Outlook – How get Outlook 2010 to display a name instead of an email address for mail I receive


A friend has recently started sending me text messages (from a phone) that I receive as email. The sending email address is of the form 0123456789@mms.att.net, and this is what Outlook 2010 displays for the sender's name. I'd like to have the sender's actual name displayed instead. (That name is not part of the email header on the messages I get. On those messages, both the "From" and "Return-Path" fields contain only the sending email address.)

I've set up an Outlook Address Book entry for the sender's email address, and in that Address Book entry I've given useful values for the Full Name, the File As, and the Display As fields. However, Outlook continues to show me only the email address for the sender when I get this kind of message.

How can I tell Outlook 2010 that when I get email from 0123456789@mms.att.net, it should be displayed as coming from, say, "Joe TextsTooMuch"?


Best Answer

VBA is probably your only option to accomplish this.

A solution using VBA:

Copy this simple VBA procedure into an Outlook VBA project :

Sub ChangeSenderName(itm As MailItem)

    itm.SentOnBehalfOfName = "Joe TextsTooMuch"

End Sub

Now create an Outlook rule that checks for incoming emails from 0123456789@mms.att.net. I suggest using the condition called 'with specific words in the sender's address'.

Then for the rule action, select 'run a script'. Set the value to the script called ChangeSenderName.

Once you have saved and enabled this rule, any incoming email that matches the sender address will be passed to the VBA code, which will modify it.

Notes on this solution

This code is actually modifying a field called SentOnBehalfOfName. As a result, it only appears to take effect in the Outlook Message View - not when you open up an individual email. I looked into changing the actual sender field, but it is not able to be modified with VBA.

Alternative solutions

Of course, the most elegant way to do this would be to configure the service that is sending the emails, but I am assuming you have no control over that.

Another option is to configure the mail server which receives the emails, to modify the From header before it delivers to your copy of Outlook.