Modified 07 March 2017 by Ian Weatherhogg

Google's Conversation View is a core feature of Gmail - what to expect when you turn it off if you loathe it, plus reasons why you should keep it.

In Gmail, replies to emails (and replies to those replies) are displayed in one place, in order, making it easier to understand the context of a message - or to follow the conversation. This feature is called Conversation View.

People either love or hate Conversation View - the gAppsTips team all love it. We understand it can take a little time to get used to, and there are dangers that important messages can be missed when emails are grouped together - but take it from us, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. You just need to get used to it.

However, if you just can't get on with threaded messages, you can switch Conversation View off. To do so go to Mail Settings and in the General tab set Conversation View to "off".

Why use Conversation view

  • How much email do you receive each day? Conversation View groups email together and cleans up your inbox.
  • When replying to a message, sometimes you don't want to send the whole conversation with your reply; with Conversation View you can choose which parts of a conversation to reply to. To see all conversations in an email, click the Expand icon (next to the Print icon).
  • Take a look at your smart phone text, it's grouped together - doesn't it feel more natural? Why shouldn't email be the same.

What happens when you switch Conversation View off

  • Gmail will reload your inbox; your email switches back to an unthreaded view
  • You will have more email in your inbox and your replies to messages will no longer be grouped
  • All your messages will have the entire contents of all replies in the body of the email

Love or loathe Conversation View? Why turn it off if it cleans up that cluttered inbox? Let us know in the comments below.