Google Lets Users Disable Conversation View in Gmail
Article by George Norman
On 30 Sep 2010
Conversation View is the Gmail feature that puts emails with the same topic in a nice group. If you send someone a message, that person replies, then send that person another message and he again replies, all these messages will be put together in a nice little group. It is a feature that, as Gmail Technical Lead Wiltse Carpenter explained, is either loved or hated by Gmail users.

“The way Gmail organizes mail into conversations is like cilantro,” said Wiltse Carpenter. “You either love it -- and, like me, enjoy the nice citrusy, herbal finish it gives to everything from salsa to curry -- or you hate it. And those of you who hate it hate it enough to launch sites like and (“an anti cilantro community”), where you can hate it together.”


If you love Conversation View, then there’s no problem – you can enjoy the feature just like you always did. But if you hated Conversation View, until now there was a problem – you could not disable the feature; you could not get Gmail to work like other email services and stop grouping emails. This is no longer an issue because Google has decided to let you turn off Conversation view if you want.

“Just as an outspoken minority has banded together in unison to declare their distaste of one of nature’s most delicious herbs, some of you have been very vocal about your dislike of conversation threading,” explained Carpenter. “So just like you can order your baja fish tacos without cilantro, you can now get Gmail served up sans conversation view.”

If you don’t like Conversation View, you can now disable it. To do so simply access your Gmail account, click the Settings link from the upper right hand corner, then click Conversation View Off (check out the image below). If you don’t see the option to turn off Conversation View, it is because it is being rolled out gradually (it may take a few days). Check back later if you don’t see it.

Tags: Google, Gmail, Conversation View
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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