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Home / Tips and Tricks / Here's how to see new emails on top of Gmail conversation threads

Here's how to see new emails on top of Gmail conversation threads

  Gmail on MacBook, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch

The Gmail conversation view was groundbreaking when it appeared 15 years ago, but it always shows new messages at the bottom of the thread instead of the top. It is annoying for some long-term users. Here's how to change it.

There is no easy option to change this

Unfortunately, Gmail does not offer a simple click option that puts all new messages at the top of a conversation thread. Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail both show new messages at the top of a conversation thread by default, but they offer an option to post these messages at the bottom. We want Gmail to do the same.

But, although Gmail doesn't make it as simple as we want, there are still ways to see new emails at the top of Gmail.

Option One: Turn off conversation show

If you are not using the conversation view, the easiest solution is to turn it off. Doing so will display each email individually rather than together in a conversation thread. This is the only built-in option to see new mail at the top of your inbox.

To disable Gmail Conversation View, click the Cog at the top of the Gmail site and then click "Settings."

 Settings option in Gmail

On the General tab that opens, scroll down to the conversation view and then select "Conversation Show off."

 The Conversation View setting in Gmail

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, then click "Save Changes."

 save your changes

If you are comfortable with the result, solve the problem. But if you don't like to see all the new emails as your own message, there are other things you can try.

Option Two: Use a browser extension

If you do not want to turn off the conversation view, you can install a browser extension that will change the look of Gmail in your browser and display new email messages at the top. Many people recommend Gmail Reverse Conversation, which is available for both Chrome and Firefox.

We like this extension because it works, but also because it has a publicly readable archive on Github where you can examine the source extension for the browser extension. Before installing it, threaded messages will display the most recent message at the bottom by default.

 The default thread with the new email at the bottom

After installing the extension, the newest message is displayed at the top. As a bonus, the Answer and Forward options are now also at the top.

However, this only works in browsers where you have installed the extension. This does not apply to the Gmail mobile app.

 The changed thread with the new email at the top

This extension works by changing Gmail's Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). If you are the type of person who prefers to edit their own CSS where possible, you can use CSS as the extension of Gmail Reverse Conversation uses. It is in their GitHub repo. You can use this CSS because the current developer, "Tomasz", has kindly licensed its extension with a MIT license that allows people to use their components for free.

Option Three: Use a Desktop Client as Outlook or Apple Mail [19659004] If you want conversation to appear and you can't install an extension or edit CSS, your last option is to stop using the Gmail interface and start using one another e-mail client instead. Both Outlook and Apple Mail will show conversation views with the latest on the top, so if you access your Gmail through one of these customers you can get the nasty functionality.

We've shown you how to access a Gmail account through both Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail before, follow these instructions to set up yourself. In Outlook, you can make sure new emails are on top by ordering email messages after the received date. In Apple Mail, go to Mail> Preferences> View and change the "View last message at the top."

Unfortunately, there are no popular mobile messages, including Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail on iPhone and Google's own Gmail app has this option built-in. There may be some lesser known e-mail programs with this feature, but we haven't found any known ones we can recommend.

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