View message list by Conversations

When you switch to Conversations arrangement view, messages that share the same subject appear as a group or collection of messages.

  1. Click View > Show as Conversations.

Show as Conversations command on the ribbon

  1. Click All folders or This folder.

Dialog box to change which folders use Conversations

Conversations are identified in the message list (message list: The middle part of the main Outlook window that displays the contents of the selected folder.) by Collapsed Conversations icon. Click Collapsed Conversations icon to expand the Conversation.

Within each Conversation, messages are sorted with the newest message on top.

Example of a Conversation with splits fully expanded in the message list

When you receive a new message that’s part of a Conversation, the whole Conversation moves to the top of your message list. When you click a Conversation header in the message list, the Conversation shows in the Reading Pane (Reading Pane: A window in Outlook where you can preview an item without opening it. To display the item in the Reading Pane, click the item.), with the newest message on top.

Any Conversation that includes unread messages has a bold subject and the count of the unread messages appears next to the subject. When you click to expand the Conversation, any unread message has a bold heading.

When there are two or more responses, the Conversation can split into multiple related, but separate, Conversations. The latest message in each split appears when you click a Conversation. Click one of the split Conversations to show the messages from that split in the Reading Pane, with the latest message on top.

Example of split Conversations in Conversations arrangement view

To change how Conversations arrangement works, such as whether to include messages that are saved in other Outlook folders, see Change options for viewing messages in Conversations.

Applies to:
Outlook 2013