to use the display name in address book.

One method to always display email address for contacts in address book is to enter the email address in the 'Display' name section and instruct Thunderbird to use it.

Alternative which still works inversion 102.12.0 Use an addon extension called full address column Info here: https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-GB/thunderbird/addon/full-address-column/?src=search

The info below instructs on how to perform a quick install from within Thunderbird. In Thunderbird

  • Menu app icon > Addons & Themes
  • Select 'Extensions'
  • In top search type: full address column
  • A new tab opens showing options and the top one should be Full Address Column addon
  • click on the green 'Add to Thunderbird' button
  • You will get a couple of pop ups - clickon 'Add' and click on 'OK'

It is auto installed. In Message List - column headers - you should now see an option 'Sender (@)' This will show the email address. You can position the column header adjacent to the FROM if desired.

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In a time where scams, phishing and other cyber threats are increasingly dangerous and numerous, being able to see the real sender’s address should be a standard feature. Is it so hard to implement that it is not yet available? As a member of the Mozilla family, so much committed to privacy and security, Thunderbird should provide this feature urgently. Are there any plans in that direction? Thanks.

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patrick.blum said

In a time where scams, phishing and other cyber threats are increasingly dangerous and numerous, being able to see the real sender’s address should be a standard feature. Is it so hard to implement that it is not yet available? As a member of the Mozilla family, so much committed to privacy and security, Thunderbird should provide this feature urgently. Are there any plans in that direction? Thanks.

Let's be very clear - scammers can and do use bogus email addresses or abuse other peoples email addresses so the 'sender' may not necessarilly be the real sender. You cannot rely on it. Just because it says the sender/from email address it does not mean it is the real sender.

Obviously that is not the same as Junk mail. Junk mail may be perfectly geniune marketing emails sent by geniune businesses which may be of interest or not. They will have a real sender email address, but sometimes if might be a no-reply address. Such as this email. Comments posted will be sent as emails to those following this question. It is genuine but it is a 'no-reply' type of email.

The full headers or information viewed in 'View Source' of an email will offer a lot of information. This means Thunderbird has always made all the available information available to the user. You could check origin of IP address.

But the bottom line is use your common sense and do not let curiosity get the better of you because scammers are banking on it.

  • Do not allow remote content to be auto displayed.
  • Advise you only switch on 'Display attachments inline' when you are certain of their origin and switch it off again afterwards.
  • Do not click on any links until you have verified the links really do open on correct and expected website. Check it first - Hover over link to see link info displayed in Status Bar.
  • If it says something like click here to logon to bank and when you hover over it the link info says http:youhavebeenconnedbank.com then I would assume it is dodgy.
  • Do not open any attachment just to find out what it contains. I've had plenty of bogus emails claiming I've made a purchase see invoice attached or similar. You do not need to open an attachment when you know it is a fake. Just delete the email.
  • Be wary of all emails even from people you know - why - because scammers may be abusing their email address. So if that email content does not read like that email is from your parents or best friend then it may not be.

Thunderbird is already very safe providing you operate your email safely follwoing those basic rules and seeing a 'sender' or 'from' email address does not mean the sender entered their real email address. Do not rely on it.

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Thank you for your message and those explanations. Of course, you are right: under no circumstances should one rely totally on email addresses. And it's good to remind email users of this regularly. However, the real address is a first step in identifying the nature of a message at a glance, alongside the display name. It's a pity that this information isn't one of the fields available for column display. The question remains: would it be complicated to allow display of the real address of the sender and recipient, as the dead Full-Address-Column extension did?

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I don't understand why people want to "add" this feature. It was working fine until the latest upgrade when it stopped offering the email address. This means it would just require a return to previous function, not developing a new feature. I used to use it in emails landing in my "Bulk" folder as a first step to identifying which ones might in fact be legit, it had been working really well. Many of the real span mails have a very obvious difference between the purported sender and the email address. It was EXTREMELY helpful. I currently have version 115.0.1 (64-bit), running on Manjaro Linux.

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As far as I know, displaying email addresses in the list view has never been a standard Thunderbird feature. It was made possible by the "full-address-column" extension. Unfortunately, it seems that the developer has no plans to update with the new UI (https://github.com/lkosson/full-address-column/issues/14). That's why it would be interesting to see this become a standard option.

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Modified by patrick.blum

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Modified by patrick.blum

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dkrix said

I don't understand why people want to "add" this feature. It was working fine until the latest upgrade when it stopped offering the email address. This means it would just require a return to previous function, not developing a new feature. I used to use it in emails landing in my "Bulk" folder as a first step to identifying which ones might in fact be legit, it had been working really well. Many of the real span mails have a very obvious difference between the purported sender and the email address. It was EXTREMELY helpful. I currently have version 115.0.1 (64-bit), running on Manjaro Linux.

I do not believe anything has changed as I'm running both 102.14.0 and beta 116.0b7 as separate installations and see exactly the same as I've seen for donkeys years. What you see in the 'FROM' column header in Thread Pane depends upon whether the sender included a display name or not and whether you have chosen Settings to alternatively use the set display name for contact in the address book or not which would override whatever is displayed in From column and in the headers displayed in an opened email.

As I've been helping on this forum for quite a while, I've accumulated a lot of images showing various versions going way back to 2012. I can tell you they do not show email address in 'From' column header if sender included a display name with email address when sending. That's why the author created the 'full address column' addon in the first place. Addons are not created if the functionality is already available. There are occasions when functionality gets added and the addon is no longer required. At this point you usually discover the addon does not get maintained for future versions.

Mind you there is a sort of workaround which has always been available via using the current system. So you could try it. It's not perfect because it relies upon you adding it to an address book first, but it would then reveal email address for any further unwanted emails from that sender. IF you created a new address book for received junkspam email addresses and deliberately entered the contact 'display name' as the junk 'email address' and then instructed settings to use that contact 'display' name - you will see email address in 'From' column should they send another email regardless of whatever the sender enters as a display name.


re : I currently have version 115.0.1 It would seem you have chosen to download and install 115* For those still using 102* - if Thunderbird is in control of the updates then those people will still be using 102* and the current one is 102.14.0

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patrick.blum said

Thank you for your message and those explanations. Of course, you are right: under no circumstances should one rely totally on email addresses. And it's good to remind email users of this regularly. However, the real address is a first step in identifying the nature of a message at a glance, alongside the display name. It's a pity that this information isn't one of the fields available for column display. The question remains: would it be complicated to allow display of the real address of the sender and recipient, as the dead Full-Address-Column extension did?

I think this question has been raised before, but as there is an addon which provides this option, no further action was developed. But please remember you are seeing what the sender put in as the sending email address and it may not be the real email address. I find reading the content will instantly tell me if email is junk/spam or scammer created. If email address is a friends email address and the content does not read like normal from that person then it is likely to be a scam. If email wants you to click on a link which is clearly a bogus link and email is from unknown person or business which you did not initiate communicating with then do not click on it - delete email. If email contains attachments and you know you do not know person or you did not purchase anything or email is threatening in some way - ignore it and delete email.

I've had plenty of bogus/spam/scammer emails and some threatening in nature, but if I had relied on the FROM email address I would have said they were ok. If you want to see it then it is available via various means including via addon. But I see no advantage as a real con person will not reveal the true sender email address anyway.

If people are concerned and do not use the addon, please do one of the following. Select the email so it displays in Message Pane. Yes, email has been opened, but if all remote content is disabled and you do not start clicking on anything then it is totally safe. This means you can see 'full headers' if you switch it on OR you clickon 'More' and select 'View Source' to see all header info. OR close Message Pane and select email in list so no chance of accidentally clicking on anything - then use Ctrl+U to get a new window to open showing the source view.

Modified by Toad-Hall

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The reason why the question is raised again now, is the death of the addon which provided the option until the new UI brought by version 114 and higher. It is always interesting to know how you can live without a convenient option, thanks to various workarounds, not equally convenient. However, it would be more gratifying to know whether making the option a standard feature would be really very complex, and whether it could be made in the short term.

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There is an old bug already on this topic and it was never really progressed because there was an addon that offered a solution and it was not something which alot of people used, so time and effort had to be put into more important areas. But I've asked the same thing -As the addon will not be working for 115* could this be the time to add an additional email address column. So basically watch this bug. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=697031

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I think we all know that the address can be spoofed as easily as the name. However, showing the addresses does help screening the emails and help sorting. Always keeping in mind that one shouldn’t rely on the address to decide that the email is legitimate. I still do not understand the reluctance for an option to show addresses instead of names. Is it really difficult to implement that feature?

The funny story is that the great Android app K-9 Mail, which is said to become Thunderbird for Android, does have this most-awaited feature! K9-Mail settings include the option ‘Display correspondents’ name’ which can be set off. So, displaying addresses instead of names could soon become available on Android Thunderbird, but still remain unavailable on desktop versions.

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I note - at the top of this bug report:

in the top header section is 'Details' section which if expanded contains a 'Vote' button option. At the time of posting this comment, only 2 people have actually voted for this bug. If anyone reading this question wants this bug to be fixed, then can you please make sure you have voted for it. You will need to have created an account in Bugzilla to be able to vote.

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To keep up to date with any progress etc by the creator of the addon then info can be locaed here: https://github.com/lkosson/full-address-column/issues/14

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Further to my comment above: the full email address WAS available as a separate display column in a previous version, but I do not recall what it was called (as I do not run that version anymore). It was NOT in the "from" column itself, and I never claimed that it was. I have now moved to Evolution to get this feature, despite having used Thunderbird for many years and used to think it the best email client for my needs. Also despite the fact that I do not run Gnome and getting Evolution to remember account passwords is a bit tiresome. In summary: I really valued the ability to see the actual senders email without having to actually open the email as a valuable first check for scam, since for all the scam I was getting, the senders declared name did not match the email sent from. In fact I was not aware until other comments above, that scammers have been falsifying their sending address.

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