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I can't help but think this has probably been asked before, but I did do a search and didn't see an answer that addressed my issue.

I have at least one friend, who whenever she sends me an email, in the column that shows the name of the sender, as well as anywhere else that the sender name is displayed, her email address is displayed instead of her name.

I have her on my contact list, I have all her email addresses stored, and we email frequently.

I have cleared out the "Other" category of my contacts list to ensure there isn't an overlapping entry for her, as well as confirm there are no duplicates in any other category of contacts.

This is definitely happening with this one person, and I think it might be happening with others.

In any case, what do I do to force Gmail do display a contact name instead of the email address?

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After getting an answer to this question I realized I was asking the wrong thing. The question I really wanted to ask is here: webapps.stackexchange.com/q/22921/13191 – Questioner Aug 26 '12 at 3:18
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It could be that your friend does not have her email account setup with the name field as I had a similar problem when working with an Organization that did not fill out their information within their email client.

Check the original (selecting the drop down menu where you can reply to a message or report) and see what comes up in the From: field. The RFC has conventions for sending the From header and her email client may not be executing properly.

The RFC calls it a mailbox

Normally, a mailbox is comprised of two parts: (1) an optional display name that indicates the name of the recipient (which could be a person or a system) that could be displayed to the user of a mail application, and (2) an addr-spec address enclosed in angle brackets ("<" and ">").

Of course all of this is on the assumption that she is not using Gmail

Check the user card that shows up when hovering over the email address, select the "More" drop down and go to "Contact Details" if the contact is a duplicate of the one you have saved, delete it.

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