We use Exchange Online for our mail hosting with Outlook 201x. We have a shared mail account used by many different servers to send alerts out.

Address: ServerAlerts@mycompanyName.onmicrosoft.com
From Name: Server Alerts

On each server, the alerting application sends mail via SMTP and explicitly sets the "from name" as "Server Alerts [Server Name]". However, this new name does not show in Outlook on the mail in the contact information at the top. Instead, we see the original name of just "Server Alerts". If I look at the mail properties, I DO see "Server Alerts [Server Name]" in the headers, so it IS there.

The kicker is that if I send a test mail to a GMAIL account, or to external people using Outlook on their own domain, they see the "Server Alerts [Server Name] from name on the mail itself.

Why is my explicitly set "from name" getting overridden by the default on our Outlook only? Is there a setting in Outlook that needs to be changed? I can't imagine there is an Exchange Online setting for this account that is incorrect since other mail providers do pass through the explicit name.


That is the expected behaviour. It isn't Outlook that is doing it, but Exchange. Exchange will attempt to resolve the name to something in the GAL. If it matches, then the display name is "corrected" to match Exchange.

This is done so that users with Outlook are able to sort the email correctly - rather than having some email with "John Smith", "Jonny Smith" "John" etc. It is called P2 Resolution I believe.

The way I would deal with this is to have the From address not exist in Exchange. Then it wouldn't be resolved and the address line would remain.

  • It appears that the display name is a required field in Exchange Online. – SomeGuy Jan 4 '17 at 14:19
  • You didn't understand what I meant - the whole address shouldn't exist - so no account, contact etc. – Sembee Jan 5 '17 at 8:00
  • I'm not following you. How would I send a mail from an account that doesn't exist in Exchange? – SomeGuy Jan 10 '17 at 20:40
  • An email address doesn't have to exist to be able to send email - just check your spam folder. I have made the assumption that the emails are being sent by an SMTP process in to Office365 - as you cannot be monitoring Office365 servers yourself. – Sembee Jan 11 '17 at 9:12

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