Did you know that there is a difference between sending emails to recipients that are in the email address book and those that are not?
The display name is one of the form fields that can be filled out in the email clients address book. This display name will be sent along with the email address to recipients in the to, cc and bcc fields.
It is a descriptive name that users can select individually.
Email recipients in Thunderbird see the display name in the to field and the email address when hovering over the display name in the status bar.
Sending the display name can be problematic because of several reasons. One is that it is up to the account owner to pick a display name which can sometimes be not appropriate to share with the recipient.
Another problem is that it can lead to encoding problems on the recipients side as well. If you are using characters in the display name that the system on the receiving end does not support, it may end up displaying cryptic characters instead of the selected name.
The Thunderbird extension Address Auto Cleaner takes care of the issue by removing the display name from emails that get sent out from the desktop email client. It will automatically remove the display name from the to, cc and bcc fields in Thunderbird before the email is send to the recipients.
Update: The Thunderbird extension has not been updated since 2010. While it may still be working right now, it is likely that it won't in the future.
For now however, it is working just fine still fully compatible with all recent versions of the Thunderbird email client.
Note that the compatibility information list Thunderbird 24 as the latest compatible version. You can load it in newer versions of the program without issues currently though.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.