I want to prevent Gmail from replacing To: [email protected] with:

To: The fat guy who was near takeshi at the meeting <[email protected]>

I just typed [email protected] in the compose window, but Gmail expands it with the contact name. I want to prevent that. I want Gmail to use [email protected], or maybe [email protected] <[email protected]>.

Sometimes I meet people and get their email but forget their name, so I write an accurate description in place of the name. But I really don't want the description sent to them:

enter image description here

I never added these names inside Gmail willingly. They are synced from my Android phone (which is not something I asked for).

I can't edit all names, because there are thousands, and actually I need these "easy to remember" names on my Android phone, to know immediately who is calling me.

Maybe the only solution is to abandon Gmail's web interface and switch to Thunderbird?

  • On your phone, People -> Menu (⋮) -> Accounts might help with the auto-sync. Or add a second Google account to your phone, and then you can create your contacts under that account.
    – derobert
    Jan 15, 2013 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


On Android:

  1. Open the Contacts application
  2. Press the MENU key then Accounts
  3. Click on your Gmail account
  4. Uncheck Sync Contacts

Then in a web browser:

  1. Open Gmail
  2. Go to the Contacts workspace
  3. Delete all contacts, page by page.

Gmail will still expand in the Android app, but there at least you can modify the To: line manually.

(Huge thanks to derobert for the tip!)

Related info: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/1311182?hl=en


I just find a solution!

Click on the name and replace what Google suggest with what you want, like:


'To: The fat guy who was near takeshi at the meeting [email protected]'


'To: iCorp [email protected]'

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