Sort emails / messages in Windows Mail
In addition to including a full-fledged email search tool, Windows Mail also gives you the ability to sort your emails / messages by virtually any field you can think of. The most common ways of sorting your emails are by "From" (to group together emails from the same sender), by "Subject" (which helps put next to one another all related email messages), by "Received" (to arrange emails from oldest to newest), etc. In this tutorial, we'll show you not only how to sort by any of the common fields, but also how to add more columns by which you can sort your inbox (or any other email folder for that matter).
Sort messages by any of the standard columns (fields) in Windows Mail
Explained below is the easiest way to sort your emails:
- By default, Windows Mail displays a few columns about each of the email inside a particular folder (inbox or otherwise). These columns, or "Fields", typically include "From", "Subject", "Received" (date), and special fields like whether an email has an attachment or not, is flagged or not, etc.
- To sort your emails by sender for example, all you need to do is click on the "From" column header (all column headers are displayed above your email listing).
- As soon as you do, Windows Mail will order your emails alphabetically, by sender's name. You can tell by which field Windows Mail is currently sorting your emails, because an arrow appears on the header of that column.
- When you click on a column header, Windows Mail will sort that particular column and its values alphabetically, in ascending order (A-Z). To reverse of the sort order, just click once more on the same column header, and Windows Mail will sort using the same criteria, but display the listing in descending order (Z-A).
- To restore your default email view, click on "Received", and your emails will be sorted by date. Whether you want the newest emails stored first (displayed at the top), is a matter of personal preference. If you want newest emails showing at the bottom, just click on the "Received" column header once again (to reverse the sort order!)
- This is how easily you can sort your email messages in Windows Mail using the standard columns!
Tip: Clicking on column headers is the easiest and fastest way to sort your emails in Windows Mail, but you can also click on the view menu and choose sort by, and from there choose by what field to sort, and in what order (ascending or descending).
Add new columns / fields by which to sort your emails
The remainder of this tutorial explains how to add or remove columns (show or hide them) inside your email folders; the fact that a column is visible or hidden affects your ability to sort by it. We'll now show you how to add new fields you can use for sorting:
- Right click on any of the column headers
- From the menu that appears, choose "Columns"
- In the dialog that Windows Mail opened, you will see a listing of all the columns (fields) available to show or hide - in other words, all fields you can use to sort emails.
- To show one of these columns, just click on the corresponding checkbox; conversely, uncheck a particular column to hide it.
- As a side tip, you can use the move up or move down buttons if you want to rearrange the order in which the columns appear from left to right in Windows Mail.
- Once you have finished choosing which columns / fields should be visible or hidden, click on the OK button to return to Windows Mail.
- You can now sort by any of the fields you have chosen to invisible
If you return to the View menu, and choose "Sort By", you will notice that Windows Mail is now displaying all the columns that are currently visible as optional sorting criteria.