GMail has recently rolled out a new method of composing a message: the composition appears as a popup stable at the bottom of the screen, and one can look at other mail for reference, say, while composing the mail. Other things have changed about the composition process also.

One (to me unwelcome) change is as follows. Suppose GMail recognizes the name-and-address John Doe <[email protected]> from past e-mail I've sent, or from my address book. Suppose now I wish to compose an e-mail message to [email protected] with no name. Using the old composition method, this is easy: I edit the "to:" line. Using the new one, any attempt to use [email protected] alone as a recipient will result in its getting labeled John Doe <[email protected]>.

I know of two solutions for this on a case-by-case basis:

  • Use [email protected] or any other equivalent but not identical address.
  • Add [email protected] as a contact (if it isn't already) and remove John Doe from the contact information.

Neither appeals to me, and I'm looking for any further possible solutions, either on a case-by-case basis (is there something to press while editing the "to:" line that will make my edits there stick?) or, preferably, as a preference I can set.


1 Answer 1


Found another two options based on my answer to your first question:

  1. type " " <[email protected]> and hit tab/hit enter/click in another field
  2. type and choose the email normally, then double click on the email+name block that Gmail creates and replace the name between the " " with a single space.

The first version worked for me 9/10 times, I'm not sure what I did differently during the 1/10. The second version worked for me every time.

When it worked Gmail created a new block that simply said ([email protected]) and in the sent folder it showed the to-field as [email protected].

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