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Free Email TutorialsHotmailShow email messages grouped by conversation threads in Hotmail

Show email messages grouped by conversation threads in Hotmail

Enable conversation thread grouping in Windows Live Hotmail In the new Windows Live Hotmail, a feature that has been available in several email programs has seen the light of day - namely, the ability to view your email messages grouped by conversation, or sorted by threads, where all related emails are visible next to one another. As explained in a previous tutorial, you can disable conversation thread grouping in Hotmail. In this tutorial, we will start by showing you how to enable conversation threading for your Hotmail account, and give you a brief overview that will help you make the most of it.

Enable conversation grouping / email threads in Hotmail

Follow these simple steps to show email messages grouped by conversation:

Grouping emails by conversation threads in your Hotmail account

The new setting to group all email messages by conversation thread is attached to your Windows Live Hotmail account, not the computer and/or web browser you happen to be using at the time; so, from this point on, you will see your emails grouped by thread when you login to Hotmail: if you do not, just load an email message that is part of a conversation (at least one email and a reply for that topic), and click on the "group messages by conversation" link, which appears in the basic email headers:

Manually group your Hotmail emails by conversation topic

As soon as you do, Windows Live Hotmail will load the current message in its conversation context, with other messages in the same thread, as pictured below:

Load conversation thread inside Hotmail inbox

Notice from the screenshot above how Hotmail is organizing the entire email thread by putting oldest conversation email messages at the bottom, and the newest at the very top of the group. The optimum way, we find, to make the most of thread grouping in your Hotmail account is to include yourself as Cc or Bcc recipient (carbon-copied or blind-carbon-copied), so that your Hotmail inbox includes not only email replies in the conversation, but also all messages you sent yourself - this approach gives you the best of both worlds, since even without conversation grouping enabled for Hotmail, sorting your emails by subject will group as a thread all related emails!

Hotmail Tip: when you are viewing a message thread, and want to return to the current email folder (out of the conversation view), just click on the "Back to messages" link displayed at the top of the email thread.

Icons for email conversation grouping

When the feature is enabled, you will immediately recognize email messages that are part of a conversation / thread, since they include their own, custom iconography. Referring to the screenshot below, you'll notice that the email envelope icon is "double", to specify an actual conversation (as opposed to an individual message).

Icons for grouped conversation email threads in Windows Live Hotmail
Below that icon is a number enclosed in parentheses, indicating the number of emails inside that particular thread. You will also see the names of participants (email recipients and senders) partaking in the debate. Finally, the timestamp indicated in the top right corner reflects the date and/or time of the last message received for this conversation topic.

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