When you send an email to someone, your name is displayed so the recipient knows who you are. This makes perfect sense, of course, but what if you want to disguise your identity, adopt a nom de plume, or set up an elaborate digital paper trail to throw enemy agents off your scent?

In this article we show you quick ways to change the name your emails provide when using Apple Mail on macOS or iOS devices. But in the event of your capture, remember: we were never here and this never happened.

Contacts need to be new ones for this to work

One thing to note before you begin is that if you've already sent someone an email from your account, you won't be able to change the way it presents your name. This is because the mail program will have already saved your identity as a contact, and will always defer to that when receiving emails from you.

It should also be clear that when a recipient clicks on your name at the top of the email they will still be able to see the email address from which you sent the message.

Changing your name in Apple Mail on macOS

There are a couple of routes to achieve this on a Mac, as iCloud accounts include a few different steps to the likes of Hotmail and Gmail.

iCloud

Open Apple Mail, go to the menu in the top-left corner and click on Mail > Preferences. Next, select the iCloud account from the list on the lefthand side.

Ensure that Account Information is selected in the main pane, then click on the dropdown menu in the Email Address section and click Edit Email Addresses.

How to change email sender name in Apple Mail: Account information

This will automatically open a browser windows and take you to iCloud.com. You'll need to log into your account, then you'll be presented with the account settings.

The part you need to change is in the text box for Full Name. Just delete what's there, replace it with your new identity, and click Done.

How to change email sender name in Apple Mail: iCloud

Gmail, Hotmail, and other accounts

Just like with the iCloud instructions above, open Mail and go to Mail > Preferences, then select the account you want to change.

Check that the Account Information tab is highlighted, then go to the section marked Email Address and click on the dropdown menu.

Select Edit Email Addresses, then double-click on the text under Full Name to change the entry. When you're finished, click OK.

How to change email sender name in Apple Mail: Gmail

Changing your sender name on Mail for iOS

To make the adjustments on your iPad or iPhone, go to Settings > Accounts & Passwords, then select the one you want to change. Tap on the Account section at the top of the page, then on the next screen enter a new sobriquet into the Name field.

How to change email sender name in Apple Mail: iOS

When you're happy with your assumed identity, tap Done and any emails to new contacts will now appear to come from that name.

If you're thinking of changing to another app for your communication needs, then you should also read our Best Mac Email Clients of 2018 and 9 Best Alternatives to Apple's Stock iPhone Apps guides for some ideas.