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Ask Microsoft: SMTP addresses, auto-backup for Outlook

A Microsoft information worker executive answers user questions about gleaning "real" e-mail address information and the Personal Folders Backup Add-In.

On an occasional basis, Microsoft executives answer your questions through's "Ask Microsoft...

…" These questions were answered by the software maker's Information Worker Product Management Group.

Why can't Outlook and Outlook Express (optionally, perhaps) display the honest-to-God e-mail address of the sender (e.g.,, rather than the "display name" (e.g., "Martin Smith")? I'd love to know the sender's domain right up front -- he'll tell me his name in the body of the e-mail. -- Mike Armstrong

There is a simple way to turn off the contact name resolution. From the Outlook menu chose Tools, Address Book, Tools, Options. This will allow the removal of the Contact Address Book. Separately, when you auto-complete an external address, Outlook 2003 will show the SMTP address for the sender. However, it will not do so for other recipients, as that would make the "To" and "CC" lines too long. -- Simon Marks, product manager, Information Worker Product Management Group

I'm not sure what auto-backup of messages and address book actually does. If you are writing an e-mail, it usually gets saved in the drafts folder. Other than that, what is it that needs to be backed up? -- E.S.

You can always archive e-mails or save a copy of the .PST on a different PC if necessary (Exchange does most of this work if you're working in an Exchange environment). Also, consumers can download the Personal Folders Backup Add-In from the download center. Downloading this will allow consumers to regularly backup the .PST file that contains both e-mail and personal contacts. -- Simon Marks, product manager, Information Worker Product Management Group

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