Finding the Correct Email Address in Contacts

Audience: Faculty, Staff, Students and Teaching Assistants

This KB Article References: Google Contacts
This Information is Intended for: Faculty, Staff, Students, Teaching Assistants
Last Updated: August 11, 2020
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Stony Brook University's Google Contacts Directory includes all faculty, staff, and students at all Stony Brook campuses, and in some cases more than one person shares the same (or a similar) name. Because of this, it is especially important for senders to be sure they have the correct contact.

When you type a name in the To field of an email, Google gives suggestions, but if there are multiple contacts with the same name, it can be hard to know, from these suggestions, which is the correct email address:

google email to field with "michael white" and 4 contacts with that name but slightly different email addresses

To make sure you are sending emails to the correct person, it's a good idea to look the person up and verify who they are in Google Contacts.

Find and Mark the Correct Email in Google Contacts

  1. In Google Contacts (, type the person's name into the search bar and click the magnifying glass button
  2. If results include more than one person, click on a name to see more details (status, department) about the contact
  3. When you find the correct contact, click on the contact to view full details; then click the pencil to edit
    pencil to edit contact
  4. In edti view at the bottom, click More fields
  5. In the Suffix field, add a note or department name to help you know it's the correct contact (This change will not sync with the Stony Brook Directory, but when you email that contact, he/she will see how you've modified his/her name). Click Save
    (DoIT) in suffix field of contact
  6. Back in Gmail, refresh your screen, then start a new email and type that contact's name, and the contact's name as you modified it will appear so you'll easily know which contact to use
    Bob smith (DoIT) in autocomplete in Gmail

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