I use my gmail for different purposes, such as mailing list subscription and contacting with my friends. I would like to use different display names when I send email to different destinations. e.g. when I send email to my friends I want my display name to be "Bob" and when send email to a mailing list I want my display name to be "John".

Does anybody know how to do this in gmail?

  • If my "display name" you mean the name sent along with the e-mail on the from: field, then you already got your answer here, by Lukman.
    – cregox
    May 26, 2011 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


GMail does not directly allow you to set alternative name to your email address but there is a trick.

First, you need to know that if your email address is [email protected], if someone sends an email to [email protected] the email will still reach your inbox. The +def part is called "address tag" (click here for wikipedia article) and it allows you to have variations of your email address for purposes like filtering etc. But for your case we are going to use it to assign different names.


  1. Open your GMail settings page and go to the "Accounts" tab.
  2. In "Send mail as" section, click on "Add another email address you own" link.
  3. In the popup window, type in the alternative name that you wants in the first input field, and your email address with address tag in the second input field (e.g [email protected] or [email protected])
  4. Save.
  5. Now you can start using the alternative name by selecting it from the "From" field in the compose page.
  6. Replies will still go to your inbox.
  7. As a bonus, you can assign different label to incoming emails based on which email address they are sent to (e.g. green for [email protected], red for [email protected]).

Hope this helps!

  • 2
    Nice. You can also add a . anywhere in your user name and still get the mail. May 26, 2011 at 11:36
  • Wow, this is **** genius for tracking down the source of newsletter spammers! Isn't it? Apr 10, 2012 at 10:06

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