How to set Thunderbird’s “Recipient” column to display the email address rather than a friendly name

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After configuring a single, unified Inbox within Outlook 2007 to unify multiple email accounts, I found Thunderbird 3's Smart Folder feature. It works great, providing individual inboxes for each of your email accounts and a unified inbox which provides a unified, virtual view of those other inboxes.

Thunderbird is smart enough so what when I reply to an email addressed to a specific email account, the reply is "From" that email address.

folders and accounts in Thunderbird

In order to know which inbound email was to which of my accounts, I added the "Recipient" column to the inbox Smart Folder:

messages pane showing columns

What's displayed in the Recipient column depends on how the sender/sender's email client addresses the email. If they send it to just "myaddress@gmail.com" without specifying a friendly name, the Recipient column displays "myaddress@gmail.com" and there's no ambiguity about which account the email was sent to.

However, if the sender has me in their address book (likely stored with a friendly name), it will be addressed as "Howard Camp [myaddress@gmail.com]" and then show in the Recipient column as "Howard Camp".

The problem is that if someone emails me with a friendly name at another of my email accounts (e.g. "Howard Camp [myaddress@yahoo.com]", the Recipient column will also display "Howard Camp" and I can't tell which account it's to until I open the message and/or look at the details.

How can I configure Thunderbird to always display my email address rather than the sender-specified friendly name in the Recipient column?

Best Answer

I hit this question while searching for the exact same thing as the OP, on the current Thunderbird version (12) the show address extension is available!

Just click Tools -> Add ons -> search for add ons "show address" and install.