Renaming email, web & phone details in contacts

Using version: 9.2.2038 (c8b8173)

There seems to be a problem renaming email, web & phone details in contacts e.g. after renaming a web item as BANK after saving and reopening the name reverts to Webpage 2, or similar. The problem affects email addresses phone numbers and web pages. Whatever custom name is used after saving and reopening the renamed item reverts to a standard form. Occasionally it works but usually does not. Anyone else have this issue?

The issue with the labels may depend on your contact provider and how the contacts are synced with the server. CardDAV for example doesn’t support renaming this. However, we have made some changes in the next version (10), so with Local Folder Contacts and possibly Google Contacts, the label for web pages should be retained.

But for most, it will just revert to what it was.

Thanks for that, I look forward to v10. But does this fully explain the inconstancy of the renaming, i.e. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t?

I have exactly the same problem. I have numerous custom names for email addresses, and custom names for phone numbers. These are CRITICAL. I also noticed that a user from 2013, eleven years ago, asked about this very issue. WOW! Eleven years and still no solution? What I do find odd is that my custom names for email addresses often remain intact. Not always, but often; however, my custom names for phone numbers NEVER remain intact. They usually get changed to some arbitrary number/code. See image below:

Let me now try to explain the whole story. The custom name issue has been ongoing for years, and not just with eM Client, but also with Outlook and several other email clients.

Okay, I have a program on my Windows (11) PC called MyPhoneExplorer. I also have the corresponding app, MyPhoneExplorer, on my Android device, a Pixel 8 Pro, but it works on virtually all Android devices.

MyPhoneExplorer is extremely flexible, especially when it comes to contact management. It allows for an almost unlimited number of custom (the app calls them Userdefined) names for phone numbers and email addresses.

When I create a contact in MyPhoneExplorer, I can add a custom name to a phone number like the following example:

Custom Name Here: 123-456-7890

When I sync that contact to my Android device via MyPhoneExplorer, the custom names and corresponding phone numbers are there. PERFECT! When my device subsequently syncs my phone contacts to my Google contacts online, the custom names and corresponding phone numbers are still there. STILL PERFECT!

However, when I used to use Outlook as my email and contacts client, and I import all my contacts into Outlook, the moment Outlook syncs with my Gmail account, it automatically syncs the contacts as shown in Outlook to Google. This then eliminates all the custom names within my Google contacts. When my Android device then automatically syncs with my contacts online, and I subsequently sync my contacts in MyPhoneExplorer, all the custom names within MyPhoneExplorer disappear. They are either replaced with some weird entry, or they are substituted with the default Home, Work, Other, etc.

The exact same thing happens with eM Client. Even if I go into eM Client settings and tell it NOT to sync contacts, within a day or so, something happens, much like what happened with Outlook, and all custom names disappear. As it stands now, the ONLY way I can maintain those custom names is to stop my device from syncing contacts with Google online. While the contacts on my device are always correct, and are also correct on my PC program MyPhoneExplorer, my contacts on Google (online) are not. Something within eM Client (and Outlook, etc.) is still syncing contact information with Google. I don’t know what’s happening, but if I could simply STOP eM Client from syncing anything related to my contacts, it would solve the problem.

As I said earlier, eM Client appears to now be able to maintain custom names for email addresses, but not for phone numbers. Clearly you fixed the issue with email addresses, so why can’t you do the same with phone numbers?


MyPhoneExplorer > Phone = Perfect
Phone > Google Account = Perfect
Google Account > Phone = Perfect
Phone > MyPhoneExplorer = Perfect

The problem ONLY happens if and when I import my contacts into eM Client (or Outlook, etc.). Once this happens, within 24 hours my Google contacts online all have the custom names removed. After the import of contacts INTO eM Client, here’s the summary:

MyPhoneExplorer > Phone = Perfect
Phone > Google Account = Perfect
Google Account > Phone = Custom Names gone
Phone > MyPhoneExplorer = Custom Names gone

The ONLY way to then solve the problem is to delete ALL my contacts EVERYWHERE. Delete them from MyPhoneExplorer, from my phone, from my Google account, and from eM Client. Then I have to go back from scratch and import a backup copy of my contacts into MyPhoneExplorer, then sync with my phone to get them back into my device, and then sync my device with Google to get them back online. I also have to then import them back into eM Client; however, once I do this, within 24 hours, everything is screwed up again. Very frustrating.

Now, you may wonder why I even need the contacts within eM Client since I’m using MyPhoneExplorer to manage my contacts? Good question, and there’s a great answer. I need them in eM Client to allow for automatic address entry when I write a new email message. If I don’t have any contacts within eM Client, then I have to manually type all email addresses on all new messages because eM Client has no internal reference to go by.


I regularly visit very large corporations where I may have 20 contacts. As it stands now, I create one main contact for the corporation, and then list all 20 numbers with individual custom contact names. So, if I need to contact someone at ABC Company, I open that contact and there are all the names and corresponding numbers.

Sure, I could create 20 individual contacts, but that’s inefficient, and it would force me to remember everyone’s name for all those large accounts. I don’t want to do that.

Sadly for all third-party email clients, if Google were to ultimately announce a desktop app for PCs, you would all be out of business. I would eliminate all email clients and use the desktop Gmail program. However, there is no current plan for Google to create such a desktop program, so I am forced to use other methods.

For what it’s worth, here’s the original inquiry from 11 years ago:

If you look at the ‘gold standard’ i.e. where the contact data is stored, which is you can see that custom names for both email and web entries are supported, they can be added, changed and deleted, so they MUST be being stored at Google. In fact from my experiments it seems that if a custom name for an email or web entry is modified via then the changes do sync with em-client. The problems seem to occur when they are modified using em-client, where often em-client does not appear to reliably transfer the custom names back to Google. I can understand Gary’s comments that custom names may not be retained if the email service provider (other than Google) do not support and store custom names, although one would have thought that that a tiny bit of code would be able to determine this particular situation and just retain the custom names locally i.e. within em-clients database. I still can not think of another explanation as to why em-client and Google Contacts sync is unreliable for custom data names, especially after so many years of complaints. Anyway until they fix it maybe the easiest solutions is to use for any work on custom names?

Steven, I completely agree with you. Google is the “gold standard.” Concerning eM Client, I’ve noticed that custom names for email addresses are often maintained, but it’s not the case for phone numbers. For me, the custom phone number names are the most important. As I stated in my earlier post, I have a solution that works well for me; although, it may not be suitable for others. I simply turn off contacts sync in my device. This allows me to maintain correct contact information between my device and my laptop through the MyPhoneExplorer app/program. Concerning eM Client and Google, I only need to up-date them occasionally via their “import” options. Like you said, until they fix it, we’ll have to find our own way to bypass the issue. My way works for me, for now, but it may not work for others. Thanks for your comments.

Peter, phone numbers seem OK too if created/edited via Google Contacts. In the two attached images you can see where I created a test contact within Google Contacts, then when seconds later I checked my em-client contacts, there it was with all the non-standard custom names. I notice that the em-client sync process adds a colon after the label name and I’ve often wondered if this is significant as it’s possible to edit the default label names in em-client to remove the colon; also any label created in upper case in Google contacts is transposed to one capital letter and the rest lower case - so the em-client sync does more than just copy the data at Google, it tweaks it and maybe in the process something goes wrong?

Steven, thank you for the information. I will do more testing today, much like what you just did. Perhaps there’s a simple but sneaky reason for this particular issue. Hopefully, Occam’s Razor will end up, once again, being true. I’ll let you know. Enjoy your day.



I discovered what I did wrong. Hopefully my assessment is correct and this whole issue is no longer a problem. Here’s what I found:

When I first installed eM Client and completed the initial set-up, I then did something hasty. I didn’t want to be patient and wait for eM Client to sync my Google contacts. In an effort to save a bit of time, I simply imported all my contacts into the default contacts label. This was a mistake. I should have allowed eM Client to do the work for me and sync directly with Google.

See the two images below. The first one relates to what I did in the beginning. The second one is the result of starting all over again and allowing eM Client to download my Google contacts. As you can see, it established a separate label, GMAIL, with the populated results underneath.

When I import a contact into the default “Contacts” label within eM Client, the custom phone number names are wrong. However, when I check the same test contact within the GMAIL label, all the custom names are there.

We’ll see if this lasts but, for now, it does solve my problem. I’ll update this thread if anything should suddenly change.

Update 2024-04-06: Everything is working perfectly. I created one new contact yesterday, and another this morning, both with custom labels. After syncing, all my devices, apps and programs were exact.

Probable Explanation: When I first started using eM Client, I noticed that it had a default “Contacts” folder. When I then synced my Google contacts, eM Client populated a whole new set of folders with the title GMAIL. I thought, hmm, why not just copy all the GMAIL contacts into the default folder and then delete the GMAIL folder. This was my mistake. So, now I simply leave the GMAIL folder and sub-folders intact, and all is well.

I never use the default Contacts folder. It’s empty. Alas, my obsession with efficiency sometimes gets the best of me.

That’s right Peter, local folders exist for all the main em-client categories i.e. email, contacts, tasks and calendar. I think they are historic in origin and were designed for old POP3 email accounts, for modern IMAP accounts em-client creates new folders that mirror the ones you would see if viewing the account via web-mail. If you go to SETTINGS and look in GENERAL there is a tick-box called SHOW LOCAL FOLDERS, which I would untick as they can be confusing and serve no useful purpose. The only time I have enabled local folders is when I accidentally send an email with an attachment larger than is allowed by Google; for some reason these languish in the LOCAL FOLDERS OUTBOX so one has the be able to view them in order to delete the offending email. Glad that everything is working for you now.

Thank you for the support, Steven. Enjoy your day.

New update: Sadly, it happened again. This morning I opened eM Client to check my email. Soon thereafter I went into my MyPhoneExplorer app to change a contact image, began a sync, and rather than simply syncing that individual contact, it began to sync all the contacts. I recognized this behaviour and, as expected, all my custom names disappeared. Oh well. I’ll figure it out one day.

Sorry to hear you are still having problems Peter. I don’t know anything about the MyPhoneExplorer app, however you may not be aware that em-client have just released mobile phone app versions of the Windows program, which I am currently using and it seems to work well. If you want to try the app just look in your phone’s app store or view this page: Mobile App Features | eM Client

There is an easy to use QR code in the PC version that will easily transfer all the settings from the PC version to the phone app version.

Also in the app store there is an official Gmail app, from Google, that I have used for years and can be used as well as the em-client app on the same phone.

For me everything works well using Gmail web mail and em-client on my PC and the Gmail and em-client app on my Android phone.