Why Is An SMTP Address Displayed on the “TO” Line for Some Addressee’s and Not Others in Outlook?

Ever wonder why some addressees in the “TO” line of an Outlook email show the actual email address next to the contact name, and others just show the contact name without an email address? Like this:

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It all has to do with where you originally chose the addressee from. If you chose them from your personal Outlook Contacts, it will show the contact display name as well as the email address. If you chose them from the Global Address List, it will just show the display name.

Here’s why… with an Outlook Contact, you can store up to three email addresses for each contact, so Outlook displays the email address you will be sending to (as specified in the “Display As” field, which is customizable for each stored email address). That way, you know if you’re sending to someone’s work, home, or super-secret email address.

If you chose a contact from the Global Address List though, you do not get a choice of which email address you want to send to. Since you cannot choose the address, it doesn’t bother showing you what it is.

From then on, AutoComplete remembers where the address was originally selected from. So even if the selected contact exists in both your Outlook Contacts and the Global Address List, the AutoComplete object will be displayed from the originally selected location.

Just another Microsoft Outlook behavioral quirk!

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One Response to “Why Is An SMTP Address Displayed on the “TO” Line for Some Addressee’s and Not Others in Outlook?”

  1. Never thought about this before. Anyway good to know this. Thanks 🙂

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