#185 new
Phu Nguyen Anh

Apple Mail 5.0 like thread view

Reported by Phu Nguyen Anh | October 13th, 2011 @ 12:29 AM

Hi there,
I personally found that Apple Mail 5.0 (or Outlook 2011)'s thread view is easier to use than current tree-like thread view. Do you have any plan to adopt that way of viewing mail thread?


Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny October 13th, 2011 @ 11:59 AM

    • State changed from “new” to “accepted”
    • Assigned user set to “benny”

    It is on the to-do, but it is a non-trivial feature to implement.

    Technical details: It requires a special message view capable of showing multiple webviews in one scrollview. I have not looked into how easy/hard that is yet.

    Somewhat related note: When/if the above is implemented, the current headers view is also likely to be retired and replaced by something using a webview.

  • Phu Nguyen Anh

    Phu Nguyen Anh October 14th, 2011 @ 06:02 PM

    Thanks Benny for that news. BTW, beside of grouping multiple message into one scroll view, one more thing I like is the way it present the message list (not the message content): related messages are just grouped together in a flat view, not a tree view. In that way, if I expand a group, I can see all the messages in that group at once. Currently with MailMate I have to expand each node to see next reply message. Hope that I explain it clear enough. I think it's called Conversation mode, like what Gmail doing.
    My wish's priority is:
    1. Message list is displayed in conversations
    2. When click on a conversation, display all messages or just a summary of each messages in that conversation (in a scroll view)

  • benny

    benny October 14th, 2011 @ 08:43 PM

    I understand. Until this is improved: Note that you can hold down ⌥
    when expanding a node. That’ll expand the entire thread (works in all
    outlines in Mac OS X). Also note that you can use ⌥⌘↓ and
    ⌥⌘↑ to go to next/previous unread message. It should also
    automatically expand a thread as needed.

  • Phu Nguyen Anh

    Phu Nguyen Anh October 15th, 2011 @ 01:42 AM

    Thank you for those tips, especially using ⌥ when expanding :)

  • lid

    lid May 7th, 2013 @ 09:21 AM

    Any progress on this? This is something I really miss from Gmail/Mail/Postbox.

  • benny

    benny May 7th, 2013 @ 06:52 PM

    Sorry, but no. I've only done a bit of work on the multiple webviews mentioned above. The plan is the same though both regarding an alternative threading mode (flat group instead of a tree) and displaying all messages of the group/thread in the message view.

  • Oskar Krawczyk

    Oskar Krawczyk February 5th, 2014 @ 09:24 PM

    Is this in plans for MM2? I'd really love to have a Mail.app-like conversation view.

  • benny

    benny February 15th, 2014 @ 03:08 PM

    @Oskar: Unfortunately there has not been any progress on this subject since my last update to this ticket. It would be nice for version 2, but I cannot promise it.

  • Colin

    Colin March 31st, 2014 @ 03:55 AM

    Since I'm migrating off GMail, a good conversation view is pretty much essential for me too. I can't imagine going back to managing individual emails.

  • Januz

    Januz March 31st, 2014 @ 04:51 PM

    This is my most wanted feature, too! Hope you can make it workk...

  • Stefan Seiz

    Stefan Seiz April 3rd, 2014 @ 08:40 AM


    i'd already be happy if MM would recognize individual mails as belonging to one thread. Messages which mail.app displays as thread to me, are displayed as individual messages in MM to me.

    Can you explain what criteria MM uses to identify messages belonging to the same thread?
    Can that behavior be changed by setting a preference or such?

  • benny

    benny April 3rd, 2014 @ 09:13 AM

    @Stefan: MailMate uses strict threading. Messages are only shown as parent-child if they really are parent-child. This is mainly based on the Message-ID and In-Reply-To headers. Broken threads are most often caused by your own sent messages missing from the currently displayed mailbox. As a workaround, it is possible to create an alternative Inbox which includes messages which are in the same threads as the messages in the real Inbox. You can do it like this: Select the Inbox, make sure no messages are selected, click the “Thread” toolbar button, and click “Save” to store it as a smart mailbox. (I'm hoping to offer alternative threading modes at some point which is more like the “grouping” also needed for a conversation view.)

  • Stefan Seiz

    Stefan Seiz April 9th, 2014 @ 09:39 AM

    Thanks for the quick reply Benny!
    Looking forward to the alternative Modes in the future. I'd prefer alternate modes over having to create smart mailboxes (which could be many and that doesn't seem scalable to me). I think the Thread Display of Mail.app is a pretty useful way to do it.

  • ronin-283106 (at lighthouseapp)

    ronin-283106 (at lighthouseapp) June 1st, 2015 @ 12:32 PM

    Am currently trialling MailMate right now and this is easily the feature I miss most from my current/previous client (PostBox).

    This thread's pretty old now - if this subject being tracked/discussed elsewhere?

  • benny

    benny June 1st, 2015 @ 01:35 PM

    @dixhuit: It's an issue that comes up regularly. I cannot promise you any improvements soon, but it's certainly on my list. In particular a “group” threading mode as an alternative to the current tree-threading. That is most likely to happen first. For now, note features such as “Message ▸ Next Unread” and holding down ⌥ when expanding in the three. That might ease “the pain”.

  • Jon

    Jon February 15th, 2019 @ 04:55 PM

    @benny: Any update on this? As other have discussed, I'd really love a thread view similar other email clients (ie Apple Mail's, Postbox, I believe gmail) for threads like this.

    I have "Organize by Threads" enabled on my Inbox (combined).
    I have a message in my inbox which does not have the reveal arrow (it's the last message in the thread), but the Thread Arcs feature knows that the message is part of a thread.
    If I click on the "Find and display messages from the same conversation", I do get a full threaded outline of the conversation.
    Now, if I deselect all messages in my inbox, then enable the threaded view (which is confusing to think of since Organize by Thread is already enabled - it seems like you'd never want the Organize by Thread option disabled when viewing Threaded conversions)... That message that is the last in the thread is now hidden under the first message in that thread (which of course can be expanded to view all).

    This actually causes a few other issues due to my configuration. I have a color set up for messages I've sent - but in this view now I end up with colored messages in my inbox, and at first glance of course they also say they are from me (since they are). It seems to me that it would make more sense (at least in the inbox) to always show the most recent message in the thread, instead of the root of it?

  • benny

    benny February 22nd, 2019 @ 01:15 PM

    @Jon: The “strict” threading in MailMate does not really allow a natural way of making the latest email be “at the top” of a thread. There won't be much progress on this before I implement the “group” threading mentioned before. Sorry.

  • Jon

    Jon February 27th, 2019 @ 12:19 AM

    @benny: Got it. I mean this is the most supportive way, but it's been a while since this was requested any ETA for it? Thanks!

  • benny

    benny March 4th, 2019 @ 10:01 AM

    @jon: Sorry, no ETA, but I still think it's something that needs to be added.

  • Jon

    Jon March 4th, 2019 @ 05:30 PM


    I noticed today that when you select multiple messages it basically just concatenates each message in the message viewer. Would that be a possible short term solution/quick fix for this?

  • benny

    benny March 6th, 2019 @ 09:34 AM

    @Jon: No, displaying multiple messages has all kinds of issues, in particular, for HTML emails. This is also kind of an orthogonal issue/feature (“correspondence view”).

  • benny

    benny September 22nd, 2022 @ 11:43 AM

    • State changed from “accepted” to “new”
  • Stefan Seiz

    Stefan Seiz January 18th, 2024 @ 09:19 AM

    • Tag set to threads


    for me, the current Thread-View with the reverse sort is still pretty unusable and results only in a Clickfest to view the most recent reply in a thread.

    I would love, if this would get a priority bump (after more than a decade) as this is a very important feature for a mail client (at least for me),


Please Sign in or create a free account to add a new ticket.

With your very own profile, you can contribute to projects, track your activity, watch tickets, receive and update tickets through your email and much more.

New-ticket Create new ticket

Create your profile

Help contribute to this project by taking a few moments to create your personal profile. Create your profile ยป

Mac OS X email client.

Shared Ticket Bins

People watching this ticket


Referenced by