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Show as Conversations

Author: Kelly Last Modified: 2020-01-13

The Show as Conversations function can group emails by thread across one or multiple mail folders in Outlook. All emails with the same subject line will be grouped into the same conversation automatically. This tutorial will show you how to enable the Show as Conversations function and configure the conversation settings.

Note: This tutorial is introduced based on exchange account in Microsoft Outlook 2019 desktop program in Windows 10. And it may vary significantly or slightly depending on the types of email accounts (Exchange, IMAP or POP), the versions of Microsoft Outlook, and Windows environments.


Enable Show as Conversations option

1. Click the folder you will show as conversations, and then tick the Show as Conversations option on the View tab.

Tips: If the emails are not arranged by date, this Show as Conversations option will be gray and invalid. You can click Date in the Arrangement box on the View tab to arrange emails by date quickly.

2. In the Microsoft Outlook dialog, please click the This folder or All mailboxes button as you need.

  • This folder: If you want to arrange emails by conversations in the current folder only, please click the This folder button;
  • All mailboxes: If you want to arrange emails by conversations in all mail folders of all mailboxes, please click the All mailboxes button.

Now the emails in the current opening folder or all mail folders are grouped by conversations in the message lists.


Expand or collapse a conversation

If you have enabled the Show as Conversations option, emails in the same conversations will be grouped together in the message list. You can easily expand or collapse a certain conversation easily.

Click the blank triangle  at the leftmost of the conversation, and the conversation will be expanded. If the conversation has been expanded, click the black triangle  to collapse it.


Configure conversation settings

After enabling the Show as Conversations option, you can enable or disable some conversation settings as you need by clicking View > Conversation Settings, and clicking options in the drop-down menu.

Show Messages from Other Folders

By default, this option is enabled after checking the Show as Conversations box, and it will group all emails by conversation thread, no matter which folders these emails are saved in originally.

For example, you sent an email to your colleague, and the sent email is saved in the Sent Items folder. You colleague replied to you, and you got the reply message in the Inbox folder. Now you enable the Show as Conversations option in the Inbox folder, you will get both sent email and reply message in the Inbox folder.

Show Senders Above the Subject

This option is enabled by default after checking the Show as Conversations box. When this option is enabled, the from field content (sender) will display above the subject. If you disable this option, the conversation subject will display above the sender. See screenshots:

Enable Show Senders Above the Subject Disable Show Senders Above the Subject
Always Expand Selected Conversation

If you have enabled this option, when browsing conversations in the message list, you can just click a conversation to expand all messages arranged by this conversation automatically.

Use Classic Indented View

If you enable this option, the replies are indented automatically under the emails you replied to in the conversations.


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Comments (2)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Better check your screenshot at Expand Or Collapse a Conversation. Who subsrcibed to F*ckbook?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Is it just me or in step #2, when you choose between 'This Folder' or 'All Mailboxes', does it seem like we're missing some options? At the very least, why not offer 'All Folders', where conversations would be turned on in all folders in THIS mailbox only. Not to mention, 'this folder and subfolders' would be a good one.
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