Open Bug 697031 Opened 13 years ago Updated 3 hours ago

Display full email address in the From column of the Message List pane

Categories

(Thunderbird :: Folder and Message Lists, enhancement, P5)

x86_64
Windows 7
enhancement

Tracking

(Not tracked)

People

(Reporter: ws.bugzilla, Unassigned)

References

Details

Attachments

(1 file)

I would like to have the ability to view the From *email address* in the From column of my Sent messages. Perhaps a separate column for "From address"?

(I already have showCondensedAddresses set to false; this doesn't affect the From column. That might be a bug, or it might not - not sure.)
what are the values of :

mail.addr_book.displayName.autoGeneration
and
mail.addr_book.displayName.lastnamefirst

and in tools -> options -> advanced -> reading ... is "show only .... " selected ?
mail.addr_book.displayName.autoGeneration: true (default)
mail.addr_book.displayName.lastnamefirst: false (default)
"Show only ...": unchecked

Still, every email address of the form "Someone <someone@exaple.com>" is displayed as "Someone" in the "From" column.
Summary: Display full email address in the From column → Display full email address in the From column of the thread pane
Per bug 890683, it would also be useful to be able to display the bare email address (and *not* the display name) in the thread pane. This would make it easier for some use cases to disambiguate message authors/recipients.
This is also something important for security. If you get a phishing mail, which has a display name that may look legal, you may miss that it is actually sent from some fake address.

Sebastian
There is an add-on that will display the full e-mail address in the thread pane:
Show Address Only - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/show-address-only/
Last time I tried it, it still worked.

Also, we're now showing the full details in the header pane since bug 1209565:
  Phishing Issue - raise a flag if Sender Name uses @, and does not match sender email address
Ah, great! Thank you for the fast response! The extension is indeed working.

Having said that, I still believe that this should be an integrated feature for the reasons outlined in comment 7.
Also, two columns for that information are taking a lot of horizontal space, so I'd suggest to have both in one column.

Sebastian
I have tried the "Show Address Only" add-on with Thunderbird 52.1.1 (32-bit), and I get the error "This add-on is not compatible with your version of Thunderbird."   I see that the add-on was created in 2011, and not modified since then.

Is there another solution for Thunderbird 52.1.1 (32-bit)?

Thanks.
Hmm, the reviews on this page https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/show-address-only/ claim that it works for TB 52.4 (current is 52.6). You might need to download it and install it manually.
Priority: -- → P5

The add-on "Show address Only" currently has 4,300 users, probably not enough to get into the top 100 addons. That is hardly an indication this is a widely sought feature. However the point of my posting here is to point out that the add-on has been updated for Thunderbird 68, so it will probably be around for quite a while yet.
https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/show-address-only/?src=ss

I also support due to #7. I don't want to show address only (and I also prefer to minimize plug-in use); I want to be able to see both the name and email address.

I'd also like to see this feature, since the add-on no longer works. I just got an e-mail from "Mail Delivery Subsystem" which I have no way of recognizing as phishing/spam/malware without opening the e-mail first or trying to understand the e-mails source code.

(In reply to fios from comment #17)

I'd also like to see this feature, since the add-on no longer works. I just got an e-mail from "Mail Delivery Subsystem" which I have no way of recognizing as phishing/spam/malware without opening the e-mail first or trying to understand the e-mails source code.

Why not just click on the email and read the header? I have been hearing about how dangerous it is to open an email that "might" be spam or phishing for decades, but I am yet to get a convincing reason why that is in Thunderbird. I fully understand the reasons in Outlook and other mail clients that execute scripts, but Thunderbird does not. Even the HTML is sanitised so only some HTML tags function as they would in a browser. Much to the dissatisfaction of online marketers. Sure, there is some risk, but that exists with all emails as well as suspect spam and scams. Mostly from attachments that the user opens or links you click. Thunderbird does not click them for you.

Then I went to the addons page I linked to last time I came here, did what the person in the last review said and searched for full-address-column and was taken to this addon which works with the current version. https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/full-address-column/?src=search

But as the comment immediately before yours indicates, that option is available in Betterbird now. So you have a choice. Use the tools currently available or use Betterbird until such time as Thunderbird has the feature or install the new addon.

Thanks, Matt, that Add-on is working for me :)

The point isn't just feeling more secure (feelings aren't always objective), but also speed. I get a lot of e-mails, so it's a great time saver not to have to open every e-mail separately.

I also want this feature, for myself, sure, but also to improve safety for all Thunderbird users (comments 7, 19).
Re; comment 18, true, but by the time I, and expect most people, open the msg, my eyes have moved on to the body. I want to see a warning sooner.
I also suggest a slightly modified request, that will be more acceptable to most users that I presume are happy with the status quo.

Currently, it appears TB populates the From column of the Thread List with DisplayName if provided, otherwise email-address.
I suggest it should behave more like the From field of the Message Header:
In the Message Header, presentation of From depends on whether there is a match on the email address to a Contact:
If email address matches a Contact, then Display Name is shown along with a bright blue star indicating an existing Contact.
If no match then we see Display Name (if provided), followed by email address and a plain star.
( additional feature request: I would argue, at least make the star yellow for non-contact, to serve as an alert saying either you do not know this person, or you should really add them to your Contacts)

For the Thread List From Column, I would like to see:
If email-addr matches a Contact: show only Display Name.
If no match: show Email-Address, followed by Display Name (if provided).
Yes, reversed order from msg header, so that, regardless of column width, email addr is visible.
I argue this should be the default behavior, so that even less technical users are more likely to identify forged Display Names for what they are. This will reduce the number of support calls like: "my friend sent me a phishing msg", or more common, "my friends are getting phishing msgs from my account, how to I fix it" , when in fact the msgs are from 3rd party forging display name.

Severity: normal → S3
Duplicate of this bug: 1824985

any update on this?

is it that hard to implement or mozilla doesnt want to?

Information Update:
The addon 'full address column' as mentioned in comment 18 - works for 102* but the author says it will not work in 115*.

Due to Supernova changes in Thunderbird, it is no longer possible to manipulate columns from an add-on, even with full privileges. There are proposed changes to re-enable the feature. Until those changes are merged and released, the add-on can't be fixed.

I cannot see any advantage in displaying the FROM email address in yet another place as it may be genuine or bogus or a real known address being abused, but until you read the content of email or check the full headers or read view source - all of which are currently available, then you are not going to know either way unless FROM says it's you and you did not send it. But it may alert you to bogus emails being sent in your name which could in turn get your email address spam listed.

For me the bottom line is do not rely on the FROM email address to mean the email is geniune and does not contain anything that could be a problem, but for some people it seems to make them think it offers some security.

However, regardless of my experiences, could now be the time to create a new column header specifically for the email address of sender for version 115* as Thunderbird is getting a major overhaul in many ways ?
Then if people really want to see the email address, they can choose the 'Email' column header.

I would like to have the ability to view the From/to/cc/bcc email address in the all respective columns of all folders.

This bug persists on Platform: Windows 11 (64). And my personal severity rating of this is S2.

See also https://www.thunderbird-mail.de/forum/thread/92412-ganze-email-adresse-anzeigen-bei-bekannten-adressen-ausblenden-funktioniert-ande/

(In reply to Elomir from comment #25)

I would like to have the ability to view the From/to/cc/bcc email address in the all respective columns of all folders.

This bug persists on Platform: Windows 11 (64). And my personal severity rating of this is S2.

See also https://www.thunderbird-mail.de/forum/thread/92412-ganze-email-adresse-anzeigen-bei-bekannten-adressen-ausblenden-funktioniert-ande/

This would be even better!

But we have struggled to get only the email column...

(In reply to Anje from comment #24)

Information Update:
The addon 'full address column' as mentioned in comment 18 - works for 102* but the author says it will not work in 115*.

Due to Supernova changes in Thunderbird, it is no longer possible to manipulate columns from an add-on, even with full privileges. There are proposed changes to re-enable the feature. Until those changes are merged and released, the add-on can't be fixed.

I cannot see any advantage in displaying the FROM email address in yet another place as it may be genuine or bogus or a real known address being abused, but until you read the content of email or check the full headers or read view source - all of which are currently available, then you are not going to know either way unless FROM says it's you and you did not send it. But it may alert you to bogus emails being sent in your name which could in turn get your email address spam listed.

For me the bottom line is do not rely on the FROM email address to mean the email is geniune and does not contain anything that could be a problem, but for some people it seems to make them think it offers some security.

However, regardless of my experiences, could now be the time to create a new column header specifically for the email address of sender for version 115* as Thunderbird is getting a major overhaul in many ways ?
Then if people really want to see the email address, they can choose the 'Email' column header.

I know it is not conclusive but most spam emails come from weird addresses instead of "fedex.com". This feature is just a step closer.

I never read the source, no need. Also, if I see the headers I have already read the email and my address can already be flagged as active for spam and it is a waste of time. Email column is faster.

It's not just about eliminating emails I don't want to open. It's about finding emails I might want to open from organizations I care about. Who nevertheless send emails with low-context subjects and just somebody's name that I don't recognize because they changed roles or I don't get enough email from them to recognize the name or just the fact that I get so many emails.

If I can see from the email address that it's an organization that I care about then I'm more likely to open the email.

good point, works both ways.

even more reasons to implement it.

I dont understand why the reluctance if this was how it used to be and then changed for Correspondents only column.

(In reply to Rachel Martin from comment #16)

https://github.com/Betterbird/thunderbird-patches/blob/main/91/bugs/697031-make-thread-pane-address-display-configurable.patch
Includes fix for bug 1748487 comment #4.

So this has already been fixed by BetterBird.EU - just take the code and put it into Thunderbird. Well, I just use BetterBird now, but why does Thunderbird not just apply the patch(es) which BetterBird provides them?!

(In reply to u732669 from comment #30)

(In reply to Rachel Martin from comment #16)

https://github.com/Betterbird/thunderbird-patches/blob/main/91/bugs/697031-make-thread-pane-address-display-configurable.patch
Includes fix for bug 1748487 comment #4.

So this has already been fixed by BetterBird.EU - just take the code and put it into Thunderbird. Well, I just use BetterBird now, but why does Thunderbird not just apply the patch(es) which BetterBird provides them?!

even more frustrating!

thanks for the tip!

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

I note - at the top of this bug report in the top header section is 'Details' and a 'Vote' button option.
Currently only 2 people have actually voted for this bug.
If anyone reading this wants this bug to be fixed, then can you please make sure you have voted for it.

(In reply to u732669 from comment #30)

(In reply to Rachel Martin from comment #16)

https://github.com/Betterbird/thunderbird-patches/blob/main/91/bugs/697031-make-thread-pane-address-display-configurable.patch
Includes fix for bug 1748487 comment #4.

So this has already been fixed by BetterBird.EU - just take the code and put it into Thunderbird. Well, I just use BetterBird now, but why does Thunderbird not just apply the patch(es) which BetterBird provides them?!

did not even know there was an alternative to thunderbird / fork.
todays spam situation calls for this feature and that it would be the standard view and the name is a option. many people I can imagine do not even know the name can be fake.

(In reply to bugzilla from comment #34)

todays spam situation calls for this feature and that it would be the standard view and the name is a option. many people I can imagine do not even know the name can be fake.

You can get a display name you may know with an email address which is not matching display name. These are the ones which you can easily detect when you have that extra 'sender email' column.
You can get a display name you may know with an email address which seems correct. It might be really from that sender , but it might not!
You can get your own name with your own email address - alledgedly you sent it ! I think you would know if you were sending to yourself.

So, the name can be a fake AND email address can be fake as well. Just because you want to see the email address the alledged sender is using in the 'FROM' - does not mean it's real either. It does not offer you any real additional security. You can usually tell the sender is not who you expect because the content does not match the expected type of content from the expected sender.
If in doubt check the View> Message Source.
It may have correct FROM but it it's not actually from that person - check any 'REply-to' info and also the 'REceived by' headers. Note the one at the top is the last server which stores you mail, so look at the first one lower down near the FROM, Subject ,Date headers.
If remote content is not allowed then opening an email is not going to be a problem providing you do not start clicking on any link or attachment just because you are curious.

Still do not agree!

Yes! You can get a forged sender’s address, in addition to a fake sender’s name.

BUT at least, seeing the email address in the message list gives a first glance idea, which is better than nothing.
Experience shows that most spam messages are from unknown addresses, whether forged or not.

The question remains: why so much reluctance to add this feature?

Reminder: Android app K9-mail, which is said to become Thunderbird for Android soon, DOES provide this feature.

(In reply to u732669 from comment #30)

(In reply to Rachel Martin from comment #16)

https://github.com/Betterbird/thunderbird-patches/blob/main/91/bugs/697031-make-thread-pane-address-display-configurable.patch
Includes fix for bug 1748487 comment #4.

So this has already been fixed by BetterBird.EU - just take the code and put it into Thunderbird. Well, I just use BetterBird now, but why does Thunderbird not just apply the patch(es) which BetterBird provides them?!

For me, seeing the raw email addresses (sender and recipient) (and possibly more custom columns - e.g., headers that the receiving SMTP server adds, as in our case) is essential, and I consider it a fail that the thread pane is not accessible to extensions any more.

However, it's not that easy. The link you gave refers to BB 91 / TB 91. But the real cause for the problem is that the code has been restructured. I am quite sure that you just cannot apply patches for 91 to the 115 code base. I would be happy if I was wrong with that, though.

I should have better explained the situation and would like to clarify my previous statements:

Actually, Betterbird 115 does provide means to show the sender's and recipient's email address (see https://www.betterbird.eu/expert-tips/index.html and look for mail.addressDisplayRecipients and mail.addressDisplayAuthor).

Therefore, the subject of this bug report is not an issue in Betterbird.

But please allow some further remarks:

Betterbird can only show the sender's and recipient's raw email addresses because its (extremely helpful) author has "directly" implanted a patch into Betterbird for that one specific purpose (which works very reliably by the way).

But that patch does not re-enable extensions to add columns to the message list pane or to manipulate the columns there. This means that there will be no extension in the foreseeable future that can make the message list show the raw sender's or recipient's address. I am emphasizing this because extensions were the preferred (and only) way to make TB show these addresses in the past.

While Betterbird users don't need to care in which way the raw email addresses are provided, this still means that neither BB 115 nor TB 115 work together with extremely useful extensions like the famous ColumnsWizard (which could add arbitrary new columns showing arbitrary header contents to the message list pane). In other words, additional columns in the message list pane are currently impossible until the TB or BB developers incorporate them directly; additional columns cannot be provided by extensions.

I am aware that this bug report originally related to email addresses only, not other exotic headers. However, this issue is (or traditionally was) closely related with the ability of extensions to access the message list pane, so I hope that the remarks above are not totally inappropriate.

This is a very basic requirement (though it may be hard or tedious to implement, I wouldn't know), and every mail client should display the address per default! I know that mail addresses can be forged, but often they are not, and can serve as a no-brainer for reducing the number of spam/phishing mails one has to actually think about.

It is astonishing that there's still discussion whether this feature is helpful, and that we had to resort to extensions to have it in the first place, and that now even extensions can't add this feature anymore.

Of course the sender's address can also be forged. It could also be the case that my device is under RCE and someone is editing all the .emls after thunderbird downloaded them.
However, the vast majority, talking >95% at least in my experience, of spam I receive is not able or doesn't try to forge the sender's address and so I can easily discard it with a single glance at the previously available "Sender (@)" column from the now defunct Full address column add-on.

Duplicate of this bug: 1863155

Displaying sender's and recipient's email adress columns so you can see them at a quick glance is an essential and basic feature. Actually, this should be fixed ASAP. K-9 and Betterbird belong to the same "family" and can do it, so I really can't see the problem.

As far as I can see the following bug in TB v115ff has to be fixed at first:

https://phabricator.services.mozilla.com/D179632

Then formerly working, great WebExtension

https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/full-address-column/

can be adjusted to new v115.

Here is another thread about this issue:

https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/ideas/new-column-for-e-mail-address-of-sender/idi-p/38300

Duplicate of this bug: 1851392

Email addresses in the message list (not the display name) is sometimes also essential to quickly see that an email is -not- spam. I get emails from my company from people I don't know, with names that are highly unusual in my country. I already deleted a couple of them (before finding full-address-column), as I thought they were spam - not seeing where they came from. And, of course, I opened emails with fake display names. Please, either repair the interface for full-address-column. Or provide an address colum natively. Why not? This has been a request for many years.

(In reply to Anje from comment #35)

So, the name can be a fake AND email address can be fake as well. Just because you want to see the email address the alledged sender is using in the 'FROM' - does not mean it's real either. It does not offer you any real additional security. You can usually tell the sender is not who you expect because the content does not match the expected type of content from the expected sender.

As far as I know, what you name "email address" is the address used to login at the sender's SMTP server (HELO) while "name" (FROM) is an arbitrary string. The first one is harder to fake as many SMTP servers want to have a valid account or don't accept delivery of mails of other domains (vs. "open relays"). In opposite the FROM name isn't checked at all as it's part of the mail content.

If in doubt check the View> Message Source.
It may have correct FROM but it it's not actually from that person - check any 'REply-to' info and also the 'REceived by' headers. Note the one at the top is the last server which stores you mail, so look at the first one lower down near the FROM, Subject ,Date headers.
If remote content is not allowed then opening an email is not going to be a problem providing you do not start clicking on any link or attachment just because you are curious.

Sorry, too complex for normal users, too much time for a high count of inbound mails.

You're right, the "sender address" doesn't show "good senders" - but it's sufficient to sort out "bad senders" = unknown addresses with domains outside my country. Remaining in-doubt addresses I sort out using the method you have shown.

Even more strange to me: there's a "receiver" column - so why no "sender" column ?
Or why not fix the problem that kept full-address-column from working some months ago ?

Or why not fix the problem that kept full-address-column from working some months ago ?

That requires bug 1817682 which is being worked on. And the author of the add-on needs to adjust the add-on to the new API.

(In reply to bugzillanov from comment #48)

Even more strange to me: there's a "receiver" column - so why no "sender" column ?

The 'Recipient' column is used mainly in the 'Sent' folder, but as it's possible to store replies to emails in the same folder as the original received email, it's a useful column to know to whom you sent an email. It does not necesarilly contain an email address as it may use whatever 'Display name' you set up in the address book and works the same as the 'From' column. The 'Correspondence' column can also provide this info.
But that data is reliable because it would have been created by yourself.
The 'Received' column does not contain name or email data.

Please note I'm not saying I think it's wrong or opposed to having an email address column, I'm merely pointing out that for all the serious types you want to avoid the sender maybe too clever and they will use email address which looks ok rendering the reason for seeing that column as not something you cannot trust.

(In reply to Anje from comment #50)

(In reply to bugzillanov from comment #48)

Even more strange to me: there's a "receiver" column - so why no "sender" column ?

The 'Recipient' column is used mainly in the 'Sent' folder, but as it's possible to store replies to emails in the same folder as the original received email, it's a useful column to know to whom you sent an email. It does not necesarilly contain an email address as it may use whatever 'Display name' you set up in the address book and works the same as the 'From' column. The 'Correspondence' column can also provide this info.
But that data is reliable because it would have been created by yourself.
The 'Received' column does not contain name or email data.

Please note I'm not saying I think it's wrong or opposed to having an email address column, I'm merely pointing out that for all the serious types you want to avoid the sender maybe too clever and they will use email address which looks ok rendering the reason for seeing that column as not something you cannot trust.

I don't think anybody here is asking for a column helping to identify ALL spam.
But as many posters have already pointed out: >90 % of spam can be easily recognized from the (fake) sender's email address. That is all we are asking here.

(I wished some developer was reading this! It must be so incredibly easy to implement this (optional) column that I am getting more and more frustrated following this thread over the years and not seeing a developer having mercy and just doing it. What harm would it do? )

I think we can all agree that the email address is not something you can trust 100%.
But no more, and no less, than the Display name.
It reminds me of a famous sketch by a French humorist in which he said, "Tell me what you need, and I'll tell you how to get by without it." (wink)
Obviously, many of us would like to be able to display this address to "help" determine the origin of messages.
It's no coincidence that several hundred people used to use the "full address column" addon.
For the record, the Android version of Thunderbird (K9-mail) includes this option.
Yes, it's all very frustrating :-(

(In reply to bugzillanov from comment #48)
Please note I'm not saying I think it's wrong or opposed to having an email address column, I'm merely pointing out that for all the serious types you want to avoid the sender maybe too clever and they will use email address which looks ok rendering the reason for seeing that column as not something you cannot trust.

As I wrote, I used the "real address" column provided by the currently-not-working "Full Address column" addon for a fast negative check depending on the sending domain to kick out mails with "100% garbage factor".

In addition, I use "DKIM Verifier" for fast checking of individual mails in the preview window - just another point to kick out useless mails.

Last - and because it's more time consuming - for suspicious mails that I think I have to read, I use the mail headers you mentioned.
Viewing mail headers cannot be done on individual mails, just global, but they reduce the readable content in the preview window - another disturbing point.

As this thread was opened 12 years ago, I don't see a chance to get a native column "sender address" - and in addition a column with the first SMTP address where a mail was delivered - in native Thunderbird, I hope, bugfix for 1817682 (for which I voted after TB update lead to the addon not working) will be delivered.
(I read somewhere a statement of the addon developer that fix delivery may be delayed for a longer time, so no chance to get his addon working in a near future...sad!).

Unbelievable! A small addition discussed for 12 years instead of just doing it. Yes, that is Thunderbird "development" as known for a long time. For people annoyed by this there is Betterbird.

Sometime ago, Thunderbird dev team introduced a new feature that allow to Always show Sender's full address in the Message List > Preview pane > More > Customise... settings, see attached.

Of course that only affects the display in the Preview Pane at the moment (better than nothing) but as an enhancement it could also affect the message list and show the senders in it, in the same format: Name <EmailAddress> in there as well...

I agree and support (as I did already in the past) the idea that should be the default settings from a security point of view!

Summary: Display full email address in the From column of the thread pane → Display full email address in the From column of the Message List pane
Duplicate of this bug: 1881038
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