How To: Automatically Expand Gmail Conversations

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By default, Gmail groups a message and its responses into a conversation that is listed as a single inbox entry. Conversation threads are the recommended way to manage your emails; they provide a quick and efficient way to see multiple related messages in a single view. However, if you prefer to list the messages separately, you can disable the Conversation view. You can go back at any time.

People like or hate the conversation view – the gAppsTips team loves them all. We understand that it may take some time to get used to it, and there is a risk that important messages may be overlooked when you group emails together – but believe us, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. You just have to get used to it.

Enable Conversation View

When people reply to an email, Gmail groups responses in conversations with the last email below.

A call turns into a new call when the subject line changes or the call reaches more than 100 emails.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click on Settings in the upper right corner.
  3. Click on Settings.
  4. Scroll down to the “Call View” section.
  5. Select Conversation view enabled (messages are grouped) or Conversation view (messages are not grouped).
  6. Click on Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Once you have done this, you should see the Email view without threads. You can go back at any time if you want the call display to be enabled.

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Disable it, and each email you receive will now appear as a separate entry in your inbox. Clicking on the last email in a thread will display the content of the entire thread (assuming that people have kept the history of responses in their own responses), and everything will be done in reverse chronological order – the last message at the top, and always older and older as you progress through the chain.

Set up A Keyboard Shortcut

When it comes to increasing your productivity, Gmail’s keyboard shortcuts unfortunately do not work at full capacity.

An even better trick is to enable keyboard shortcuts in the Gmail preferences menu. Then, by pressing the semicolon (;), you extend all messages in a thread, and by pressing the colon or shift + semicolon, you should summarize them all. It’s not as simple as a function or extension that automatically extends all messages in a conversation – always trying to find it – but pressing a key on your keyboard is close enough.

Disable Conversation View

To disable conversation mode for a specific folder, go to View > Threads and disable the Organize by Thread option.

To disable the display of conversations for all folders, go to Settings | Options > Show > Conversations, and then disable the Enable conversation display for all folders setting. Note that this setting only works for folders where it has not been modified. For these folders, please use the option under View > Threads and then disable the Organize by Thread option.

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