Categories: Managing Settings and Mail :

How do I sort in Gmail.

Showing 1-308 of 308 messages
How do I sort in Gmail. tedbroach 5/15/09 12:16 PM
I see there is no quick button to sort by name/email or by subject.  If there is please let me know!   I have a number of emails that I want to delete at one time.  Filters are a pain, you have to creat one and then delete it!  Help!!!!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. michaelsville 5/15/09 12:44 PM
There is no sort feature but you can use the search box to view all email by a name, sender etc.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mgmatsumoto 5/18/09 5:03 AM
I am a new user of Gmail and have not figured it out. There must be a way to sort other than by date. This is like having a phone book sorted by date.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. michaelsville 5/18/09 5:19 AM
There is no way to sort in Gmail, other than apply labels, all messages appear in every view with most recent at top and least recent at the bottom.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jwhoopi 5/28/09 5:15 PM
This is truly ludicrous. Curious over this same issue, I searched for "sort" in gmail and all I get is this same person trying to convince the whole world that "search is better" "Don't sort, search"

I don't want to search, create labels, stars, or anything else. It is terribly time consuming just to figure out how, and then to actually attempt to create all the labels, rules, filters and such will take me more time than I spend dealing with actual emial in a month. and of course Google is perfectly within their rights to change their program at any time, so what good will it do to send all that time learning it now?
I just want to sort the 7,903, mostly spam messages in my inbox by sender so that I can delete them without having to select each one individually.

I am slightly embarassed as I have been using Gmail basically from the start, but have never really dealt with this problem before. Even worse, I have been recommending Gmail to all my clients. (That stopped today apparently) Unfortunately, I have always used Pop3 access to get my mail, so I didn't even know this was an issue until I tried to get away from Microsoft software. Now I have almost 8000 messages, and no way to go through them without reverting back to a third party software program.

Just for the record, in case Google is actually listening to their customers concerns, (which seems unlikely due to the thousands of messages I have just read where so-called "g-mail Top Contributors" consistantly harass people for simply asking for this simple feature. I can only assume that these "Top Contributors" are google employees, and their hostility to the masses is astonishing). I have the following comments:

I do not like searching for messages. It wastes time and effort, and is terribly imprecise. If I could remember what I was searching for, I wouldn't have to search for it. Now, yes, it is convenient sometimes when I just know a word or term, but the search feature is a backup to normal email handling, not a primary way of dealing with mass amounts of email.

The filters do not work for me. Not sure if it is me or the program, but they simply do not work. An example: I subscribe to a several listservs. As is common, all of them start out the subjects by using brackets, and then a descriptive word (ie [estate]). So, it seems that it would be pretty easy to just put that term ([estate]) in the subject box, and it should work. Nope. despite putting in the brackets as one word, and even enclosing the term with brackets in quotes, any email with the word "estate" in the  subject shows up. Every real estate listing, every "estate sale", etc. Apparently it doesn't recognize brackets for some reason. As both the sender (whom I can never know) and the actual topic (which I can never know) changes with every message sent, I have no way to filter these messages. As I am getting about 100 messages a day from several listservs, if there is no way to filter them out, it doesn't work.

Spam. I am amazed by how many people claim that Gmails spam feature actually works. I would love for the gmail spam guru to check out my inbox! But that isn't my issue. Spam is hardly google's fault.

The problem is the "semi-spam" messages. By semi-spam, I mean those senders that occassionally send out stuff you want to read, but most of the time just send you spam. I can't just send all the email to the spam folder, but I would like to be able to group them up so that I can select the couple emails I am interested in, and delete the rest. OR THose senders that require you to sign up to their email list in order to get a special discount, or some other benefit. I can't just reject their email address as a whole, but would like to just select their emails to delete in one swoop instead of going through and finding them one by one.

Well, thanks for letting me rant. I'm going to go download some third party email client now, so that I don't have to deal with this anymore. And I am now going to start reverting back to my yahoo account, since they will let me sort my mail like normal. (I only switched originally because I wanted Pop3 access, funny huh?)

If a stable email provider shows up that seems like it will provide both, I would jump ship in a sec. I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too. . .

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. JoCarmen 6/20/09 8:55 AM
Right on!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. betaofkappasigma 6/20/09 9:14 AM
Couldn't agree more.
I've just started using gmail, usually in Outlook Express.  But when accessing on another computer, forget it.
It's hard to believe that a "major" email program like gmail doesn't have what appears to be an elementary feature.
Is is really easier to design the super Search features than a Sort function?
One question for the Google Guys - if you did a search for "A*", would it then sort everything alphabetically?
If not, it should - that would at least be a little more user friendly.
But just a little.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. AmyH1111 6/25/09 6:47 AM
Add me to the needing to sort list - the lack of this feature just sucks. I am not surprised that the "tops contributors" are harassing - they do that with blogger too, but never seem to actually help. If they can't add sort can they at least add a way to contact Google without dealing with forum posts, which end up not helping in any way? I am thinking of just having the email forward to a different provider so I don't have to deal with this crap anymore.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. aloha.morgan2 6/27/09 2:10 PM
I agree wholeheartedly that sorting by name etc. is needed feature. I hope that besides complaining here you will also go to the suggestions page: and click on the generic "Sort messages by size, date, sender, etc. "  Feature it button.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. BiasedFan 7/7/09 8:55 PM
The lack of ability to sort or SEARCH by size is ridiculous.  I want to go through and delete my largest emails--usually including one or more files I'm sending to others (I've started using a media share program instead).  I can't search by name because most of the recipients have received hundreds of other non-attached emails from me.  I can't search by any particular word because they're unique.  Best bet is combining the name with attachment, but even then there are dozens mixed in + huge emails to names that I'll forget.

On the other hand, if I could simply sort or search by size, I could save myself a lot of hassle and delete a lot of crap that Google is storing for me.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. rafael.herman 7/15/09 4:35 PM
i need to sort the massages by the size of them. so if a massage has big attachment it will be first and so on..can't find the way to do it !!!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. rafael.herman 7/15/09 4:39 PM
BiasedFan i'm agree with you. if I could simply sort or search by size, I could save myself a lot of hassle.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. tcwpontiac 7/16/09 8:29 PM
Boy howdy the lack of sorting is sooo lame.
Rather than one step to clean out my inbox, these jokers REALLY want me to search a few dozen times?
DO they have a clue that Y! beats them on this feature?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mrvandergaag 7/19/09 7:53 AM
So  we are all in agreement... Google, it is now in your court!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 7/24/09 6:37 AM
It is so much easier to clean up your Inbox if you can sort by sender.
Please Google let's have Sort

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. duncanjv 8/1/09 3:52 PM
There is the old adage, "you get what you pay for". Actually, I think I get ***A LOT MORE*** than I pay for with Google. I'm generally extremely impressed with what I can do with Google and am thankful for it.
However, I couldn't agree more with the sentiment of this post: WE NEED SORT!!! :-)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. geohicks 8/3/09 8:39 AM
Love g-mail - but also would really love to sort by field
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. calvwin 8/5/09 8:11 AM
Yes please add a sort feature! I like my gmail world and this sort feature needs to become a part of it!
This message has been hidden because it was flagged for abuse.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ergovation 8/27/09 12:04 PM
My fragile mind was just shattered today when I discovered that my Yahoo email DOES sort alphabetically, and therefore allowed me to tame my 500+ count inbox in about 10 minutes.  Gleeful of my discovery, I dashed over to my relatively new gmail account (which I've been using for almost a year) in order to do the same.  The confounding lack of a decent sorting feature set led me straight to this forum. What the flock of seagulls?  Yes, searching and filtering can be productive tools when wielded properly.  But c'mon!!!!  Sorting by size and title is SOOO much more useful to the masses.  How can Google not get this? Can't we have both sets of tools to use?  Too much to ask???  What a massive disappointment.  I'm considering everything from suicide to switching back to Yahoo for my primary email.  Everyone should keep pestering Google until this changes, or write your congressman, or hang a sign around your neck and picket on their campus. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. rafael.herman 9/9/09 8:21 AM
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mrvandergaag 9/29/09 4:00 PM
And then what happens to the notes in GMail?  If I delete them in outlook, will they be deleted from GMail?  The source of this frustration in with GMail, so should be the solution!
GMail should allow sorting
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Philip du Maine 10/29/09 6:30 AM
There is one way which works for me:

In the search field type "from:a" for all e-mails send from a person who's name starts with an 'a'.

good luck!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. paforsey 11/16/09 2:03 PM
I completely agree...  Sorting is a fundamental or basic element of most applications.  Unfortunately, this simple design concept has some how managed to allude the developers at Google.  The problem is that Google is an extremely developer centered organization as opposed to a customer centered one.  I've come to the realization that the developers at Google have a tendency to create applications that they find particularly challenging (or interesting).  Whether or not the end consumer finds any value in a particular application is irrelevant.  If Google does happen to stumble upon an application and/or feature that their customers actually value, odds are good that it was by accident and not design.  How many complaints does it really need to take?  Maybe the easier to answer question is, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie pop?  Either way, Google should seriously consider a product development process that's centered around their customers' needs rather than their developers' egos.  In the meantime, I plan to switch back to Yahoo! Mail ASAP!  (By the way, "search" and "sort" are not the same thing!)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. SuperContraXTC 11/17/09 11:01 AM
What the hell?  No SORT? Does Google even know that there are million of people complaining about this?  Should we contact them and wake them up?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. andersonrn54 11/21/09 10:01 AM
Dear gravi_t and Google,
Please hear the majority on the thread: we do not want to have to search, much less configure  IMAP or Outlook just to sort.  How can the "best answer" be one that only 12 out of 128 find useful?  It appears that paforsey is right.  I find myself spending much more time managing my gmail account that my Outlook box at work.  (And I am no apologist for Outlook!)  I may go back to my Road Runner account.  At least I understand it...
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jwhoopi 11/21/09 5:54 PM
Really? because the question seems to clearly say, and I quote:  "Did you find this answer helpful?, YES/NO"
It does NOT say "Did you LIKE this answer? "
or even "Is this the BEST answer?"

Again, you have proven the point that Google and their "top contributors" are not listening to their customers, even when they themselves ask the question. I find it more HELPFUL to learn that I am not the only one with the same problem than I do having someone tell me I am an idiot for not learning how to do it the way they want me to do it.

Your post is showing more of the same arrogance complained of above, while providing the same lack of an appropriate response.
That is why I find YOUR response(s) UN-helpful.

Please don't tell me I don't understand the question. I most certainly do understand the question perfectly.
Allow me to clarify the difference:

If it helps, the most "helpful" response would be something like this:
"We realize that this has become a major problem for a significant subset of users and appreciate the time and effort that you all have shown to help us improve our products and services. Thank you, and you can rest assured that we are working diligently to promptly and courteously address the needs of our users"

While the LEAST helpful answer would be something like. . .well. . .ALL of yours.
See the difference?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. 121 11/22/09 2:41 AM

I so agree, it is so difficult to change the world on your own and like yourself nobody in the whole world wants to agree with me when I want to attack others who try to help me. Let us stand shoulder to shoulder, complain about everything and everyone, stamp our feet and scream at the tops of our voices. I know others can here me as they look up at my barred window but the friendly people wearing white coats are very nice and they bring my medications regularly so I won't complain about the,

More strength to you.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 11/22/09 6:07 PM
In case anyone didn't understand the point that gravi_t is trying to make, we Top Contributors have been given that title by Google employees because we have invested a lot of time here trying to help other users to make efficient use of Gmail.  We are not Google employees ourselves and we cannot influence the design of Gmail.  We can help you by pointing out how to use other features of Gmail and we also believe that it is helpful to let you know when there is no feature that can provide an answer to a particular question.

It is rather sad that many users consider our truthful answers to be unhelpful just because they don't like hearing that Gmail can't magically be immediately altered to suit their preferred way to work.  If users interpret our statements on how Gmail works to be arrogant, that's their problem.  We will continue to attempt to educate users as to how it works.  I see no value in making PR statements on behalf of Google.

One thing that we believe is helpful is to provide a link to a place where you can influence the design of Gmail and I repeat the reference given above.  A single post there is worth more than this whole thread.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. DQKennard 12/1/09 6:15 AM
I've been dutifully clicking "No" on each gravi_t response that directs users looking for sort to use search or an IMAP client. They're just not the same, and the answer is therefore just not helpful. Sorry gravi_t.
But then, as I think of it, gravi_t *has* in fact been helpful: users want something that gmail should have had from the very *beginning* of beta, and gravi_t says: "gmail doesn't have that, use something else." I guess that *is* helpful, since I do know how to set my gmail to automatically forward to my Yahoo.... To those advertisers paying to show up next to my gmail messages: sorry, I'm not going to see your ad.
Like others, it did not even *occur* to me that gmail could *possibly* be at this stage in life and not have basic sorting (by all column fields, ascending or descending).
It's a dealbreaker. Oh, and I shouldn't have to vote on the suggestion of including the feature; they know about it, and *should* know that it *should* have been in on day 1.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/8/09 6:41 AM
I know why Google does not want to add this feature.  It is three reasons:

(1) Guaranteed sorted by date. 
Google wants to have the messages always be in the guaranteed order of newest messages above older messages so that it is fool proof.  No matter what you think you clicked last, the messages are always sorted by date.

(2) Advanced Searching Awareness.
  Google is really proud of their advanced searching feature that allows displaying all emails To OR From specific senders, and Google knows that a lot more people will discover this feature if we are forced to use this feature instead of the simple sort column feature that we are used to using from other email programs.  Google thinks that once all of us are used to doing it the new way we will like it better than "the old way." (This is also the reason why Google does not want to provide a simple button for us to click which will display all of the unread emails, like we are used to clicking in other email programs.  Google wants us to learn how to type "is:unread" in the search bar so that we will wonder, "What other cool gmail search commands are there?")

(3)  The Nanny State.  Most of the people who work at Google are Democrats who believe that most people are stupid and therefore Google needs to take care of us and make our decisions for us.  It is best for Google to force all of us stupid people to do things the way that Google knows is best for us, because, lets face it, what would the country be like if we all had the freedom to do things the way we feel is best for us?  It is much better for Google to take care of us by making our decisions for us. Pretty soon Google will be forcing all of us to buy health insurance.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jwhoopi 12/8/09 3:55 PM
I don't think we'd like to hear about your political agenda, even though some of us are not even from the states. This is a help forum and not a political discussion board.
"- gravi_t

For once, ronholllow, I am forced to agree with gravi-t. Even if I were able to find a way to agree wuth your drivel, I can never forgive you for that.

gravi-t. Can't' quite figure out why I keep coming back to this forum, other than to feel as popular as the prom king. But regardless, I probably owe you an apology to an extent. I do understand that you don't work for Google, and I appreciate that you think your constant (perhaps true) mantras of "If you don't like it, suggest a feature" or "search, don't sort" are helpful. They aren't. I have been pushing the buttons for months, if not years, and have never received a feature I requested. It is more of a waste of time than is constantly visiting this forum. I mean, I have all but quit using my gmail except for large attacvhemnts for months now. It truly no longer affects me. Nothign important goes to the account, I use it for junk mail and occassonal large attachments. And it is pretty much only over this issue tht I have jumped ship.

Yet I keep coming back to this particular forum. Why? Most of what I said was with the understanding that, as a Top Contrib", your popular threads would likely garner more attention than most threads. And yes, most of what I said was sarcastic and playfully obnoxious. You seem to have taken it personally, and I didn't mean to so insult your delicate sensibilities.
So thanks for your efforts, sorry for the sarcasm.

With that said, perhaps it would be more helpful if you, as a top C, would do something other than tow the company line. Maybe, if you as a top C would instead say, "yeah that's pretty f'ed up, Google should change that. Here's their current policy. I know it's stupid, but here;s a useless link to click to make yourself feel less ignored and unappreciated.", yu would get more clicks. Moreimportantly, it might concern those with the actual power at Google a little more than a quck glance at your posts telling others they are unreasonable for even asking for such a thing. Why would they even read the rest of the forum if theor trusted TopC's find it so repulsive. This hope that such a popular thread will actually capture the attnetion of the real people is why I keep responding to you like I do.

So thanks for your efforts, sorry if I'm bitchy, but if you want a high "approval rating", may I suggest you get off your high horse and acknowledge that, even if you don't care a bit about the issue, many consider it a  problem. And, if you don't care about the issue, why are you wasting your time in this forum? Find one that does interest you and will enable you to use your talents to improve the product. No offense, just sayin'. To show there are no hard feelings, I gave you a helpful button  push, Happy holidays.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/8/09 4:47 PM

I am also using my Yahoo mail instead of my Gmail. 
Everyday when I check my email I click the "unread" button which allows me to only view the unread emails.
And then I click "From" so that my unread emails are sorted by sender. 
That is the way I like to check my email, and google does not offer that feature, so I don't use Google.
So I am also not seeing the Google ads when I check my email. 
And the ads at yahoo are blockable with firefox adblock plus. 
So, cheers all the way around.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 12/8/09 4:49 PM
...and your messages plague recipients with Yahoo ads attached.  Ugh!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/8/09 4:53 PM
Gravi t is trying sooooo hard to rationalize why it is that nobody likes his answers.  LMAO

poor Gravi T.  ;-(

I wonder if Gravi t will ever figure out that people don't like his answers because he is not on their side.  He is on the side of the creeps at Google who want to force all of us to do things their way.  gravi t probably works for google.  Why else would he be loyal to the gmail features that nobody likes?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/8/09 4:57 PM
KeithR, I guess Google wants to spread yahoo ads around to as many people as possible.  Why else would Google refuse to provide the features that everybody wants that Yahoo is willing to provide?  That is very nice of Google to help Yahoo to stay afloat.  See, I always knew there was something nice about what Google was doing. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/8/09 5:03 PM

If users interpret our statements on how Gmail works to be arrogant, that's their problem.

OMG, did you really write that?   LMAO

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/8/09 5:08 PM
KeithR and GraviT, if you do not work for Google, then why are you so happy to defend the Google features that nobody likes?  How can you possibly be so arrogant that you are happy to continuously shove something down our throats that we don't want, and you are not even getting paid to do so?  There is something sick and twisted about that.  I don't think I would ever want to meet either one of you in real life.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/8/09 5:23 PM
Now I understand why gmail offers free email forwarding.  It is the arrogance of the Google designers.  They are essentially saying, "If you don't like the features of our superior email, then forward your emails to the inferior email of your choice.  And do it for free.  And just go away.  We don't like being around stupid people anyway."
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/8/09 5:43 PM

I know why Google does not want to add SORT BY SENDER to gmailIt is two reasons:

(1) Guaranteed sorted by date. Google wants to have the messages always be in the guaranteed order of newest messages above older messages so that it is fool proof.  No matter what you think you clicked last, the messages are always sorted by date.

(2) Advanced Searching Awareness. Google is really proud of their advanced searching feature that allows displaying all emails To OR From specific senders, and Google knows that a lot more people will discover this feature if we are forced to use this feature instead of the simple sort column feature that we are used to using from other email programs.  Google thinks that once all of us are used to doing it the new way we will like it better than “the old way.” (This is also the reason why Google does not want to provide a simple button for us to click which will display all of the unread emails, like we are used to clicking in other email programs.  Google wants us to learn how to type “is:unread” in the search bar so that we will wonder, “What other cool gmail search commands are there?”)

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 12/8/09 6:01 PM
@ronhollow, you obviously stopped reading my post of 11/23/09 at the sentence that amused you.  If you had continued reading you would have seen the reference to a place where you can put your vote on new features.  Going there will help the world.  I too would like to see improved sorting in Gmail and have cast my vote (more than once).  Until Google develops that feature, I will continue to help users by giving advice on how to best use the existing features and that includes best use of the Help Forum.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/8/09 7:12 PM

I read your whole post before making my post. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. TFS 12/11/09 6:25 AM
We have all been clicking on the button to suggest that SORTING is needed for an awful long time, and we are all being ignored. Google hope that by ignoring everyone, eventually people will use filters or labels. But for certain things, filters just don't - CAN'T - work. For example - You cannot SEARCH for messages with an attachment over a certain size. Yes - I know we have 7gb of space each - but a lot of messages are never going to be read again.
When are Google actually going to listen to their users and provide a simple feature that virtually every mail client in the world has. Yes I KNOW that I can use Labels, and Filters, and that I can search, but as someone else commented, you can only SEARCH if you know what you are searching for. For emails from mailig lists, where each subject line is prefixed by something like [Mail List] - The brackets are ignored, and the filter does not work.  The Gmail Web interface is next to useless for managing such emails.
I manage the problem by using Thunderbird and IMAP to manage my Gmail accounts, which means I am not seeing and following the adverts which make Google money.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/11/09 6:35 PM
Attention Google Employees and Google Top Contributors, I just came up with a brilliant idea!  I think I understand from my limited programming experience that searching is easier for the Google computers to do because if everything in the database is already sorted by date, then the search will just go right down the line and pick each one of the items that matches the search query, and they are already in the right order.  So the Google server side program only had to run through the data one time.  A sort algorithm, on the other hand would have to run through the data numerous times in the process of swapping this entry with that entry over and over until they are finally in the order that the user wants.  I can understand how with millions of Gmail users this can put a significant overhead on the requirements of the Google server side computers.

Okay, so here is my brilliant idea!  What if Google incorporated the programming into the Google Chrome Browser!  When the user requests to sort the data that has already been sent to the browser, the browser will use the client's processing power in order to perform the sorting operation right there on the client's computer!  The Google Servers will never see any difference!  They could also offer a plug-in for Fire Fox so that the Firefox browser will also be able to perform this computing operation everytime the client wants to do a sort!  If people want to use gmail to do sorting when they are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, then too bad!  They will just have to switch to Google Chrome if they want their browser to be able to do sorting with Gmail!  Isn't this a Brilliant Idea!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 12/12/09 2:23 AM
An exceptionally good idea which is why Thunderbird, Outlook and others will work but unfortunately, since Gmail stores all your mail on line (web), not possible. Always a good idea to use another system such as T/bird or O/look to back up your own stuff in case of a major server malfunction.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 12/12/09 5:39 AM
Yahoo email doesn't seem to have any trouble sorting by any field..  I don't see why Google couldn't do the same thing
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 12/12/09 10:52 AM
But Yahoo isn't capable of doing other things or sending out mail without intrusive adverts. There have got to be reasons that with all the complaints about Gmail so many are using it and more sign up each day or they'd all be using Yahoo or others. Why are you still using it or are you one of those people who join in any forum to have a whine about how bad it is?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. sharonn2 12/12/09 2:29 PM
I know I'm old fashioned (because I'm old) but to me sort and search don't have the same meaning. In the dictionary it says
  a group set up on the basis of any characteristic in common
 to look into or over carefully or thoroughly in an effort to find or discover something: as a : to examine in seeking something <searched the north field> b : to look through or explore by inspecting possible places of concealment or investigating suspicious circumstances c : to read thoroughly : check; especially : to examine a public record or register for information about <search land titles> d : to examine for articles concealed on the person e : to look at as if to discover or penetrate intention or nature .
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 12/12/09 5:26 PM
Back to the original question/point - There is a search box at the top of the Inbox and if you put the address in the it will find all the emails associated with that address.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 12/12/09 6:27 PM
@sharonn2, to be pedantic, the definition you have chosen for "sort" is for its use as a noun, meaning "type" or "kind", etc.  You should have chosen a verb definition such as "to order into ... group[s] set up on the basis of any characteristic" or similar.

The point (spelt out more fully) is that the main reason we need long lists of items sorted is to make individual items easier to find.  Google has built Gmail on the basis of using search to make items easier to find.  Due to the habits we have formed using other email clients, we are more accustomed to using sort and scan, but it is in fact relatively easy to get used to search and see.

We TCs aren't trying to say that search means the same as sort.  We are trying to point out that the feature that Gmail now has, will work for what we want to do if we give it a try.  So instead of asking Google to make Gmail just like any other email client, we suggest that users discover the very clever tools that Google have already included.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. sharonn2 12/12/09 9:29 PM
 sort: to create a group set up on the basis of any characteristic in common ... is  not  a noun, meaning "type" or "kind",
And it is "spelled", not "spelt", and to finish..... customer service, something that is fading fast, is supplying what the majority of customers want if possible.
I will just use a different email client, there is a big attidude problem here.
You are pedantic? that means overly concerned with minute details or formalisms
The tools are not clever, they are confusing and unfriendly, something businesses can't afford to be and keep thier customers
if...There is a search box at the top of the Inbox and if you put the address in the it will find all the emails associated with that address, how do I find all the junk mail in my inbox? Do I search for "spam", or "junk mail? No, there is no one address associated with  all junk mail,  in every other application you click on sort and you don't have to look and check each and every message because sorting lets you see groups that you can recognize, therefore, you can delete all the ones you don't know.
Good night.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 12/12/09 10:17 PM
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 12/12/09 10:21 PM
quote from your first post:
  a group set up on the basis of any characteristic in common"

That's the definition of a noun.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 12/12/09 11:28 PM

To find spam click on the word Spam in your Labels (normally hidden). To find junk look in attic, garage or basement. Is that what it's all about?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/13/09 12:38 AM
Hold on, just a second.  I think I'm starting to figure this whole thing out.  What we are dealing with here is a paradigm shift that is not going to be intuitive to most people.  It was not intuitive to me but I think I'm starting to figure it out.  This is what "SN", a Top Contributor, has stated on a similar thread (

Gmail uses filters that search for messages using optional criteria and then can place labels on messages, essentially creating a filing system from which messages are. One of my Gmail heavy volume of incoming messages account has filters set up to place on every message, even spam (so I can easily see unlabeled messages which I promptly add to a filter for labeling). This particular Gmail account has so much volume that would swamp my account without using labels; nonetheless, any Gmail account either low volume or not can set up as a filing system.

Okay, if we read this carefully we can start to see that SN is telling us that using Gmail requires going about things completely differently from what we are used to.  Using Labels effectively is not a suggestion, it is absolutely mandatory in order to avoid the desire for sorting!  I think SN is explaining that EVERYTHING has to have a label on it, in order for us to be able to organize our gmail account effectively, and if everything without a label is immediately given a label, including spam, then things will stay organized?  It seems like a lot of work to me, but I have not tried it yet.  I guess we don't have much of a choice though, do we mates?  Let's give it a go.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 12/13/09 1:34 AM
You've got the idea but haven't taken it far enough. You can use more than one label to reference mails so let's say you have a joke come in from a friend you could add the labels Jimmy Doe (sender), joke, political, Robert Mugabe (always good for a laugh), etc, etc. I have suggested that we be able to use more than one label to search so that if you were to use three labels only mail with all three labels would be found. The only word of warning is "forget the drag and drop or Move to" when using this as it will archive these using only the label you have specified and any other labels will be lost.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/13/09 3:19 AM
The C Man and manny.b are the same person???  That reminds me.  I changed my nickname from ronhollow to FireTi a long time ago, and I added a picture, and neither one of those changes have been reflected on the help forums when I place a comment.  You have to mouse over my username in order to see a pop up of the changes. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 12/13/09 5:02 AM
Could be the same, the other guy is very like me but you would not have got that without looking at our profiles and that brings up a point about yours, interesting the way you have misused it to create a point of view and hidden any details about yourself except your picture. Knowing what a self effacing person you must be I'm sure it is not from the point of view of self aggrandisement. 

I have seen the twice repeated in  this thread letter to Google and I'm wondering about it and your comment "What we are dealing with here is a paradigm shift that is not going to be intuitive to most people" since when I started using Gmail I had never used folders or sort in another emailing system and it made complete sense to me having worked in companies where cross referencing was either mandatory or acknowledged to more than useful in following stock and production usage of stock and this was in the days before computers. If an old age person such as myself can get hold of the concept then surely a youngster such as yourself can.

Sometimes I think we get entrenched in our ways so completely that we cannot see another route that can work better or as well.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 12/13/09 5:09 AM
I cannot help agree with manny.b, which is probably the first time ever, in that I found, as so many others have, that it is completely understandable to anybody who used Labels in the previous version of Gmail and realised that there was only one copy of any piece of mail and this would be the easiest way to find it.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/13/09 6:14 AM

There's a lot of stuff about me besides my picture.  All of my interests, and companies I've worked for and all of the places I've lived, and a bunch of other stuff.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 12/13/09 6:28 AM
For some reason I could not find it earlier. Probably because it was hidden at the end of a personal diatribe which should have been pointed to elsewhere because I'm sure that "About ronhollow" does not really refer to that.

I admire anybody who wants to solve all of the world's problems and I do that in my own way by trying to help others instead of trying to force them to submit to my whims.

The thing about the taxes won't work and if you want to know why contact me through my profile.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/13/09 6:28 AM
Google is obviously conducting an experiment to see how many people they can get to use a product that doesn't do certain things that most people expect the product to do.  If all they cared about was making money, they would have added sorting yesterday.  But Google does not care so much about making money.  Google is trying to change the world.  Coincidentally, the way to get filthy rich is to incorporate a paradigm shift.  Get people to buy a product that does the same thing people are already used to doing and you will make some money.  Get people to permanently change the way they do things and you will be filthy rich.  Google is trying to get all of us to permanently change the way we do things.  Oddly though, normally a paradigm shift occurs because people decide that they want to do things the way that a new product allows them to do things, not because they are dragged kicking and screaming into doing things a new way.  When a company gets too arrogant, they are going to start to make a lot of enemies.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 12/13/09 6:49 AM
I looked up paradigm in Wilkepedia and I think the the following taken from it describes your own attitude.

Paradigm Paralysis

Perhaps the greatest barrier to a paradigm shift, in some cases, is the reality of paradigm paralysis: the inability or refusal to see beyond the current models of thinking.

You do seem to have got stuck in a rut with your usage of the word. Try to find some alternatives.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/13/09 6:54 AM
Mr. C Manny B, The message I sent through your profile got rejected.  So I posted my message to you in the "Coffee Shop."  Here is the link:  
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/13/09 7:05 AM
Wow, C Manny B, you certainly are an arrogant son of a gun, aren't you?  I admire your enthusiasm, but I assure you that I'm using the word Paradigm perfectly.  We studied the word in one of my engineering classes.  A Paradigm is like a way of thinking that seems like the only logical way of thinking, but it's not.  It takes a person with an abnormal ability for abstract thinking to be able to think outside of an existing paradigm.  There are countless examples of people getting rich by changing a paradigm.  My favorite example is the story behind the invention of the quartz watch.  C Manny B, you may have just discovered the definition for the word Paradigm, but I've been using the word for a long time. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 12/13/09 7:56 AM
Arrogant enough to not like being insulted so therefore ..............................................
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/13/09 7:31 PM
Mr C Manny B,

Somehow my comment got deleted, so here it is again:  I admire your enthusiasm, Mr. C Manny B, but I assure you that I'm using the word Paradigm perfectly.  We studied the word in one of my engineering classes.  A Paradigm is like a way of thinking that seems like the only logical way of thinking, but it's not.  It takes a person with an abnormal ability for abstract thinking to be able to think outside of an existing paradigm.  There are countless examples of people getting rich by changing a paradigm.  My favorite example is the story behind the invention of the quartz watch.  Mr. C Manny B, you may have just discovered the definition for the word Paradigm, but I've been using the word for a long time.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/14/09 12:03 AM
The C Man
Top Contributor
Can't understand anything being deleted unless it contained a personal insult of some sort. You were invited to contact me through my profile (which you did and were answered) so that this did not become a platform for your personal and political meanderings. Other users need help and this thread has taken a direction which has nothing to do with the giving of help and as to using the coffee shop to give you yet another platform so that you might further indulge your craving for publicity is not on my agenda so this gets sent and then deleted. You and those who have requested to follow the thread will see it as an email and then gone so you have nothing to answer.

You certainly like to try to be in control of things, don't you Mr. C Manny B ?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/14/09 12:06 AM
Level 1
There must be a way to sort other than by date. This is like having a phone book sorted by date.

That is the best analogy to describe using gmail that I have heard yet.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 12/14/09 1:00 AM
Well, the strange thing is that Gmail's "phone book" is sorted by name.  How strange is that?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/14/09 4:07 AM
It is not strange at all.  Apparently sorting is only a good idea when Google decides to do it.  Big Brother knows best. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ronhollow 12/14/09 4:13 AM
This conversation view experiment really is an interesting experiment.  But the problem is that the volunteers for the experiment didn't know what they were volunteering for.  Google really should have outsourced this experiment so that it doesn't say Google on it because the lack of sorting is hurting the good reputation that Google has worked so hard to earn.  Maybe they don't give a crap about their reputation, but I think that is a shame if it is true.  In order to make this experiment more enjoyable for everybody, Google could have created two different versions of Google Apps Mail, one that competes with the old way of doing things, and one that incorporates nothing but conversation view, labels, and searching.  It would be interesting to see which one more people decide to use.  As it stands right now, nothing is very interesting but rather bloody annoying. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Spoonigan Floorglib 12/22/09 11:21 AM
I just started using Gmail at work. I assumed that it would have a sort function. I mean, email has been around now for a few years, and a sort function is such an obviously necessary tool, not having one is like finding out that your oven doesn't come with temperature controls - just on & off.

So, I am sad to say that I must officially declare that Gmail sucks.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. hello_ 12/28/09 9:32 PM

This whole discussion is kind of an eye-opener for me ... 

Sad thing that google cannot comprehend why is sort needed. Futile it is to try to replace sort w. search. You cannot search for anything that you don't know, dear. I use sort to figure out quickly what is common between large mail counts in order to address it ... but without knowing ahead what it is. As simple as that. Imagine sort as multiple search but done _once_ and without typing any sort of expressions.

The answer turned out to be not what I was looking for when I began reading this discussion: use other mail program if you need sort.

After reading this very informative discussion it also appears to me that anyone who thinks that using "suggestion box" to persuade google to provide sort ... is somewhat naive. Sorry.

Oh, one more thing: it's also an eye-opener what kind of TopContributers google have selected.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. PS140 12/29/09 12:16 PM
I guess to the email user of providers such as Microsoft and other traditional providers, Gmail's features are a bit of a problem and can be quite mind boggling. However, I have to agree that it is Gmail that has revolutionalized email. I use quite a few of the features in Google labs (Settings> Labs) in Gmail and they have greatly improved the sorting capability. Labels are as good as folders (for those of you who are too used to folders) and with the drag and drop function, I see no reason that they cannot be used as an alternative to folders. Lab features such as Custom label colours and Hide Read Labels have really improved my experience especially the latter. It means that I can quickly glance at my inbox and know which labels have new messages. Also, the Filter Messages like these feature greatly helps to filter out messages from a certain sender and is not at all time consuming. The best bits about Gmail are undoubtedly the speed and the fresh approach to email. And though I am compelled to agree with some people about the inconvenience of not being able to sort, it is well worth your time to read about some of the features and try to use them. So far, everyone who uses most of the features of gmail does so because they are passionate about saving time and exploring new possibilities. If you are not willing to do this, then may be gmail is not for you! 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mrvandergaag 12/29/09 1:00 PM
Well, good customer service would dictate that Google respond to its user community with a Sort feature. And to make it better than the competition, allow sort by key words in the subject,  subject, by author, by category, assigned flag color, etc.

Michael Van der Gaag
Usability Beyond the Interface
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. shoepub 1/4/10 9:02 AM
Just want to reiterate that there really needs to be a sort feature.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. BillJonesSE 1/8/10 10:20 AM
Google provides elaborate features and then ignores basic features. Their Calendar capabilities are impressive, but it took years before they admitted that Task lists were also important.  They have substantial search capabilities but suck at the most common type search: keyword.  From Google's own help pages "doesn't recognize partial or similar matches, so a search for travel will find travel, but not travels, traveler, or travle."  At least the dummies don't require case match on searches.  
As for using search to replace sort, I am still waiting for someone that will type in all those search phrases for me, and I expect you to know when I am done with one sender (or subject line) and have the next alphabetical order one typed in within a half second...make that a millisecond since travel doesn't find traveler so you have many more searches to enter. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. sharonn2 1/8/10 12:34 PM
I have had to switch to the snail Microsoft mail in order to do any thing. I have very slow internet so I have to wait everytime I change something for it to syncronize. I always just click on "from" then delete the ones I don't know all at once. Just one click and highlight and press  the delete key. All of the other mail is already sorted so I don't have to do anything else.
 I really don't understand most of the stuff on the filter page, its not in plain talk for us dummies. When I listen to the young people who work there they sound like "get over it, this is the way its going to be and if you are too stupid to figure it out go some where else.
 I've tried but I can't find a word to use their way since I don't have anything in the unknown mail that is in all the unknown mail and I don't have time to filter each name separetely.
I just can't believe they can't make a sort button. Maybe I should say they WON'T make one.
I have a tendency to not use ANY of someones services when they can't accomodate the majority of customers
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 1/8/10 12:56 PM
As one of those young people who you can't understand aged 74 and Keith is not much younger than I just how old are you? We both learned to respect our elders but you are going to have to prove you deserve that respect after insulting us.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. sharonn2 1/8/10 10:09 PM
I rest my case.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. bkc56 1/8/10 10:38 PM
Sharonn2, unless you have some pressing need to use the Gmail web-interface (that you don't like) why not use one of the many e-mail clients available with your Gmail account.  Then you would have a different use-model and feature-set that will be more to your liking.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 1/9/10 5:51 AM

What was your case? That us youngsters who are most likely older than you don't make it easier to understand? Sorry for that but we do our best. The fault is ours probably because we were prepared to put in the time to find out how something works and make use of it within the parameters of the application but are unable to solve users problems in three words or less. The way I think of it is this, "I don't expect to walk into my Doctor's surgery and walk out cured" neither do I expect to drive a car without learning how to drive (still got to work on that one).

Try using Thunderbird which will most likely give you the facilities you want.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. dlp1000 2/5/10 12:32 AM
Here's a solution to sorting in Gmail -

Search Gmail Messages by Sender

Gmail by default sorts mails by date and to group messages by sender, you will have to create a filter. However, there is another simple trick, which will group your mails from a particular person without creating a filter. All it takes is just two clicks to get your work done.

We have previously discussed how you can sort mails by size, labels and subject. But often we need to group similar mails to view the entire conversation from the specific sender or recipient. You can easily do this by following the below steps in your Gmail inbox:

Step 1. Hover over the sender’s mail in Gmail inbox whose messages you want to group.

Step 2. A box will pop-up showing senders name and email address along with his picture.

Step 3. Click on the more dropdown and select recent conversations.

Step 4. That’s all. All the messages belonging to that sender will list up.

Note the terms in the Gmail’s search box: from:( OR to:( It is these search operators, from: and to: that has resulted in a list of mails from particular sender. You can find more Gmail Search Operators here.

Tip: To view messages which you have already deleted, just add in:trash to your search terms.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ConvolutedMind 2/6/10 11:14 PM
It's hard to convince people that cloud computing is the way of the future when the programs aren't capable of alphabetizing or any other type of sorting method.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 2/7/10 1:23 AM
Just above the inbox is a Search Mail box which does all those three things. Alphabetizing? Index them by using 26 different labels A to Z.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Landstalker32x 2/7/10 5:34 AM
In my opinion is the only way to sort using Thunderbird 3 in combination with imap...

Im sad, that it is impossible to sort online.
The other thing is not to combine conversations, no pictures in the chat when using gmail instead of googlemail in germany und not to insert pictures by Crlt+V. And: It is stupied, that youtube always use my googemail account... but I have a different account for youtube and have to logout always...
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 2/7/10 8:02 AM
I have always suggested using Thunderbird in conjunction with Gmail if for nothing else than to back it up.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. dwbarnes32 2/15/10 1:30 PM
Third party apps and 26 different labels. Really? Is that the best you've got?
Helloooooooo Yahoo!
                 -----| "It isnt a bug. It's a feature." |----
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mrvandergaag 2/15/10 2:14 PM
Any suggestion that Google is listening is pure speculation.  They have a reputation for being creative, successful, a great place to work.  Now they need to work on being responsive ...

I'd be happy if they would just let you sort on name, subject and, of course, date.
If you don't have any particular sender in mind,  sorting  makes clean-up a whole lot easier

Usability (i.e., ease of use) is about real performance issues like time on task, number of errors, success or failure, as well subjective measures of like it dislike it, "On a scale of 1-5, how easy was it to sort by sender name? 1...5.. => "0" = cannot do it
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 2/15/10 6:39 PM
@mrvandergaag, Go back to the beginning of this thread and read the third post (or the Best Answer which is the same).  You are pretty much right that Google is not listening to complaints on this user forum which is intended for users to help each other with Gmail as it is, but they do provide a place for you to vote on or suggest improvements.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. saudimumma 3/6/10 2:01 AM
Well.  As usual it looks like Google pays NO attention to their customers.  I, too, have thousands of emails that I need to sort through and delete.  I have been able to do this with my AOL mail for years.  WHY can't Google HELP the regular people?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 3/6/10 2:45 AM
This is copied from another site and I'm pretty sure that the author Heinz Tschabitscher will not mind it being used here. It is the terms used in the Gmail Search Box.

  • subject: - Search the Subject line.
    Example: "subject:bahamas" finds all messages with "bahamas" in the Subject.
  • from: - Search for sender name and email address. Partial addresses are okay.
    Example: "from:heinz" finds all messages from "", but also all messages from "".
  • to: - Search the To line for names and addresses.
    Example: "" finds all messages sent directly (not via Cc: or Bcc:) to
  • cc: - Search recipients in the Cc field.
    Example: "" finds all messages that were sent to as a carbon copy.
  • bcc: - Search for addresses and names in the Bcc field. Note this only works with emails you sent to Bcc recipients from Gmail.
    Example: "bcc:heinz" finds all messages that you sent with, for example, "" in the Bcc field.
  • label: - Search for messages assigned a label. (Replace whitespace characters in label names with hyphens.)
    Example: "label:toodoo-doll" finds all messages labeled "toodoo doll".
  • is:starred - Search for messages that are starred.
  • With Superstars enabled:
    • has:yellow-star - Search for messages with a yellow star.
    • has:red-star - Search for messages with a red star.
    • has:orange-star - Search for messages with an orange star.
    • has:green-star - Search for messages with a green star.
    • has:blue-star - Search for messages with a blue star.
    • has:purple-star - Search for messages with a purple star.
    • has:yellow-bang - Search for messages with a yellow exclamation mark.
    • has:red-bang - Search for messages with a red exclamation mark.
    • has:purple-question - Search for messages with a purple question mark.
    • has:orange-guillemet - Search for messages with two orange forward arrows.
    • has:blue-info - Search for messages with a blue i.
  • is:unread - Search for new and unread messages.
  • is:read - Search for messages that have already been opened.
  • has:attachment - Search for messages that have files attached to them.
  • filename: - Search within file names of attachments. You can also search for file name extensions to restrict your search to certain file types.
    Example: "filename:.doc" finds all messages with word processing attachments.
  • is:buzz - Search for Google Buzz posts.
  • is:chat - Search for chats.
  • lang: - Search for messages in a particular language. (Specify the language in English; "Chinese" works, but "中文", "Putonghua" or "Mandarin" do not, for example.)
    Example: "lang:French" returns all emails that contain at least un peu de Français.
  • in: - Search in a standard "folder". You can search in Drafts, Inbox, Chats, Sent, Spam, Trash and anywhere (for everything, including Spam and Trash).
    Example: "in:drafts" finds all messages in your Drafts folder.
  • after: - Search for messages sent after a date. The date must given in YYYY/MM/DD format.
    Example: "after:2005/05/05" finds all messages sent or received after (and not including) May 5, 2005.
  • before: - Search for messages sent before a date.
    Example: "before:2005/05/05" finds all messages sent or received on May 4, 2005 and earlier.


Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 3/6/10 2:49 AM
Apologies to Heinz as I should have given the link to the page which is where you can contact the author and thank him for yourselves.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. slcolucci 3/9/10 10:26 AM
This is all well and good, but I believe a drop-down or pop-up menu next to the search box offering all these useful criteria would be more user-friendly.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 3/9/10 10:37 AM
That is a really good idea but remember that some can be listed to the left of the Inbox and I believe these can be supplemented with additions from Labs. You can also use "Show Search Options" to hunt for anything.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Dangles 3/13/10 2:40 AM
I'm among the countless Gmail users and I have been for a long time. However, I find myself gravitating toward Thunderbird IMAP as an email client simply because of this lack of sort by column within the web product. I get the whole 'label and archive-- don't waste time' argument, but there are simply times when it is far more expedient and more convenient to have quick sorting capability. That's just a fact that appears doomed to be ignored forever within GoogleMail.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 3/13/10 2:46 AM
Remember to log into your Gmail Inbox at least once every couple months or lose the account. Thunderbird is not an emailer but a third party app that makes the best use of Gmail.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Matthew Liberty 3/25/10 10:31 PM
Everyone do this to suggest the feature to Google:

1. from gmail click "help" and under "Help resources" click "Suggest a Feature" (or copy/paste "
2. Under the "Organization" section click "Suggest it" for "Sort messages by size, date, sender, etc."
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 3/26/10 2:12 AM

Although Gmail hasn't got exactly what you want it does do most of it as a search which is why I am giving a  list of search items
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. gworley1 4/25/10 7:47 PM
Google please listing --- we your uses have been asking for this for at least 2 or more years.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. MaryMotorMouth 4/29/10 1:51 PM
It's been two years now.  I am moving to a new e-mail provider.  I don't have time to deal with the search function in a half-azzed attempt to sort.  Not to mention being told I should like it better than sort.  Ugh.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 4/29/10 3:15 PM

Moving to another provider when all your contacts have your present address seems a little drastic. Have you thought of using Tunderbird which gives you all the facilities that you want but uses your Gmail address? Just remember to log into your Gmail account once every couple of months.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. pavelgutsa 5/4/10 4:22 PM
The only way to sort is to use Thunderbird.
Google doesn't care that users will use a third party client and skip all those GoogleAds on Gmail web interface.
There are more users who don't care about sorting then the users who do, so why bother.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Matthew Liberty 5/4/10 7:28 PM
Peoples... issue is not that you can use a third party client to do the sorting you need, because this does not help for those who wish to DELETE LARGE EMAILS when they are close to MAXED ON THEIR QUOTA! That's the major issue. You can say, just open another email account, but that doesn't solve the problem either does it?

Gmail is a wonderful free email system, but it has some pretty serious oversights in its design concept for such an enormously large and successful communications company.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 5/4/10 10:08 PM
Matthew, until Google adds the feature you need, you can clean up by connecting to your Gmail with, e.g., Thunderbird using IMAP.  Deleting messages with IMAP will delete the corresponding messages from the Gmail database.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. will not leave yahoo 5/11/10 11:31 PM
I was given an invitation to join gmail...I did and I am glad I did not close my yahoo account. I need that sort feature. It is a tremendous help for most people. I think Google need to look into getting this feature. We have a small business and were attempting to use this service but without the sort feature that would not be possible.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. MAT kinase 7/31/10 1:45 PM

I want to be able to go through and find the dozens of emails sent to me by old bosses, old travel itineraries, etc without having to sit here and think of keywords like "John Smith" and "Orbitz" for ever single old piece of mail in my 1000+ mailbox. Yahoo sucks, but at least I can clean out my mailbox once a year without having to come up with a complicated labeling scheme and labeling every single piece of mail as it comes in.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 7/31/10 3:07 PM
In Search mail you put the name of your old boss and it finds all the mails from your old boss. How would you find them in Sort?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Matthew Liberty 7/31/10 3:12 PM
Yeah, Google fails that way. They had some major oversights and terrible assumptions when creating Gmail. Here is a suggestion I made to another guy with the same problem. Read the post made on 7/29/10
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. toddmorrow1 8/19/10 5:00 AM
And to make this smart (smart like hurt, like being smacked in the face "smarts") even worse,
Gmail has this blank row of real estate right above the message list to put the sort headers!

Below the search box, and above the message list, there''s this 28 pixel high area just sitting there taking up space doing nothing, when it could be holding some sorely lacking sort labels.

Now THAT'S really rubbing it in our faces, isn't it?
It's almost like they are saying
"This is where sort WOULD Be, if you could have sort. But we can't think of a use case, so you can't have it. Even though it would only take about .5 man hours to accomplish."
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. toddmorrow1 8/19/10 5:12 AM
The number of calories burned by all the people complaining about sorting by now would power the google headquarters building long enough for them to implement sort.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. toddmorrow1 8/19/10 5:51 AM
And I don't understand at all why any theories about sorting causing server problems at Google would have to be accurate. It should not take too much server horse power to download 7,000 email headers to the client's gmail web page, which could do the sort in client script and then request the nth page of the sorted list by asking for a list of certain message id's, sorted the way they need to be to best suit the google servers handling the request. How they are stored wouldn't ever have to change. They have to have something similar to this to make search work.

Gee, I figured that out while typing this message. How hard could it be, really?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 8/19/10 5:54 AM
Pleased you could do it so fast - please use the next five minutes to write the codes for this and I will happily forward them to Google.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. toddmorrow1 8/19/10 6:02 AM
What am I saying?
There are these little things called INDEXES.
Ever heard of those, Google?
You use them quite alot. See, you have the whole www indexed.
You took indexes and data caching to a whole new level. That's what pays your light bill.
Those indexes are SORTED.
You MAINTAIN billions of indexes to make web (and email) searching faster.

So, how about MAINTAINING 5 new (tiny) sorted lists (of message ids) to each google account?
Which only have to change when a new message is added, by inserting into the (already sorted) list?

Let's all remember folks: SEARCHING is not possible without SORTING. Sorting is the daddy.
A fast server response to a user's "from:" search in gmail presumes google is already maintaining a (pre)sorted list of your emails by the From.
Same with subject.

So in other words, those indexes already exist.
Amazing...amazingly sad.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. toddmorrow1 8/19/10 6:06 AM
Give me that google email you are willing to forward the code to.
Post it here. I dare you.

You have an email of someone at google who codes on gmail? Really?
Holy cow man give it up.

That guy needs to hear from ALL of us, not just me.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 8/19/10 6:08 AM

Please send your CV to your local Google Headquarters or Mountain View where I am sure that somebody with your flawless understanding understanding of the issues and abilities to create programs using the minimum resources will be welcomed with open arms and a salary commensurate with your worth.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. toddmorrow1 8/19/10 6:16 AM
Please spend your time trying to be helpful rather than harassing people who are trying to make the very appropriate and prescient scathing and embarrassing comments about the ludicrous lack of this basic feature.

Your sarcasm - NOT helpful.

HELP me pressure google. Don't help them suppress or down play my commentary, "top contributor".

I may not know the internals of their architecture, but I know they can't search fast, without pre-sorting the data,
by the very fields we are asking sorts on.

Your desire to attack the voice of the people is incomprehensible, and again...sad.
I'm one of the masses here...I just happen to be a programmer. So, I can see where maybe other's can't the depth of how needless our sacrifice (the sacrifice of going without this feature year after year) really and truly is.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 8/19/10 6:37 AM

Google may or may not do what you require but you gave such incisive details of how it should be done I thought you were capable of more than you apparently are (writing the simple program you advocate). I apologise for making this error and realise now that you do not have the abilities I thought you had. Please accept my apology also for my apparent sarcasm caused by your apparent knowledge and total understanding of the situation.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ml39612 8/19/10 8:50 AM
The proscription against sorting mail privately by any of several categories - date, sender or any other criterion - is from Google's charter to minimize the number of intelligent things private citizens can do with their mail, and maximize the exposure of your mail to Google's government connections. 

It does not do any good to suggest sorting to Google, which knows perfectly well what that means and has banned "public sorting". 

The idea that the word's GOogle, GOvernment, GOd and GO (opposite of stop) have much to do with each other.  This kind of regime domination of the language and the common authority would be amusing if it were not the same kind of thing that occurred in Germany in the 1930's. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. bkc56 8/19/10 9:36 AM
I'm just curious...

Given that we have Conversations in Gmail, just how would sorting work?

Say you have a conversation with 20 individual messages.  Say 5 are ones you sent and the other 15 are messages from other people in the distribution list.

Sort on sender - which of the 20 messages is the sender you use to sort by?

Sort on date - which of the 20 date/times of messages is the one you sort by?

Sort on <etc> - which of the 20 etc...

Now if Google ever makes the CV optional, then I can see the logic to sorting, but at the moment I just can't visualize how it would work.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 8/19/10 9:59 AM
Even if Google were to do it I wonder if it would have the same limitation as Windows Livemail which stops at 5,000 ( and please remember that this is not truly a free service since you paid for it when you bought Windows and even at that it may use some of the pc's power do it (Microsoft can do this). Don't believe me - take a look at Photosynth which gives the illusion of being web based but needs you to have a powerful graphics card. Sorting in any free web based email service is not available that I know of. Despite protestation to the contrary it does use a lot of processing power - if you don't believe that see how long it takes a computer based third party app to do it and watch your processor usage while it does it.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Pablos 8/19/10 11:11 AM
People,  stop wasting your energy on this useless topic.

I understand all the frustration with the missing sorting...
But understand that the only reason why Google does not implement sorting in gmail is that Google doesn't have a reason to implement it!

Millions of users of Gmail do not complain about missing sorting.
Who cares about few whinnies who don't get the Google revolutionary concepts?
It is the same crap as this thread collapsing feature that cannot be turned off because "millions of users were CRAVING for this feature" - according to Google of course.

Gmail is a cheap project, it is a high maintenance and brings little revenue, you don't pay for using it - why would Google spend money to implement something that doesn't bring more money?
It is not about services for people, you know.  It's about MONEY

The sorting feature is totally doable, no doubt about that.
But it will put more load on the database servers, that means more monetary investment which will not be reimbursed.
Missing sorting feature will not pull users away from gmail, because all of them came from Yahoo mail already.

And there is no evil plans of domination of whatever, just cold money figures, that's it.
You just have no idea how much money Google spends on Gmail, just think about it for a while.
And why?  Do you think they make shitload of money on the ads?  Think twice...

And if you don't like Gmail - why do you use it?
For several bucks per year you can set up your own personal mail server at one of the hosting providers which are PLENTY.  And it will have Web interface.  And sorting.  And no thread collapsing.  And no ads.

You've got to move from this mindset when you think that somebody should do something for you for free just because.  Because there is no free. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Matthew Liberty 8/19/10 11:53 AM
Who the hell are all these damn "Top Contributor" TROLLS!!! Damn fanboys defending Google's downfalls at every corner, even when they're OBVIOUSLY in the wrong!!  Who gave them the rank of "Top Contributor" anyway!?! They're obviously not deserving of it. How about showing a little more concern for the users and being helpful instead of pretentious PRICKS!! bkc56 is the only one I've seen on these forums who isn't download condescending. (thanks for that :))

Food for Thought:
As to your theoretical situation bkc, this really isn't much different from searching threads in any forums you find online, yet they handle it just fine. If you want to sort by sender: results = all emails sent by that sender, and those which are part of the same conversation could be grouped together in like manner. If you want to search by date: results = all emails grouped by conversation and then sorted based on the sending date of the FIRST email in each respective conversation. etc etc... seriously, it's not that hard to think about on a higher level. Coding it may be somewhat of a challenge, I don't know, but conceptually and logically it's a very simple issue to address.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Matthew Liberty 8/19/10 11:57 AM
by the way, as for the server load concerns for querying all these billions of emails in all the gmail users' inboxes, that could hypothetically be handled best via a queuing system similar to when you upload a video to Youtube, you must wait a bit before it is fully processed, etc. Except for email it should be MUCH simpler because you are only querying the database and requesting simply that your emails be ordered in a particular way.

iono, seems simple enough to me. I would need to know more about how Google actually stores and tracks that information to provide any real analysis as to how to solve the issue.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 8/19/10 12:01 PM
TC's earn the rating by helping others - Trolls earn that title by infesting every possible thread with their own opinions of what should be done for them but with no idea of how to do it for themselves.

Which camp are you in?

When did you last offer advice to somebody on how to do something that you knew about and they didn't?

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Matthew Liberty 8/19/10 12:04 PM
Well you guys are the ones being total condescending jerks to people with real concerns... you tell me!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Matthew Liberty 8/19/10 12:05 PM
... and for the record... I've helped many people! I spend countless hours helping people in a number of venues!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. toddmorrow1 8/19/10 10:18 PM
When I realized that the indexes must already be there, I realized sorting must be missing not because it's not possible or feasible, but because they just don't want it there for some reason the normal average user can not relate to.

Email is to get in, get what you need and get out - quickly and easily.
It's not supposed to demand thought in and of itself. People need to be able to focus on the messages themselves without having to deal with the email program on the program's own terms.
People aren't morons just because sometimes they can't remember what to type in to search on, but yet, at the same moment, are able to find a message once it's in a sorted list. Phrases like "it's on the tip of my tongue" or "I'll know it when I see it" are evidence this is a common experience most people have. It's easier to scan a sorted list because once you pass a certain item, you know that item won't be in the list again, so the brain can stop looking for that particular item.

What I am about to say is not sarcastic, so please don't take it that way:

"TC's earn the rating by helping others" -manny.b

That's right manny they do!
But think: where inside yourself did your response come from? Where did all that emotion come from? All that negative energy? That viscousness? My little old post deserved all that?

See, I'm frustrated at the gmail team and / or google because I can't sort and no one has offered a water tight reason why it can't be done. My frustration is explainable.
Ok so that is my reason. manny and C Man, what, then, are you mad at?
See, anyone can be mean. No one is above it, we are all susceptible to it, but it is still our choice to go there or not. You are in some kind of pain. We lash out when we are in that kind of pain. We may not realize what is causing the pain. I don't see these kind of comments by forum staff in other forums, so, something is way off.

So, did you have a death in the family, or a divorce, and find yourself taking your anger out on us?
Something is not adding up here. That was way too much vitriol aimed at me, in exchange for my post about a third party (gmail, google) and not you personally. Where is that thorn in your paw? Find it, and pull it out, and you will feel a lot better. I would rather "lose" an argument in here if it meant you could get some help grieving your loss. My ego is expendable and you are hurting really badly, so that takes priority.

About bkc's comment:
We could sort on the top item, or offer to expand the conversation and sort by the individual items.
I'm sure it's all in their object model already.
Some choices could be in settings.
Most all my conversations are just with one person anyway, so it's as if it's a single message mainly.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 8/19/10 11:56 PM

You ask for a watertight reason which I can't give but the reasons I have given are more than logical but I think there is one major reason. It's Gmail and none of the others but if you want it to be a clone of the others then it would probably be at the cost of something else. At one time Mozilla worked hand in glove with Google and this is how and why Thunderbird was created which does everything that Gmail doesn't better than Outlook or anything Apple/Mac can produce. Mozilla is a charitable organization but apart from donations you won't see another way it raises money except through the sale of tee shirts and other stuff and despite liking the idea of choice I would far rather see Thunderbird used (which then promotes the use of Firefox (probably the safest Browser)) which gives the added safeguard of a backup on a pc and this is transferable to an external hard drive or Memory Stick.

The web is fragile so I would far rather see users forced into backing up everything than relying on something that could be brought down at the twinkling of a star.

I have seen the excuses for change given by others with the main one being by so called business users:
"I travel a lot so I need these services on line" - My wife and I travel a lot and have never had a problem using an internet cafe or hotel internet service but we now take anything from an old pda, laptop or netbook which will allow us to run Thunderbird if we need it. We get over the high priced hotel in room services by asking if we can plug whatever we have with us into their time limited service instead and have never been refused. 30 minutes can be spread out through the day so we can use five minutes to download to Thunderbird and later in the day when we re-connect or take a memory stick with we have 25 minutes to upload what we have done while we use Talk or Chat and check our bank accounts.

Those who want the change are asking for the additions provided by a paid service but without paying for the services and the real world does not work that way.


Nice dissertation and nice to see somebody who thinks outside the box.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. BillJonesSE 8/20/10 9:20 PM
I don't use Thunderbird because I am spread over 8 different computers...some of them I don't have admin permission to install.  I only use gmail because it integrates with my palm pre phone. 
Since there is no sorting in gmail...i just let the spam build and let google pay to store it.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 8/21/10 1:48 AM

Take a look at Thunderbird Portable - - Dependent on the size of All Mail and the number of folders it can take a lot of space if you want to keep everything but it is controllable.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. goffe 8/30/10 12:11 PM

Especially to all you sorters. I agree with you... well most of you. It would be REALLY NICE if gmail could sort. I've been using Yahoo email since about 1995. I REALLY LIKE their (old) UI... WHEN IT WORKS. They have the strangest way of dealing with "customers" that I've ever seen. You complain about something to someone, another person responds, you respond to that, yet another person responds... ad nauseum. When and IF the problem is fixed, you get NO notification! Keep testing occasionally to find out if it is fixed. There's NO way to find out if they're even working on it.

I had a problem with my filters suddenly being broken. I could not change/add or anything. This happened in Feb 2010. After a LOT of hassle, and numerous chat sessions, and finally giving up on them. The problem was fixed... apparently 3-4 weeks ago (it's August 30, 2010) now.

It's like trying to get your teenage son to do some code for you. He thinks he knows it all and is wrong but will NOT listen to ANYONE with a contrary idea/opinion. Sigh...

Beware of Yahoo too.

I'd like to believe that Google does it differently... I have not seen this yet but hope to.


Re: How do I sort in Gmail. younghongyol 8/30/10 8:20 PM
I remember I could program my Apple IIe to sort. And my TI and HP calculators.

Sorting has been a critical feature of mail clients since as long as I can remember. When did Google decide that this was no longer the case?

C'mon TCs - be helpful, not angry.

There is no reason why Gmail can't sort. It's obvious from the hateful and indignant rhetoric from TCs that they can't come up with a legitimate reason. Blaming, belittling, or marginalizing the person asking for help is a classic signal that the person that's supposed to help doesn't know how to help them. It's called Freudian projection, of course.

And it would be an additional load on Google's servers how? Wouldn't helping people remove all that spam easily be more than a sufficient offset to whatever resource Google needs to employ to put an alphabetical sorting function in their program? Of course searching is cool - but it's not the same function and purpose as sort, because of the simple mathematical fact that a search result is not continuous and comprehensive- sorting IS. Sorting is a basic cognitive tool that has been used since man started walking. So no, this is not about lock-in and people unwilling to learn new strategies. Sorting is a pyramidion-level cognitive strategy. The only lock-in seems to be Google's unwillingness to provide a solution.

And sorting is not just for spam - sorting helps people stop using their email box like a place to just shove hairballs into with indiscriminate archiving and advance to a more enlightened state of data and archival management - i.e., keeping what's important, not junk that doesn't need to be kept, regardless if it's spam or not. A mailbox, not mom's attic.

When I get paper mail I sort that too. Reading mail IS about sorting. This all is making me think again about switching to Gmail. I started out with Hotmail back in 1995, and stuck with them. I switched to Gmail recently because I got a DroidX. Now I think I should reverse the POP3.

Actually, I've decided I will. Imagine that - Hotmail is a better mailbox.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 8/31/10 4:44 AM
I bet if gmail had a sort feature, I could get rid of 25% of my stored emails easily.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mitwiz 9/10/10 6:42 PM
Untill today i was proud of using google as my email client & recommending to all of my frnds. I was just wondering how can gmail features be so much perfect but at last to day i miss yahoomail when i m not able to sort the emails by Size.

What is the use "suggest a feature for gmail" when they dont want to do it, its strange why gmail do not listen to so many peoples. I think they should have their reason for this but atleast they should come out informing their users so we can understand them.

GMAIL ps tell us what is your problem to add this feature ? when you are best in all the features i hope this also you can do it. I really do not want to leave you for this reason, but i have to becoz when my inbox has no space left & i cannot delete the oversize messages using sorting feature.

If you cannot add this easy SORT feature atleast help me to show how can i sort my oversize message accordingly to size ??

I am looking forward to your earliest reply on above.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 9/10/10 9:40 PM
@mitwiz, install (free) Thunderbird and connect to you Gmail using IMAP.  You can sort by anything in Thunderbird and when you delete and purge the same messages will be deleted from Gmail.  You also won't have the complication of having to be careful not to delete whole conversations.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 9/10/10 10:24 PM
Mitwiz - let's start off by asking....Why do you want to sort by size?

Give me that answer - and I'll see if I can come up with something besides "search, don't sort" or use an email client or "it just can't be done".  I promise :o)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mitwiz 9/10/10 10:29 PM
i wanted to sort emails according to the size, so that i can delete the oversized email & empty the space.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 9/10/10 10:57 PM
ok - it'll be cumbersome...but can be done - sort of. 

Since large emails are those that have attachments -

Click on "Show Search Options"
Tick the "Attachments" box and hit search.
You've now sorted out the most likely largest files in your account.
Sadly - you only get to look at 20 at a time.  But you can have the option of selecting ALL - just like in other views. If you don't care what it is and want to dump them all - 3 clicks and gone.  Otherwise, you have a nice long process to go through to figure out what you want to keep or not keep -  harder than if you were sorting by exact size.   But space is space....

Too many results to handle in one sitting?  Set up a label and apply it to everything you just pulled up.  Now you can work at it a page at a time (keep reading for more elaborate details)

If you move the focus from largest to just making space - then you could opt to just sort by date ranges.  Say - everything older than 2008....put in the dates, search and dump.

If you're account is really organized and you have lots of labels - this is how I clean house.  I go into each label, go to the oldest and start dumping anything that I haven't starred.  I work my way up through the newest and stop when I decide I've reach the point that I want to keep all the rest.  Some labels - I never touch...those are important things and no need to clean out.  If I still need more space - I'll go back and start reading the starred messages to see if their still important...and dump what I don't need.

So going backwards and cleaning up is cumbersome - with or without still have to wade through it and make decisions.  You just have to look at your account and how you set it up and pick the best, fastest, and easiest way for you....know that none will be fast or easy.

NOW....going forward -

Set up a label, let's call it "Large email".   Now as you read emails, and they fit your definition of large - apply the label.  If they're REALLY huge - apply a star.  Next time you're ready to clean up - you know exactly where to go and exactly which are the hugest.  Show the "starred" view - and there you go....delete them all in one click.  Or go ahead, spend some time and decide if there are any keepers.

As you go along and find absolutely never delete keepers - slap a keeper label on them.  That way no matter what method you use, you know exactly which ones to save.  If you search you just enter the parameter "-label:keeper" and they won't be in the results.

Obviously - it's always good if you think of this stuff when you're first setting up and getting familiar with gmail.  But it's never a lost just takes a bit of thinking outside the old box.  ;o)

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mitwiz 9/10/10 11:26 PM
jeandiata, tks for ur time & detail explanation but this way i know. the thing is i dont have much time to do it also the gmail does not show the size of email.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 9/10/10 11:50 PM
Mitwiz - since time is an issue - go with the "sort, attachments and add a label to all" option.   Then you can pop open the label when you have a few minutes here and there.  It all adds up and you'll have it cleaned quicker than you think...or you'll decide it's really not that important.

And definitely work the process going forward - that takes no time at all.  HOLD THE PHONE!!

I'm a dolt!  

Click on "Create a filter"
Tick the "Attachment" box
Click Next step
Tick the Apply a Label box - pick a label or create a new one
Tick the Apply to all ##### conversations.
Click "Create filter"

There - all the emails are now labelled and all future ones will be labelled too!!

Now you're all set to do cleaning at your leisure.  As you read future emails - you can just remove the label from the keepers.   No confusion, no sorting, no worries....all better :o)

And you're more than welcome :o)

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 9/11/10 12:53 AM
I still like the Thunderbird solution better.  Pout!!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 9/11/10 4:29 PM
Keith - nothing wrong with the Thunderbird option.....except

1) Not everyone wants an email client
2) It's useless if you use multiple computers
3) If you have filled your gmail account to the point you're actually trying to find space - it'll take FOREVER to get everything  downloaded to a client.
4) Downloading gmail to a client takes up precious space on your hard drive
5) If you don't leave the mails on gmail - you have to remember to back up the email on your hard drive....and luck is against you having just done it when the pc goes kaput.

But, by all mean, use Thunderbird if you like it and it works for you.

::gloat::  ;o)

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 9/11/10 8:43 PM
Just for the record:

1) Not everyone wants an email client 
Accepted, but everybody should have one anyway at least for back up because free Gmail has NO back up.

2) It's useless if you use multiple computers 
In this user's case, that's irrelevant.  It's only for a "one-off operation"

3) If you have filled your gmail account to the point you're actually trying to find space - it'll take FOREVER to get everything  downloaded to a client.
Use the Lab feature for Extended IMAP options and only download a label that covers a selection of messages (messages with an attachment between dates).

4) Downloading gmail to a client takes up precious space on your hard drive
Again, only temporary for this purpose.  What's more, when a terabyte of hard drive costs less than $100, what's the worry about storing your whole Gmail even if you've filled your 7GB?  Also see answer to (1).

5) If you don't leave the mails on gmail - you have to remember to back up the email on your hard drive....and luck is against you having just done it when the pc goes kaput.
My solution specified use of IMAP which doesn't steal the messages from Gmail.  POP would be useless for this purpose as it doesn't synchronise your Gmail store.
And what about when Gmail goes kaput?  Or gets hacked?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 9/11/10 8:45 PM
Pout again.  That post totally messed around with my careful choice of italics for quotes and upright for my responses.  I'm not going to re-post, so I hope it's clear enough.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 9/11/10 9:43 PM
Hmmm...some valid points. 

When I have really important stuff - I'll just email them to another account that I use for archiving.  Unless it pictures - those I save on my pc and then I'll plop them on picasa for even more protection....and I move them to my external hd that I keep in an easy to grab spot in case of disaster.   But to have ALL my gmail backed up?  Totally not worth the effort.

In the past I did use email clients - but I realized that all I was doing was hoarding stuff that I'd never use or need again.  Even now, I look at what's on my pc and my external - and wonder why I need all that stuff!    As for gmail - I've come close to just dumping everything and having a nice clean email...but I chicken out.  I did delete my address book after I got hacked - I exported it first....but so far, I haven't needed a single address from it.  I've been fairly shocked by that.  LOL  But it proves to me, that gmail is just a hoarding station.  ;o)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mitwiz 9/11/10 9:54 PM
now i have deleted abt 200 emails from my mailbox, but still the used MB has not reduced by 1& even, how it can be ??

gmail shows every sec mailbox capacity is increasing accordingly used spac also should decrease .. but NO its not affecting the used size & total capacity.

anyone have noted this ??
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. bkc56 9/11/10 11:54 PM
now i have deleted abt 200 emails from my mailbox, but still the used MB has not reduced by 1& even, how it can be ??

1.  Because you may not have also cleared Trash.  The space isn't reclaimed until the items are removed from Trash.

2.  Because 200 plain-text messages may not even be 1MB worth of space.  When I'm deleting spam (which are often small text-only messages) I often have to delete several hundred to see a 1MB change.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 9/12/10 12:19 AM
Here's another idea that sounds useful...
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. bkc56 9/12/10 12:39 AM
Do you think the site referenced in that thread ( is trustworthy?  They obviously have (at least) IMAP access to the account in order to do the search and create the resulting labels.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 9/12/10 1:19 AM
They claim they don't have access to your password....but there's very little out there about the company.  Only 3 pages.   Most are forums suggesting it's use.  

I'd like to assume if they were bad news - there'd be a lot more hits with people complaining and warnings to not use it.  But I'd still say user beware and let the brave have a go with it.

I did find a really nice link to search operators - including the various Superstar stuff!  Most I knew - but found some new things as well!  The more operators you know - the less the lack of sorting options will affect you :o)

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 9/12/10 5:26 AM
Well, I'm jumping in to the deep end.  When you trigger the search, you get a Google page that warns you that wants to access your account and advises you to refuse unless you trust them.  Google also advises that FBM will not have access to your password or any personal information.

I'll let you know if anything goes wrong - if I can!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 9/12/10 5:32 AM
Well, that was really quick.  I'll post the summary here, but the forum probably won't accept the included graphics (pie charts).  You get some nice statistics and every message over 100KB is labelled as below...

Thank you for using! 

We've scanned your mail messages and labelled those that are taking up a lot of space so that you can easily decide which mails you might want to delete.

Approximately 758 mails with a size between 100,000 and 500,000 bytes were labelled as "My Big Mail".
Approximately 446 mails with a size between 500,000 and 2,000,000 bytes are labelled as "My Really Big Mail".
Approximately 270 mails larger than 2,000,000 bytes are labelled as "My Ultra Big Mail".
1474 messages where labelled.

  [ The graphics were in here ]

By checking the labelled emails, you could free up around 839 mega bytes. If you want the freespace to show up immediately, remember to empty the mail trash after deleting some emails.

Consider supporting with a donation.
Share with your friends.
Reply to this email to provide feedback.

Thanks again for using Have a great day!

The Team

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 9/12/10 8:26 PM
So how long before we know if they're actually safe?  o.O

I'd feel better if I knew who was behind the site.  My guess is it was a) someone who wanted and easy way to do it and the knowhow to write the program and figured they'd share it and make some money  and/or  b) college student's class project.

But it sounds totally awesome and a great fix for Mitwiz!

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 9/12/10 8:46 PM
I'm still connected, with no unusual Spam.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. nutellajunkie 9/16/10 12:18 PM
Use IMAP via your client...
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. 9/17/10 9:26 AM
My only problem with the GMAIL sorting by date is that it IS NOT CONSISTENT. 

I will explain.   If an email is in the inbox, it will indeed sort newest to the top oldest to the bottom, not a problem. I love the grouping of similar subject emails, it is the most superior feature out there for any email and thanks to GMAIL is something I can not imagine going without.

HOWEVER : if you label and archive an email into a label/folder the sorting by date is FLAWED in my opinion.  It no longer sorts the email at the top based on the last email of the subject group, it now sorts the email based on the date of the very first email in the subject group.  This means if I get an email about a subject 2 years ago, and then someone replies to that email; the email will be sorted at the top in the inbox, as it should,  but at the bottom 2 years ago when archived by label.  This is NOT cool and is extremely frustrating.   Archiving an email should not change the sorting method, the groups should ALWAYS be sorted by the date of the latest email that was sent, NEVER the oldest email.

Fix this issue and I will be happy.

I should also mention that searching is much better than sorting for most cases, but I have to say, the search is not working very well.  I have almost 6GB of email in my GMAIL account and I find often that search does not cover all the emails, I have set up test searches to prove this and an email with just 4 words in it,  and using all 4 words will not come up in the search listings.   Most of the time it works , but often it misses email.  I am not sure if it is a date issue, ie. only searches so far back, or more likely a capacity, perhaps it only searches the first 1GB of email then quits.  I would definitely like this fixed.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 9/17/10 10:02 AM

I won't argue re the Archiving but I use Labels for specifics and one special is Registrations so that I can find them easily. Goes back to the very first one that verified my my Gmail account.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Fred Garvin 10/6/10 5:56 AM
If this is the way to get "sorting email" a priority for google, here is my vote!!!!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 10/6/10 6:24 AM

Have you tried Thunderbird?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. goyhenea 10/11/10 12:42 AM
Google, are you serious? I'm expected to go through all of these weird theroies to find out how I can see who actually sent me an email instead of needing to open to review a series of connected "chats"?

I just need basic email service.... changing providers is easier than going through this process but I've just now given out my email (gmail) address after changing my address of 14 years. That's been difficult enough, you guys can't really be serious?  Should have done my research but have used Google as my search engine since Google came into existence. 

Keep it simple. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. bkc56 10/11/10 12:44 AM
...instead of needing to open to review a series of connected "chats"?

If you're referring to the conversation view (messages grouped based on subject)...

Here's the pointer to the announcement that the conversation view is now optional: and you can change the setting in Settings->General->Conversation View (on, off).
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. T_F_S 10/11/10 3:04 AM
I just don't understand why Google won't listen to the thousands of people complaining about the lack of a function that every other web-based email system I have every used has. We don't want to SEARCH - we want to SORT - because half of the time we don't know what we are searching for.

What we want to do is sort our email by subject or Sender or Recipient, so that all of the missed SPAM clumps together and can more easily be identified and removed.

We also want to be able to sort by SIZE, so that if our email is getting too large, then we can remove some of the worst culprits.

I really should not have to resort to using Thunderbird for a basic function like this. As a developer, I do not believe that sorting by something other than DATE will place any more load on the servers. It might even benefit Google in the long run. I know the frequent comments on the mail page such as "Why delete when you have over 8gb of space", but some people must be pushing close to the limit, and if the inboxes are just bulked out by SPAM, then being able to more easily idetify and remove it removes some of the load from the Google Servers.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 10/11/10 4:43 AM

It is possible to search by Subject probably faster than it can be sorted.
It is possible to search by Recipient probably faster than it can be sorted.
It is possible to search by Size by searching for attachments.
I'm trying to work out how you can search for SPAM and what you think you can do better than Gmail does.
Go back two pages and look for advice by Jeandiatta who covers most of the tghings you ask about.
Thunderbird does something other than what you ask for - used exclusively with POP it will keep all your mail safe if your account should be hacked.
Said this before but I'll repeat it again. "Show me a purely web based email system that Sorts because I have not found one yet".
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 10/11/10 5:08 AM
Yahoo mail sorts by sender or subject
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 10/11/10 5:48 AM

Forgot about Yahoo which I shouldn't have done. Do you use it and if so which do you prefer?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Tempe Lisa 10/18/10 4:44 PM
I think we all arrived at this page for the same reason. I can't imagine why something so basic would be missing from such an awesome app. I look forward to this feature being added.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. cogliandroite 10/19/10 4:48 PM
I like to place my "conversations" in various folders according to what they pertain to or from whom they are from. A "Sort by Sender" and a "Sort by Subject" would help me do this. Otherwise I have to go down a huge list to click on the box next to the conversation and them scroll up to the action to place the conversation(s) into a particular folder. This is troublesome and very unorganized, when a simple sort feature could make this task easier.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 10/19/10 5:08 PM
Set up a filter to Label each sender's mail and it's done for you. Investigate Labels as they can be used as a cross referencing system. There are no folders in Gmail and only one copy of any email is kept.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. 10/19/10 6:46 PM
Most issues can be dealt with using labels, HOWEVER  there are a coupe major issues that can not be dealt with currently.

The main one in my opinion is that when a message thread is located in the inbox, it is sorted by date/time using the date/time of the most recent message in the thread, which is the way it should be.  However, as soon as you archive the thread, it sorts by using the date/time from the oldest message instead of the most recent message, WHICH COMPLETELY SCREWS UP TRYING TO FIND THAT MESSAGE AGAIN. The date/time sorting method should remain the same after it is archived as it is in the INBOX.

The other issue is sorting by size or attachments, sorting by size is very convenient for a number of reasons. 

As far as everything else, I find the label method much more superior than Outlook type traditional sorting, plus the gmail search is quite good most of the time.  Even though, I am finding more and more, that the search is no longer finding everything that applies now that my Gmail account is over 5GB in size.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 10/19/10 8:58 PM
Dale, when you run a search the results are usually listed with a message "1 - X out of about Y".  As you click on the Older link, the "about" should disappear as the final number grows.

If you keep clicking on Older, does your Gmail eventually find everything relevant?

(NB: I agree the date sorting of conversations is rather misleading - did you discover that you can now [temporarily or permanently] switch off the conversation view?  Also you can sort for messages in a date range - if CV is on, you will still get the whole conversation, but only ones that include messages in the specified date range.)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. 10/19/10 9:17 PM
I have run test searches to verify my theory about missing information. If there is more results than can fit on a page, I am very aware of clicking on the older >> or oldest links to view more pages.  However even with looking at all the pages, there are definitely beyond any doubt, missing emails that are not coming up with the search criteria. I have found problems with the search on a regular basis now that my gmail account has reached a larger size. 

As far as the date sorting switching after archive, it is an issue that I have not found a fix for.  For example I can have an email thread that was started over a year ago or more that requires being forwarded, if I receive a reply to that old thread then archive it, it is now sorted a year or more back in the folder/label rather than being recent. This essentially means I have lost the email if I decide to reply to it, it requires manually searching through many many older pages trying to find it, based on a date that was a year or years ago rather than the obvious date that the last reply occurred.  This is an obvious bug in the design, as it makes no sense, it just adds confusion and hassle.  As a result, I try and remember not to archive email, but the inbox gets crowded and defeats the label sorting function, which is a great idea. 

So to sum up.

#1 -  the date/time sorting should not change after Archiving
#2 - someone should look into why gmail misses search results in larger 5GB + accounts.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 10/19/10 9:55 PM
I'll refer your comment about the missing search results to a Google employee.

The date sorting is not a bug, but by design (no comment about whether the design is good or bad).  The sorting doesn't change after archiving - it's always that way in every view other than the Inbox.  You will note if you go looking, that even when conversations have been brought back to the Inbox by collecting a recent message they always sort in order of the date of the earliest message in Label views, Sent Mail, All Mail or search results.  I've never seen a conversation in Spam and never actually looked at the order in Trash.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 10/20/10 4:12 PM, I have already had a response from Google.  They are prepared to have a look into your account if you would like to provide a specific example of a search that misses messages.  The engineers can find your account (if it is the one connected with your ID here), all you need to do is post the search terms and an ID for the message(s) not found.

For ID, you can post the date and subject or look into the raw text with the Show Original link and get the ID or provide the URL that displays when you open it/them (those are all "private", no one else can access them).
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. 10/21/10 11:45 AM
Keith : that is great, it is awesome to see Google proactive about checking into potential bugs.  I can't remember the specific instances that resulted in misses messages in the search results, but I will run some tests and get back to you.

As far as the message ID's how do I find this, I  checked in "show details" section but could not find anything.


Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 10/21/10 12:19 PM
The URL is the address across the top of your page which should start http.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 10/21/10 12:32 PM
Dale, use "Show Original", not "Show Details".  Drop down arrow just to the right of the upper Reply link.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. LemonAid 10/21/10 2:01 PM
Thanks to KeithR and The C Man for their help, but, please don't post your message ID's here.

What would really help me investigate this issue is a screenshot of your incorrect search results. Would you mind if I emailed you off-thread in order to get that information?


Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 10/21/10 4:31 PM
Oops, sorry.  Me bad!

Public confession time.  I didn't realise the ID would be a security problem!
The URL is safe though, isn't it?

Trying one of mine in a browser just takes me to the sign in page.  If I log into my wife's account and use one of my URLs, I get a butter bar with "The conversation you requested no longer exists"

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Picante544 11/8/10 5:03 AM
to Manny b and google. Yes labels to replace some of the functions of a sort feature. One cannot sort, or filter, by "read" or "unread" status as far as I know however
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Picante544 11/8/10 5:05 AM
I have had the same problem that dale hughes has written about.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 11/8/10 7:44 AM

Never have needed these because using the search box in Gmail with the phrase "is:unread" finds them all. "is:read" would do the same for all read mail but there has to be too many of these.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 11/8/10 7:58 AM
"is unread" doesn't work for me in the GMail Search box
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. doublewitt 11/8/10 8:03 AM
this is what you should enter in the search box:
you have to include the colon between "Is" and "Read"

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 11/8/10 8:06 AM
Thanks doublewitt. Personally I would have said read the answer again.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 11/8/10 8:08 AM
is:unread does work. My eyes don't work so well.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. karoly06 11/18/10 8:16 AM
I am very disappointed with google, especially after all of their great accomplishements, but I would really appreciate the ability to sort, if this is not happening with gmail, then I will be going back to my hotmail and yahoo account, at least these are more user friendly and I can sort for quich inbox clean up. I'm not interested in searching when it's easier to sort and get it done with.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 11/18/10 8:31 AM
I understand Facebook will be making it very easy to sort and clean up email
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 11/18/10 8:36 AM

And you trust Facebook with your information and contacts? Sorry but if I use Facebook I disable it on leaving and I don't allow it access to anything such as Contacts.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 11/18/10 8:40 AM

In fact Yahoo may sort but Hotmail uses you own computer to do this but the best way to do it is to use something like Thunderbird (used in POP only it will give you a backup to your pc) or Outlook which give you all the facilities you want.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. portltmouse 11/30/10 8:27 PM
Search is fine and dandy, but its lame. Add Sort. It could not be a simpler solution.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. GGavan 12/3/10 1:24 AM
Google is too big to think about our small needs like simple sort!! Don't understand their thinking... search/filters/labels an so on are good BUT CANNOT REPLACE SORT !!! Google, if you are too stupid to understand read your forums, ask your customers, read the result of you "suggest it" forms !!! We aer loosing a lot of time with your fancy features but not the basic ones.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. 201012 12/17/10 8:03 AM
MADRE MIA!!! This is 2010/12 and still no sort... I just started to use gmail 3 weeks ago and guess what in short I'm out of here....
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Paul McDonald 12/17/10 11:23 AM
Hey guys,

I'd like to better understand the types of activities you are doing when you want to sort. Although sorting may seem like a simple feature to add, its actually quite difficult and expensive at the scale we are running. There are ways we can reduce the cost and complexity but it is unclear that by doing so it will solve your problems. I want to see if there is a smarter way we can implement a feature that solves the problem.

1) What are you trying to do when you sort? (Find a particular mail?, Organize by user or subject? delete a bunch of related mail?)
2) If you could only sort over the last 1000 messages would that be acceptable?
3) If you could only sort over the mail in your current view would that work?
4) What are the fields you would want to sort by (sender?, subject?, date?, has attachments? size?)

We want to solve this problem but we need more information, any responses are appreciated.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 12/17/10 11:41 AM

I mainly want to see what the source of emails I've gotten is that I want to get rid of, And if I could sort I would see a group of them that I could just delete all at once.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 12/17/10 11:45 AM

In search mail all you have to do is type the address of the source and it will find all the emails to and from that address and it will find them all.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 12/17/10 11:50 AM
But I don't know what the address is. That's what I'm trying to find out, what addresses I got a bunch of emails from

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 12/17/10 12:22 PM
Find any one of them and enter that address. There is nothing that would do this for you except a crystal ball.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 12/17/10 12:25 PM
Sort does it.

I do it in my Yahoo account no problem. It's very convenient.
I wonder why Yahoo is able to do  it but not Google
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. portltmouse 12/18/10 9:08 AM

Being able to sort lists is a basic function of many programs, including most email applications. All OS that I am aware of support sorting as a basic function of the GUI, with one exception I believe, the upcoming Crome OS. I am baffled that Google can't comprehend why people like the sort function so much. Surely you know what it is, have used it yourself in other applications? For the purposes of sorting and organizing email in a logical and familiar fashion it is quite simply the most common and comfortable solution. While I'm sure that the Google search function is a valid method for organizing email, it is neither convenient for the masses nor easily understood. Whether it is superior or not, Google is catering to the lowest common denominator if it chooses to offer its product to the masses, and Sort is already entrenched as the de facto method for organizing messages.
This is an example of my morning today. I opened my Yahoo mail, found nearly 100 messages in my inbox. I sorted them by sender and proceeded to use the standard control/shift click method of selecting the messages that I did not need and then clicked on delete. Now my box is clean of all unwanted mail and I can proceed with reading the stuff the matters. This takes only a few moments.
Afterwards I open my Gmail account. Because I can't sort by sender, I am forced to go down my list of over 100 messages one by one to determine if its junk or not. Once I've found a junk email source, sure now I can do a search for that source and get a screen only showing that sender and delete/spam these messages. However I still have to go back to my inbox, and repeat this process over and over and over. It takes quite a bit more time then the Yahoo mail method.
Time is a very expensive commodity these days. People like it when software helps them save time. Companiess that provide time savings to people make more money. Companies that make more money increase their stock price. Shareholders like it when stocks go up in value.

As far as what sort options go, I'd say you add all the basics and make the interface capable of allowing us to chose the ones we want. Similar to the way you can add or remove sort options to the windows GUI. Sender, Subject, Date, Attachment, etc.
ps I typed this response originally in Gmail, it pops up a message thread thing and allows you to essentially reply to the this forum via email. The email was bounced back...fortunately I remembered how to use cut and paste ;)
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.2.1 <>... Mailbox disabled for this recipient (state 14).
----- Original message -----
MIME-Version: 1.0
Received: by with SMTP id e21mr4354905ybj.76.1292691633896; Sat,
 18 Dec 2010 09:00:33 -0800 (PST)
Received: by with HTTP; Sat, 18 Dec 2010 09:00:33 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <>
References: <>
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 09:00:33 -0800
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: [Gmail Help] How do I sort in Gmail.
From: Portly Mouse <>
To: Google Help <>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=000e0cd6ece8a47f0c0497b23973
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 12/18/10 9:21 AM

Starting at the end: The address plainly says "No Reply" so you use the link which is probably hidden in "Show quoted text".

Gmail uses Labels which allows you to add anything up to twenty labels to any post or thread so it can be cross referenced (something that cannot be done by sort). It's worth while investigating just what Gmail is capable of before you disparage it too much.

As you say you open Yahoo and use Sort but if these are regular mails you get from various sources and in Gmail you were to use Filters to add Labels as they come in a quick look at the Labels column would tell you how many you had from any source without having to Sort. This can also be used to Label anything that comes in with a specific phrase included in Subject or main text.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. andersonrn54 12/18/10 1:01 PM
Dear Paul, and others. 
I am very grateful that Paul has made a sincere query about sorting, but the response cannot be, as it has been for some time, that the search function, looking for recent conversations, labelling, and so forth solve the problem. Labelling is time-consuming and searching is unforgiving.  Other tricks take time either to set up or to use (multiple clicks and entries), and, as portltmouse has pointed out, time is precious. 
In re, "Find any one of them and enter that address. There is nothing that would do this for you except a crystal ball": human cognition is not like a machine; in fact, it's rather like a crystal ball.  Sorting groups near-misses, variations, and other forms of association, that are not possible by searching as presently configured.  Our creative function kick in after several sorts, and we find and organize what we need.  I call it sifting, and it takes much ,onger to do with label or search functions.
In re: "It's worth while investigating just what Gmail is capable of before you disparage it too much."  Been there, done that--see above.  Before disparaging the unwashed masses (i.e., actual users / customers), listen to what they are asking for and why the status quo is inadequate.  As a member of the unwashed who likes other features of gmail and other Google apps, I don't want to abandon gmail.  If it weren't so good otherwise, I would have left it already.  All I am asking is for a function that is, in most people's opinion, useful and is nearly universal. 
In answer to Paul's gracious question, and I don't think I am alone:
1) What are you trying to do when you sort? (Find a particular mail?, Organize by user or subject? delete a bunch of related mail?)
--All of the above and see (4)
2) If you could only sort over the last 1000 messages would that be acceptable?
If I could sort, I wouldn't have 1000 messages in my inbox; I could label and archive them more quickly.
3) If you could only sort over the mail in your current view would that work?
Absolutely not; it has to work for (at least) the active folder.
4) What are the fields you would want to sort by (sender?, subject?, date?, has attachments? size?)
...unread? flagged? etc.  All of the headers are useful sort variables at one time or another.  Don't do this half-way!

Thanks for caring!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 12/18/10 1:35 PM
For all those who seem to be saying "I have to have the facilities that Outlook or Thunderbird offer" then the option is to use either or both of these in conjunction with Gmail.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 12/18/10 7:00 PM
@andersonrn54, your answers to 2 and 3 are actually contradictory (IMHO).  I think you might have misunderstood Paul's use of the term "view" - if you haven't, then I have so I'm sure Paul will get back to us here.  In (2), you virtually say that your only need for sort is in your Inbox which is one "View" of Gmail, so the answer to (3) is "Yes, that's fine".  What I think you intended to say is that it is absolutely not adequate to sort only those messages "currently displayed" on the page (which could be as few as 25 - fewer in multiple inboxes).  I'm sure everyone would agree that would be useless.

What I think Paul is wanting to know, I will rephrase.  The limit proposed in option (3) provides a good compromise for programming effort and database design.  Consider having the option to sort by (e.g.) sender while you are displaying Inbox (or Sent Mail, or label "Investments", etc).  Once selected, and while you stay in that "view" (regardless whether you scroll to different pages of that "view") the current sort pattern sticks.  If you go to a different view (e.g. back to the Inbox after looking at your Sent mail), the sort option unsticks and you go back to the default sort by date/time.

Another option is that you can choose sort by sender at any time (perhaps in Gmail >> Settings).  From then on until you change it again specifically, every view of your Gmail that you open will be sorted by sender.  This method will require significantly more programming probably including amendments to the Gmail database definitions to add indexes.  More indexes slows down database activity so this would have a major impact on Gmail's speed worldwide.

A third option is implied by question (3).  To me this hints of having a totally separate "window" opened when you select sort, like a separate temporary "view".  In the same way that search opens a view that is an extract from your database, this sort option would open a sorted extract of the 1000 latest conversations from the view that you previously had open, but sorted by the column you had chosen.  This option would require the least programming effort and would have no impact on the database design.

Hope I have got it right in reading between the lines in Paul's message and that this longer explanation helps.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. GGavan 12/27/10 12:47 AM
I'm a user like @andersonrn54. I'm using in the same way. Also for me "view" sounds to be that 25 e-mails that you see at one time. I'm missing a lot this "sort" features when I try to clean my inbox. Sometimes I open my mails after two weeks and I want to sort by sender, by subject, size to quickly clean what is not relevant for me. With sort from 300 mails I can keep only that 10 that I need in 15-30 seconds.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. GGavan 12/27/10 12:55 AM
You shoud not try to analize so much because you will implement another fancy feature which will nor cover our basic needs. for me it' enough if I can sort each time one folder (like inbox) by any field when I open my box.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. GGavan 12/27/10 1:02 AM
Anyway, until you will implement this I forwarded all e-mail to an inbox with sort. From time to time I enter in gmail and delete everything. That's the only way that I can use gmail, only as forwarder. It's a sin I know but I'm forced to do it in this way. Time is the most important resource that I have and I don't want to waste it.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. GGavan 12/27/10 1:16 AM
To arrive at my minimum need, most important for me is to sort/group by sender and delete/flag/move... bounch of mails.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 12/27/10 9:44 AM

I can understand your point about picking the ten or so you want to keep in the Inbox but my way is to check All and then uncheck the ones I want left in the Inbox. If I use the complete Inbox (100 per page) All then whip through the pages I can do this in about a minute. I mainly use automatic Labelling so I can find Senders or anything else for that matter.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 12/29/10 11:23 AM
To take C Man's way one step further - I have a filter and label for all my unread messages.  Instead of bothering with the Inbox, where I have to be careful of not deleting older items that I want to save, I go to my "unread" label and do all my deleting and reading there.  When time is short and I've been away on vacation or something, I can just remove the "unread" label from everything and go read label by label until I'm caught up and the unread label will just be new things, so I can stay current. 

The way I do it, also makes clean-up of junk really easy.  I get around 1000 emails a day and maybe 25% is actual mail I need to read.   Things like Earthquake and Freecycle mails - don't really need to be read beyond the subject line - and they account for a lot of my email.   My filters label them and the labels are color-coded - so it's really quick to spot them and delete them.  If there are a lot, I can just go to their respective labels and do a full 2 click delete.  Same goes for a other groups I belong to.

Of course, this method works best when you have a lot of filters and labels already set up.  About 99% of my email gets filtered and skips the inbox - so I've found the unread system really handy and useful for me.

Now, once you've mastered the filtering and labeling - then sorting becomes almost a non-issue.  You've already got Gmail sorting for you on a basic level.   If you do need to find a specific email, you know which label is on it and can search in just that label - cutting down on the returned results.  Then I find using the date range to really be helpful.  Now I'm searching in one label for a small date range - so the returned results are even less.   The only annoying part is having to open up the conversations to see if it has the right message in it.  BUT, Gmail does expand only the messages that fit your search, so it's a pretty quick process to see if it's the right one...and it's handy that the whole conversation is right there so I don't have to go looking for the other pieces. 

Summary:   A good, well-thought out "filing" system of filters and labels is the key to not needing "sort" features.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 12/29/10 12:19 PM

You've totally convinced me that not having Sort is a big inconvenience..
Sort just makes life so much easier..
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 1/1/11 12:38 AM
riknlaur - I guess it really depends on how much email you get & have saved.  For me sorting wouldn't be of much help at all - I just get too much email and most of it is in conversations, so searching is just a lot faster than sorting.  Some of my labels our into the 1000's of conversations - so sorting would just be a gigantic mess and I'd still have to go page by page until I get to the section where my item would be. 

The only place that I do miss the sort option is in Spam.   In Yahoo, I sort my spam by sender or by subject - it makes it easier to run through looking for legit items to pull out.  It's not really that bad in Gmail, but only because my legit mail will most likely be labeled so I can quickly spot it and mark as not spam.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. niborjus 1/3/11 7:02 PM
Well people, I can only assume that it's because Google's servers will function faster and better if they do not include sort or folders. It really can not be because someone thinks that it's more functional to not give us the option of folders and sorting. That said, all of our attempts to convince them of how useful sorting might be in a situation are pointless. They are working to find arguments of why we shouldn't want what we know we want rather than give us what we want because they calculate that we won't accept the answer that it's too burdensome on them. Well, it is their servers in question; so, they can do what they want. But it's pretty clear to many of us that sorting spam would make it easier to go through or reducing the count of objects that our brains must process by putting things into folders would make the inbox easier to process on a continual basis.
I do admit that there are certain benefits to using labels and that maybe if stuff was in folders that could reduce that benefit. And I certainly need and use search. But neither of those are reasons to say that folders and sorting are obsolete and I think they know that well.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. niborjus 1/3/11 7:04 PM
P.S. Yes, I know they eventually added folders, but they make it clear that they don't want us to use them with things like not making them an option in the filters.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 1/3/11 7:07 PM
Where are the Folders? I must have missed that.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 1/3/11 10:53 PM
Me too!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. goffe 1/4/11 11:22 AM

I haven't seen anyone talk about the usefulness of sorting AND pattern recognition. This is something I do on a regular basis and it REALLY helps me... especially when I'm dealing with spam.

The sorting we're all talking about would be just a pointer sort, right? I can't imagine why actual data would be moved around.

The Yahoo interface is really COOL... WHEN IT WORKS. For example, there's a BIG difference between what they show on the screen and what actually gets sorted.Their support really sucks big time AND it's not just people of lesser technical abilities, the way their support is organized actually promotes inefficiency.


Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 1/4/11 8:29 PM
Goffe - I think the pattern recognition is kind of what I was touching on.  I definitely use it in my Yahoo account when I sort.

And thanks for reminding people that at least Gmail works!   Yahoo hasn't worked right since they went to all the fancy frames and scripts.  You can't even scroll down the list of emails anymore - without it blinking a refreshing itself.  

I'll take my non-sortable gmail over yahoo's mess anyday!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Pauliolio 1/15/11 5:40 PM
The C Man, KeithR, jeandiata -
Without further info, I can only assume that you're basement coders that don't get to do a lot of customer interaction.
I apologise if I'm wrong, but...
You must be - No other life form on earth demonstrates quite the same form of deaf arrogance.
You have a never-ending stream of users saying that they want to be able to sort by field through every record in their inbox / spam / [label] / (whatever) views of their data.
In all of the pages of this thread I have not seen one 'customer' agree with the views of the 'Top Contributor's.
It must be that some really huge design faux pas was made in the data schema for the mail system that means that sorting records by anything other than order received would just apply too much load to the system.
Google's file system can easily handle pulling massive amounts of "random" (for a given definition of random) data from its servers, web searches show that in action.
Read up on MapReduce - It's world class at pulling data using varying key-value pairs.
The team designing Google's mail system really would have to have made one of the greatest programming blunders in history if they designed a system that can only retrieve records in the order they were added to the list.
I can't believe that though - I really can't...
But what else could POSSIBLY account for such absolute refusal to listen to the pleas of such a large and varied group of customers with such a cohesive view of what would improve the product for them?
I mean, really? What else?
Paul Saxelby
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 1/15/11 6:11 PM

You have sorting facilities at your fingertips by using Thunderbird or Outlook. Look back through this thread and find the advice given by others regarding Search and how to find items from specific dates addresses or containing one specific word and then show me a Sort facility that can do these things except by using your own processors.

I'm not a coder or programmer at all so if I can find my way around a system I'm sure somebody of superior knowledge such as yourself can do it.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 1/15/11 6:43 PM

Have you noticed that any forum you go to only deals with users problems except for a few people who will eventually write in and say they are happy with it as is and I think we have a couplke of those posts in this thread. Of course you are not going to find the happy to use comments.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Pauliolio 1/15/11 7:00 PM
C Man
I access my mail on various devices in various locations. Some of which belong to me, some of which don't.
That's why I love Googlemail so much - that's why I use it so much.
Your 'workarounds' require you to have the authority to install software on the machine, I and a lot of other people don't have that luxury all of the time. At home I do, at work I don't. On my HTC phone I do, on my friend's laptop I don't, etc.
A workaround is only a workaround if it works - Yours doesn't for me so it's not one is it.
Many of the people that use Google the most may well do so for the same reason I do - machine independance. It's browser based. I get the same view & functionality no matter where I am.
What you guys are completely failing to acknowledge is that people get mail from people they don't know, with subject lines & content they have no way of predicting or knowing without opening.
They get a lot of it over a long period of time.
If they don't know who the mail was from, when, on what subject, under what label it sits, or whether it had an attachment or not, how can you possibly expect anyone but Yoda to be able to put together an expression to find it?
If you don't know (REALLY don't know) what's in your inbox, the easiest, most time efficient way to work through it is to order them by name (or whatever your most important criteria is) & scroll. That's all people are saying.
There's obviously some agenda here (as with the removal of the 'Only show results from the UK' option on google web search). No matter how good an argument is put to you guys you never accept that there might possibly be merit in any of it.
And you patronise me with "...somebody of superior knowledge such as yourself..."???   Jeez.
I've had my say - there's no point in saying any more.
(I'll leave that to the next person, then the next, then the next, then the next, then the next, then the next, then the next, then the next, then the next, then the next, then the next, then the next.....)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Pauliolio 1/15/11 7:06 PM
Actually - I take back the patronise bit - I probably deserved that for the basement coders bit  :)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Pauliolio 1/15/11 7:12 PM
Arrgghhh...   Don't you just hate it when you get sucked in...
Manny B - Of course the people here aren't happy bunnies.
But have you seen anyone on this forum complain about the lack of sort, get a reply from one of you guys & then post saying 'What was I thinking? Of course search & filter is the answer! Thank you, thank you, thank you!'?
No, neither have I.
Right - that's it, I'm off to bed.  Tara chaps. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 1/15/11 10:32 PM
@psaxelby, I'm sorry that you lumped all three of us TCs all in together.  If you go back through this thread carefully you will see that we don't all say the same things.  There is no conspiracy, I'm sure somewhere in this thread - probably more than once we have posted a reference to the right place to add your voice to what you want in Gmail and I'll do it again.

This forum was set up as a place for users to get help with problems, so TCs focus on providing ideas as to how to live without features that Google haven't introduced yet.  I acknowledge that this might sound like "deaf arrogance" and apologise if that is the impression we give.

Gmail was designed to be easy to search and categorise (using labels, manually or automatically) so that sorting wasn't necessary and in 5 years' use I haven't ever needed sort although I found it useful in other email clients I had used previously.  That is another reason we tend to drone on about how "you don't need sort".

It is a mistake to compare the Gmail database with web search, because web search is not up-to-date - the information you search is in a huge database that can be highly indexed.  Gmail has to be immediately updated so it can't be as highly indexed or it would run much more slowly.

However, I have heard reports that a Google executive has been asking questions in public about what sort of sorting features would be valuable, so perhaps there are plans?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 1/16/11 12:21 AM

By rights I am a Cockney so the art of the quick comeback was instilled in me at a very early age so when somebody comes over with a snide remark I am very likely to compliment them in a backhanded way so you earned the comment.

In some ways you are very correct, sort should be offered as an option but, to me, even better than that would be the ability to search by more than one Label which is really the most efficient system. I have three or four friends who (I honestly do have that many) send me posts on three main subjects so I add their names as one Label and one or two more Labels covering subject and anything else that I think would help me find it in future. I use trigger words in Filters that automatically add Labels so it would be nice if I could do one of two things:

1st. Search by a combination of two or more Labels so it would find the sender and then the secondary label so I don't have to look through all three of the secondary labels and then possibly a third search using a term or word I know will be in the body of the post.
2nd. Search within a search so I can cut through the whole search to weed out what I don't need.

I thought this might have happened when Nested Labels were brought in but it didn't so as far as I am concerned Nested Labels is an unfinished project.

I have no interest in taking my computer skills to a higher level because then I would answer at that level and make the mistake of forgetting there are others who would never be able to understand what I am advising.

One of the main problems with Google is lack of listening skills because there are a lot of ideas put forward in the forums  that have gone by the board probably because the Engineers have their own pet projects but they are so skilled they forget there are those of us who would like it either explained in a language we understand or made simple enough to use for people like me.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 1/16/11 12:22 AM
Guess who is the only TC who can write in under two different names.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. GGavan 1/21/11 1:47 AM
For "The C Man" and "jeandiata":
Are you trying to "sell" us some workarounds as benefits or you really don't understand our needs?
You are forcing us to change our working style with filters, labels an so on. I don't want to define/maintain filters, labels and so on. I don't want to become a specialist in gmail. IT is a simple web mail box. If I want more I use a client like Outlook or others. The time spent to create/maintain labels, filters is lost time without any advantage for me. I will receive nothing in exchange.
We are customers and we need sort in gmail. Can Google provide this or workarounds only?
After you will implement sort you can try to "sell" us filters, labels and other fancy features.
When many people is telling "you are wrong" you have to analyze your opinion maybe something is really wrong.
Companies are pro-active, reactive or doing nothing for customers needs. Where are you positioned? Search on google :) from when this kind of topics started and nothing changed.
My last post here sorry!
I'm loosing time to convince why I need sort and you are trying to convince us that we don't need.
In this way we will go around many years.
Keep in mind that statistically, 1 from 8 unhappy people are complaining.
Best Regards,
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 1/21/11 2:10 AM
Sort works in any third party app utilising your own processor but has never worked well in a solely web based system. Outlook, Thunderbird and others have this ability as long as you have the processing power to use them.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. 1/22/11 9:19 AM
As much as I would love to have improved sorting functions, based on size,to and from, with or without attachments etc.
I feel obligated to say that out of all the email client apps, Gmail is by far the best one out there when taking into account all the features  I think there is room to improve Gmail with some of the extra sorting functions, but Gmail is still an awesome application. The labels and quick search is awesome, the threaded conversations are a must have that Gmail started.  Keep up the great work, just don't get complacent.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 1/22/11 9:27 AM

Skim back through this thread and Jeandiatta has given nearly every search function to find all the things you ask for I believe.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. pandyp2003 2/16/11 10:22 AM
After a lenghty period of evaluation, I am of the opinion that Gmail is counter intuitive and laborious to administer. (my kingdom for a simple sort)

The problem with doing things differently is that if your starting premise is flawed no amount of tweaks will "sort it" - please excuse the pun.

I certainly won't recommend Gmail to anyone - shame but true.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. wdurham 2/16/11 10:34 AM
How about a dose of history?

Here's one of the original announcements of GMail, setting out its philosophy loud and clear:

For those who can't be bothered to click:

  • Search: Built on Google search technology, Gmail enables people to quickly search every email they've ever sent or received. Using keywords or advanced search features, Gmail users can find what they need, when they need it. 

  • Storage: Google believes people should be able to hold onto their mail forever. That's why Gmail comes with 1,000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of free storage – more than 100 times what most other free webmail services offer. 

  • Speed: Gmail makes using email faster and more efficient by eliminating the need to file messages into folders, and by automatically organizing individual emails into meaningful "conversations" that show messages in the context of all the replies sent in response to them. And it turns annoying spam e-mail messages into the equivalent of canned meat.
For those that don't care for this approach, as has been said over and over, use Outlook or Thunderbird or Windows Live Mail to manage a GMail account and have all the archaic facilities you could possibly want at your disposal. 

The reason these services "sort" is because they have to - they can't "search" in any meaningful way. GMail can. Since I switched to the GMail web interface, even after 12 years of Outlook, I have never looked back. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. j.r.22a11 2/16/11 1:09 PM
       Oh!, How I miss Yahoo!'s "sort" function, too! Other than that, I love gmail. Perhaps a "Lab" might be added to allow sorting by sender so ALL senders would show, when you're not sure which of a few possible senders, what you're looking for came from.
       However, "data-mining" (which is one of the ways free email supports itself) would be hampered.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. goffe 2/16/11 2:20 PM

I don't see any reason to start calling people names or making other disparaging remarks. It accomplishes nothing of value AFAIAC. We don't disparage you because you don't have a Computer Science degree do we? I hope not anyway.

I do NOT miss Yahoo's search OR their sort facility since I use them every day. I have a work requirement to use Gmail though and I DO miss the sort facility... It's all about how your mind works. I do NOT understand just why Google is so adamant about NOT providing the sort capability. It makes me think it's a personal issue. I think they goofed and don't want to admit it.

Oh, and by the way, I DO have Computer Science degrees (several).



Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 2/16/11 2:29 PM

Please refer me to the place where wdurham called anybody a name because I hate to see anybody casting aspersions.

Please tell me what other degrees in Computer Sciences there are apart from  Msc.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 2/16/11 4:06 PM
Goffe - I think you hit the nail on the head!  "It's all about how your mind works" sums it right up!

Very little about Gmail fits the paradigms that we all got used to with other email services and programs.  Some people get hung up on the label concept and others get stuck on conversation threading and this thread has gathered up those having trouble adjusting to no sort functions. 

Gmail really forces us into a brain shift - and you just have to have the patience to allow the shift to happen.  In the case of sorting, you just have to readjust to the concept that "searching" is really just a different way to "sort".  Instead of clicking a button on a column, you type in a search parameter and hit enter.  There is a learning curve while you become familiar with the different parameters and then as you learn how to combine them to get even more specialized results.

One thing that I've suggested for years, is to forward Gmail into another account that you're used to (or to forward email to your old, familiar account into gmail) - keep the originals on the server.  Now you have your email in 2 places - one system that you know and Gmail that you're learning.  Next step is to force yourself to use Gmail a little bit each day.  When you get frustrated or need to get something done quickly - go to the old familiar program.   Historically, it takes people about 2 weeks to adjust to Gmail and by the end of the 3rd week, they are ready to make the leap and use Gmail exclusively.

No email program does everything everyone wants it to - and Gmail is no exception.  But just as we learned how to accomplish what we wanted in Yahoo and AOL in days gone by...we can do the same in Gmail.  And Gmail gives us the added benefit of this help forum where people can join forces and find a doable solution to get it to do what we want.  I think that having the help forum is the only reason I stuck it out with Gmail at the beginning.  I was so lost and confused and really frustrated when I started out - labels and that stupid "archive" button had me really confused.  Ok, the conversations had me a tad confused too, even though I loved them.  I found help on the forum and never left.  LOL

In comparison - the last 3 versions of Yahoo have me pulling my hair out and there's no official help forum like this to go to and get help.  They launch new versions and leave their users to swim or drown.  So, while people may not like all of the TC's (and other helpers) least we're here and trying to answer and/or find ways to accomplish what people want or need.  Even if the final answer is, "nope, not possible"  - at least it's an answer.  And again, for this thread, I believe we've offered ways to get around not having an actual physical "sort" button. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Pauliolio 2/16/11 5:21 PM
I don't want to be 'forced into a brain shift' - I don't have the time
You CAN'T do with search what you can with sort 
     (because you have to know what you are or are not looking for)
Citing original specs. as a reason for no change is just dumb
I too have a Computer Science Degree - But common sense is more useful here
A help forum?   lmaoh
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 2/16/11 10:26 PM

The answer is always there. Use Thunderbird/Outlook or similar which is also a safeguard should you ever lose access to your account (pop connection only really does backup properly) and it relies on your own pc's processor power to sort which I would think, with your skills, is home built and extremely powerful. As you hold a Computer Science Degree you are probably more aware of the dangers of an EMS or other breakdown of services and would be taking these precautions in any case.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Pauliolio 2/17/11 2:59 AM

Ahh..  diddums...

You never listen do you.  Using Thunderbird / Outlook depends on you having the rights / ability to install them on every device you use to access your mail.

Oh and by the way - Which particular initialism was your 'EMS' refering to?

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 2/17/11 4:25 AM
Psaxelby - If you are being forced to use gmail against your will (which I assume is the case since you are unwilling to learn a how the gmail program works) - and if you have an internet connection....then go to hotmail or yahoo, set up a new account and then set gmail to forward to that program.  If you have Gmail save the originals on it's server, you can use your new other account for reading and sorting and then copy the subject line into Gmail search and pull up the email in gmail in order to respond.  That should be the only parameter you need - copy and paste and hit the button. 
Now if you're not being forced to use Gmail - then your argument holds no water.  It's like saying, but I LIKED Lotus 1-2-3 and Word Perfect....Microsoft Excel and Word should work EXACTLY the same way because I don't want to LEARN how to use them.  Bottom line:  New program = learning how to use it.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 2/17/11 4:37 AM
Ted - There isn't a quick button but you can copy and paste the subject into the search box and then click on "Search Mail". 
For the name/email - you have a few options.  You can type or copy/paste the info into the search mail box.  You can select other search options - and use the To: or From: section and put the address in there.  You can use the "has the words" section and put the persons name in.   You can click "Contacts" select the person and when their profile comes up, click on "View Recent Conversations".  And last, if it's someone you talk to a lot or something you need to keep track of - apply a label to the messages.  You can even set up a filter and have it labelled automatically for you - then you just click the label name and you can see all the messages and select the one you're looking for.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. marc7071 2/17/11 8:47 AM
This thread was started almost 2 YEARS AGO, has 242 replies and they haven't done a single thing about it? Why would they even offer a suggestion page if they never follow up and add what users obviously want. Searching, tagging and all the other garbage is a complete waste of time relative to simply clicking a button on a column to have your messages sorted by whatever property you wish.
It obvious some people want this feature added including myself. What is the hold-up?
My messages are just piling up with duplicates because there's no way to sort them. I've tried the search feature and it still doesn't hold a candle to sortable columns. I've spent over an hour just digging through messages tracking down duplicates and deleting them. I can do the same thing in Yahoo Mail in less than 5 minutes.
If convenience for your users is what you were going for, Google, you sorely missed the mark by a country mile.
Btw, the offered suggestion page I referred to earlier is here. Click the "Suggest it" button in the "Organization" group next to "Sort messages by size, date, sender, etc." Maybe if more users made this request, Goggle might finally get off their fat rumps and get this taken care of.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 2/17/11 9:43 AM

It's impossible to have duplicates since Gmail only keeps one copy but there might be more than one way to retrieve the same message.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. marc7071 2/17/11 10:14 AM
@ manny Not impossible if it's a duplicate subject. Take for instance notifications from a forum. The subject will show up over and over again while the message may be different. With messages like that, I keep only the most current message and discard the rest but since you can't SORT the messages I have to dig around and find all the previous ones. That's needlessly time consuming. Especially when you have a lot of them.
Not sure why people keep trying to change the topic and defend a email system that's substandard. It's NOT too much to ask to simply make your messages sortable. Almost every other email (Outlook, Yahoo, Windows Live Mail, etc)  system has had that option since the dawn of the internet. Why can't Google?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. 2/17/11 10:21 AM
Personally I love Gmail, it has so many features that blow away the other email clients.  I could not imagine email without Gmail on a regular basis.  (well actually I can,  my company went to Lotus notes, if you want to see what a real piece of garbage is for an email client then get notes, lol).

However, it would be nice to be able to quickly sort by size, a one button click to sort by subject and user would be nice as well, but the extra step to copy and past the subject and user name into the search box isn't the end of the world, but it is an extra step.  I have not been able to figure out how to sort by size yet though, in any way.   Considering I do offline backups using that Gmail feature, I would appreciate being able to delete some of my larger emails over time that perhaps have attachments that are no longer needed that take up space.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 2/17/11 10:32 AM

You just quoted Outlook (uses pc), Windows Live (uses pc), Yahoo (get's more complaints than Gmail).


EMS slightly less dangerous than EMP which can kill.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. marc7071 2/17/11 12:32 PM
Again with changing the topic. I thought the title read "How do I sort in Gmail" not "How to completely ignore our deficiencies".
The fact of the matter is that being able to sort your messages is useful and convenient. Everyone else but G-mail seems to have recognized this fact. I suppose that's just how they operate considering it took them over a year of me marking my messages as "not spam" before it realized that I wanted the messages in my inbox instead of in the spam folder.
Given the way this thread keeps dodging the real issue, someone will probably now have some comment about that too.
Oh well. Just more needless sidetracks to waste my time. Just like G-Fail.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 2/17/11 12:49 PM

Nobody is dodging the issue. You can use Outlook or Windows Live with your Gmail accounts therefore your needs are catered for. You could also use Thunderbird. All three create backups should Gmail go down or your account be hacked. Sorry you can't use Yahoo without forwarding to it.

Your arguments are your answers.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. goffe 2/17/11 1:14 PM

I'm sure hearing a lot of "If you don't like it, use something else" in this forum.

That's kind of like your going to your doctor and saying, "Doc, my arm hurts when I do this". He replies, "Well, don't do that".

Now I'm seeing a recommendation to have your gmail forwarded to some other service that DOES provide sort capability.

I think all this resistance to the concept of "Sorting" is politically motivated.

As a long time consultant, I have found that if you tell your client NO too many times, they go somewhere else.


Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 2/17/11 3:52 PM
Dale - there is a program out there to find large emails.  It's at - if you do a search for "gmail big mail", it'll pull up reviews of the site. Here's one from Lifehacker:!5662849/find-big-mail-sorts-your-gmail-attachments-by-size-for-easy-clean+outs

 I know at least one of the TC's on here gave it a go and said it worked just fine and didn't see any influx of new spam and nothing bad happened to his account.  The nice thing about it is that there's no program to dowload.  The scary part is giving the program your account password.  ( can just change your password, use the program and then change back to your old password or another of your choice - so that minimizes your risks)

If you don't want to use a 3rd party program, you can do an advanced search and select "has attachments".  This will pull up all your email with attachments and then you can go through them and download the attachments you want to keep and save them to your pc and then delete the emails.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 2/17/11 4:11 PM
Goffe - yes, we do suggest going to another service or use a program that will let you do what you want to do.  The reason is that even Google understands that Gmail is not a perfect fit for everyone.  You know that they know that or they wouldn't offer free POP3, IMAP and Forwarding. 

In comparison - Yahoo charges for those things.  They don't care that their email platform is horrible to use anymore.  They don't care if their users are having trouble.  They just plain don't care.  If you want to keep your Yahoo mail address and use another platform - no problem...just pony up $20 a year and they'll let you get your mail your way.

Google does provide help forums for all their products and they do pay attention to what people want - even if they don't offer it right away or ever, at least they're aware of what things users want and they've given us many many features to try to oblige us.  As far as this forum goes, the TC's and other helpers are here to help  - we have no way to fix anything within the program.  We don't get paid and we are here because we love Gmail and want to help everyone love it too.

We do offer up workarounds and options to get you as close as is possible, within the framework of the gmail program,  to what you want.  It's not avoiding the issue or being fanboi's - we know very well all of Gmail's failings.  After all, we're right here reading the threads and troubleshooting.   Our workarounds and 3rd party suggestions aren't just pulled from thin air - we've spent many hours working and researching to come up with the suggestions.  We're not going to apologise for not having a solution that you or anyone else likes.  And we don't apologise for Gmail's shortcomings.  If you don't like our solutions - then you can click the suggest link that's posted all over the forum and tell google what you want.  Beating up on the helper's doesn't do anyone any good - and really just hurts our feelings.  We are real human beings here and we're doing the best we can with what we have.  Just imagine if all the TC's and other helpers gave up and left - then what would you all do?   o.O

Keep asking questions - but remember the answer is sometimes "No, it can't be done" and be grateful when someone takes the time to figure out a way around the impossible...even if it's not the perfect or easiest way - at least it's a way.

</soap box>
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. goffe 2/17/11 4:17 PM

Now I'm embarrassed and feel the need to apologize to those whose feelings I've hurt.

Please accept my apologies.



Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 2/17/11 4:42 PM
Apology accepted and really appreciated....and I thank you for taking the time to say it. :o)

I got off on a rant there and by the end, it was kind of pointed in the general direction of anyone it applies to.  I don't think you personally hurt anyone's feelings - you just happened to be the one that posted the proverbial straw that sent me yapping away.  TC's have pretty thick skins but sometimes we get a little tender from the beatings.  Today was one of those tender days for me.  So again, your apology was appreciated and made me all warm and fuzzy - even though I have to apologize for not being clear that it wasn't all directed to you.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. KeithR 2/20/11 6:50 PM
WARNING FOR ALL: "Considering I do offline backups using that Gmail feature,"

Gmail off-line is not a back-up.  It synchronises the off-line copy with what is on-line so if anything gets deleted from your on-line Gmail data, it will also disappear from the off-line copy.  The only way to create a back-up copy is to copy.  You can use POP download with a free email client like Thunderbird and there are other solutions.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. GGavan 2/22/11 3:21 AM
Niiice! Still looping :)) Nothing changed. Google is playing ping-pong with us.
Why everybody is loosing time here?
"Top Contributors" to what? What is your contribution?
Yeah, these are your only answers:
- use our program as it is, in two weeks you can learn all workarrounds (it is a f..king e-mail, nothing more)
- use third party (cool one !!!)
What is the scope of this forum?
See you next year. I will laugh a lot to see that nothing is changed :D
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 2/22/11 3:42 AM

We contribute nothing at all unless somebody takes our advice while you however contribute sarcasm which can sometimes be classified as humour (lowest form of) and at others a desire to hurt.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mikshir 3/1/11 12:07 PM
I do a search every several months for years looking for if there is any progress on a sort-by-field, or at the very least sort-by-name.  I'm very disappointed that there is NO PROGRESS such a simple and standard feature.  There are very compelling reasons to add sort.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. mikshir 3/1/11 12:33 PM
So, with gmail, you are supposed to "search for what you want".

Ok, I need help with the following "searches" that I would traditionally use SORT for.

1) I want to search for emails from all senders that I don't recognize, e.g. not in my contactlist.
2) I want to search for all emails that look like they come from any account I have and which I have too many (often repetetive) emails
3) I want to search for all emails that have the some formulaic subject line as it is probably autogenerated and not useful to me anymore
4) I want to find emails that don't look important to me anymore and to which a search would be way to general and include too much or i simply don't know what words to use but usually stand out in one of the previous 3.

And I'd like to do it without adding every single account to a filter, every single auto-reply address to a filter, every single repeated subject pattern to a filter, or everything under the sun to a filter.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 3/1/11 12:40 PM

How do you find those using sort?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 3/1/11 6:47 PM
Mikshir -

1) I want to search for emails from all senders that I don't recognize, e.g. not in my contactlist.

Since Gmail automatically adds senders to your contact list - first you're going to have to do some work.

Click on Contacts and get your people labele/grouped/add to My Contacts

Then, click on Other Contacts - these are the people that you don't recognize, and haven't labelled, grouped or otherwise added to "My Contacts".
While this isn't ideal, now you'll have to click on each person, then click on "View Recent Conversations".  Gmail is essentially sorting for you via that link.  Review the posts, and delete as you see fit. 
*Note:  Remember you'll be deleting entire threads and my lose messages you want to keep, so be diligent*
Once you've finished this process, just figure out a routine to keep things from stacking up again.

Another option that should work - export that list of names so that you can copy all the email addresses.  Then you can copy and paste them into the search box.  (ie.  From: OR OR etc.)

NOTE:  See prior note

2) I want to search for all emails that look like they come from any account I have and which I have too many (often repetetive) emails

I like setting up filters and labels for all my other accounts - keeps things really simple and easy to clean out.

But the long way is to just search for the mail To: yourotheraccount  You can stack them up just like above and pull them all up together, but with out labels, you may not be able to know which go to which account without opening them.

3) I want to search for all emails that have the some formulaic subject line as it is probably autogenerated and not useful to me anymore

Copy the subject line or keyword and using advanced search options - put them in the "has the words" section.  You can double them up as well.  (ie. "V1ag$ra" OR "Enlarge" OR "Congratulations you won" etc).  Just be sure to review the results for any legitimate mail that want to save.  Also, it has to be an exact match or Gmail won't pick it up.  (ie.  ski will not return skiing and skiing will not return ski)
4) I want to find emails that don't look important to me anymore and to which a search would be way to general and include too much or i simply don't know what words to use but usually stand out in one of the previous 3.

No easy way to do this.  But if you think it through, you may find parameters that will help you weed through them.  Example - say you know you don't need anything that's more than 2 years old.  You can use the date range option and pull those out and do a bulk delete.  You can also say I don't need anything from George and dump everything "from" and "to" him.

This is also where stars can come in handy.  If you've been diligent with your stars to mark what's important to you at that time, you can now select all starred messages and review them for their current importance and unstar or delete them as you review them.  

No matter how you decide to go about the clean up - I do recommend you start with the oldest and work your way forward.  a) The older it is the more apt you are to want to dump it, so you'll be removing larger quantities as you start.  b) The way the pages refresh, when you're on the last page and delete, the number of messages shrink until you've emptied the page.  Where when you start with newest, each time you delete, the page refills.

Another helpful tip while you're cleaning up - get everything labelled and out of the way so you know it's been handled.  Even if that's just setting up a "Keep" folder - review, place the label or delete and keep going.  Getting the stuff out of the view you're using just makes things go faster and you don't have to worry about where you left off.  The goal would be to make that view empty.....unless you're using "All Mail".  If you are using "All Mail" to do this clean up - then Step #1 should be to select "All", select "All Conversations" and apply a label.   Something like "To be reviewed" - this way you'll actually see the progress your making and when it's're all done.

And I'd like to do it without adding every single account to a filter, every single auto-reply address to a filter, every single repeated subject pattern to a filter, or everything under the sun to a filter.

Most of what I've suggested can be done without a filter - but filters can really help you out.  Like cleaning up the contacts - if you set up a filter and label for each of those mysterious'll be able to pull them all up and into that label.  If you set your gmail to show 100 threads per page, you'll get through it a lot faster than using the the recent discussions or the search mail where gmail only shows 20 threads per page.  Once you've finished cleaning them up - you can just delete the label and filter.

For the relevant stuff - slapping on a label that you can use when it's time to see if it's still relevant.....another time saver.

But then again - my #1 rule of gmail is to NEVER Archive without applying a label.  :o) 

The more labels and filters you have, the easier it is to find things and to clean house.   I personally have about 115 labels and about 150 filters.  99% of my email gets labelled and skips my inbox.  (which I think is impressive when you consider I get around 1000 emails per day.  LOL)  

Things that I know I'll want to keep for the long haul - I manually apply a label and/or star them so I don't accidentally delete them.  Things that I know I never want to lose (like pictures) - I label/star accordingly AND download and save the file on my pc, on picasa (or google docs) and then back up to an external I have redudancy and security.

You have stumbled on the one problem with not just gmail but any email  - the need to plan ahead.  People forget that eventually they're going to want to clean house and neglect to organize themselves from the get go.  With Gmail - Archiving just makes the problem worse because you can hide your disorganization until you realize the time has come. :o|  So regardless of what a headache the initial housecleaning is - use it as a learning experience and get those labels/filters/stars working for you so that the next time it's easy peasy!  :o)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 3/1/11 7:54 PM appears I goofed on the contacts.  It was pointed out to me I have it wrong - gmail only adds contacts you reply to, not that you receive from.  *sigh*'s my revised suggestion - and it's even more cumbersome and ugly.  :o\

Go to Contacts and Export your list.  Save it to your computer in a format that you can open in another program (like Excel) and hopefully where it will sort into nice little columns.

Once you have the file - open it and now go back to Gmail.
Select "Show Search Options"
Now one by one, copy and paste each of your contacts email addresses into the "Doesn't Have".  In between each address type in OR.
Once you've pasted all your contacts in (and I do hope your list is short!!) - you can run the search and it will pull up emails from anyone not in your contact list.

Now you can go through and review, label/star/delete and even add the person to your contact list.  *When you add a new person to your contact list, add them to your search parameter and rerun the query*

Since pasting into that tiny box is a pain....I would suggest copying them into something like Word, or Notepad and once the list is complete, copy and paste the whole thing into the doesn't have box.   If you know what you're doing - you can probably even insert all the OR's by doing a find/replace. (ie.  Find: .com  Replace with: .com OR and then do it for other dot things like .net, etc.  Looking at your contact list will tell which dots you have)  There's even a way to tell Excel to take everything in a range and put them into one box, but I don't know the formula off hand.

No, it's not pretty.  No, it's not simple.  But YES, it CAN be done :o)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 3/1/11 8:10 PM
God help us!
Please just give us Sort!

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 3/1/11 8:18 PM
Riknlaur - LOL!!  But really...I'll 2nd Manny's question and ask how does one do those 5 things in any other web based email program?  I know Yahoo sorts and won't do any of those 4 things.  I'm also sure that if there is a way for Yahoo to do it - it's no less cumbersome than what I suggested for Gmail.....and I'd almost bet it's even worse and would not be surprised that some are impossible. 

Like I said, regardless of the email program - if you don't set up a good organization system from the early days, it will come back and bite you.   Heck, I'm using outlook at my new job - and in less than a month, it was becoming a mess.  Even just this weeks email took me a 1/2 hour to get sorted into proper folders.  (And it so happens, they have Google Apps, and I can say that it all synced up to the gmail account spite of my hideous internet connection <-which is why I was working in Outlook and not gmail)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 3/1/11 8:22 PM
When you can sort you can do those visually quite easily.  At a minimum it gives you another tool.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 3/2/11 12:01 AM

Thanks for your input and since I use Thunderbird as a backup system I am interesting in learning.

How do you do those things Using Sort?
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 3/2/11 5:00 AM
You just look at the results and it is very easy to see much of it. You may not get everything clean but it's certainly a refreshing way of looking at things.
A group of emails from someplace you never heard of?   Easy!  Just delete them
Or just from someplace you totally forgot about and are not interested in any more.

Odd email or groups of emails often stick out when the email is sorted.
Just another very useful tool.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 3/2/11 5:07 AM

I'm sorry but not using Sort some form of instruction would be nice. There are plenty of explanations of how things can be done using Search, Filters and Labels in Gmail but a lot of the users of Gmail (including myself) do not have the faintest idea of how Sort works and we could all do with some help.

I don't see how I can see results for something I have no idea of how to use.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 3/2/11 5:27 AM
Try sorting by sender in your Thunderbird and you'll see what I mean.

Most people commenting in this thread seem to feel the same.
Sorting is not necessary, but it sure makes life easier.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 3/2/11 5:40 AM
That's fantastic but since I can do that in Thunderbird and that is my backup in any case why do I need it in Gmail.

Please do not say "because it's not portable" since I also have the portable version on memory sticks.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 3/2/11 5:43 AM
You don't need it.
Probably nobody needs it, as I said.
But it would be real convenient.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 3/2/11 5:57 AM
Ok! Working on the basis of our combined conversation and that the cloud is not safe why is everybody making such a fuss about Gmail should have it?

From reports Yahoo's system is probably the most complained about they have. Hotmail partially uses the PC's processing power to help but that is possible when it is part of the OS. Outlook and Thunderbird both use the pc's power. Is there a good web based email service that is actually capable of sorting on it's own?

Adding to much to web based systems I believe is causing these to crash far too often which means being able to trust the Cloud even less than we do at the moment.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. deltrob 3/9/11 12:25 PM
I've been using Gmail since 2004.  I recently checked my old AOL account ... It had over 2,000 messages.  With their Sort feature, I was quickly able to eliminate more than half of those messages as spam, newsletters, etc.  WHY DOESN'T GMAIL ALLOW USERS TO SORT????

If there is an actual reason why we don't have this feature, and why it will never be made available, please tell us so that we may have some closure on the issue!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 3/9/11 4:52 PM

Not going to disagree but that amount of Spam would never get into Gmail except the Spam folder. They are self eliminating.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. deltrob 3/10/11 10:09 AM
Manny - true, but back when I used AOL, I didn't trust spam filters, so I had turned it off on that account.  As good as Gmail's spam filter is, though, it defeats the purpose when I have to go through all of the emails in it to make sure it hasn't flagged emails that are not spam.  I always find at least 2 or 3 emails in my spam folder that should not be in there.

There are many reasons why being able to sort by size, sender, and subject are very helpful.  As nice as searching through mail is, it will never replace the specific benefits of sorting.  
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 3/10/11 12:48 PM
Going to suggest you have a look at jeandiatta's replies regarding this. You'll find she has covered each of these as searched.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. goffe 3/10/11 12:56 PM

I wonder how many people think they're actually accomplishing anything by posting to this forum.

I KNOW that the people who respond here ARE trying to be helpful but, my thought on the objective here is to actually get GOOGLE to give us some sorting capability. Is this right?

If anything, GOOGLE is GOOD at Computer Science stuff. Sorting is such a simple concept. How can we get them to give us this capability?

Use the suggestion process? If enough people ask for it, perhaps this will get us what we want... To make a mostly superior "product" even better.

Am I wrong?


Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 3/10/11 2:00 PM
Going to keep saying this. Most other totally web based email systems do not have real sorting systems (See Yahoo for complaints) but you can use the power of your own pc to sort using Outlook, Thunderbird and I should imagine there are others available. It would be great but the processor power needed to do this on line would be astronomical and quite possibly the speed of sorting would be horrific.

The choice is yours and I know some will say "... but I need this when I am away from my own computer" but there are portable versions of Thunderbird.

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. ntaylor99 3/13/11 12:54 PM
Ok, this has been bothering me for years, and I'll finally chime in.  Sorting should be one of the most basic and essential functions included any email program.  Sorting by subject is very important to me, as many people comment on an email chain, and I want to see ALL responses by a particular subject line, not by who wrote the email, or the date.  I may use search initially, looking for a particular person, but then I'll sort by subject line, to find conversations about a particular subject.  I'll sync my Gmail to Outlook whenever I can, because that program seems much more comprehensive and functional for us users.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. bkc56 3/13/11 2:19 PM many people comment on an email chain, and I want to see ALL responses by a particular subject line...

Of course you realize that's EXACTLY what the conversation view already does.  There's no need to sort when all the messages are already grouped together.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 3/13/11 6:46 PM
I personally dislike the conversation view.  It can get very confusing if there's a lot of back and forth esp if different people chime in.   I no longer use it.
Overall rating
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 3/13/11 7:16 PM

In Avast turn off WebRep (Additional Security) to save the signature showing. They have promised to correct the signature block in the next version.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. sharonn2 3/13/11 9:40 PM
they just don't get it..... just because they are all grouped together doesn't mean its sorted. They don't want to get it.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. Pauliolio 3/14/11 8:21 AM
@riknlaur - I just turned it off as well. I used to like it but recently I've been getting some very long conversations & annoyingly any new attachments are placed right at the bottom, are easy to miss, and take a lot of scrolling to get to.

@sharonn2 - I know - sad really isn't it.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. jeandiata 3/16/11 10:04 AM
psaxel - If you look in the top right corner of the email, you should see a paperclip to tell that there is an attachment....just like most other email programs.   Having the link at the bottom is also very common - I know that's how Yahoo does it.
There's also a paperclip on the main view telling that at least one email in that conversation has an attachment.  If you miss that one because it's over at the right - there is a lab that will let you move that column over to the left.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. marc7071 3/18/11 9:21 AM
@sharonn2 That's what I was getting at in an earlier post. They just keep suggesting work arounds and discrediting other email systems to dodge the issue originally brought up almost 2 years ago. The thing I have a BIG problem with is that they OFFER IT as a suggestion. Look here:
WHY offer it if they're never going to add this feature? Google, either stop teasing us with this bogus offer and remove the suggestion or add the feature already.
For everyone that reads this and wants this feature added, I strongly suggest you all go to the above link and click that suggestion as often as you can. Maybe someone will get the hint, eventually, but then again, most likely not considering the age of this thread.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. hakeae 4/10/11 3:57 AM
Hooray! I've found a solution! I have linked my gmail accounts to the Mozilla Thunderbird suite (free download). It works a treat! There is sorting, drag&drop, intelligent folders, all you would want. I got a buzz tonight to see that when I highlighted multiple emails from same sender (sorted by sender heh heh), they were all displayed in same window as a conversation. My gmail accounts are just like Windows explorer folders, and you can drag an email from one folder to another. I am still so pleased about this it !! Everybody should have it!!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. hakeae 4/10/11 3:58 AM
BTW, you don't have to have Firefox to get Thunderbird; it's completely independent product.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 4/10/11 5:10 AM
With Thunderbird can you access your email from other computers?  That's a basic requirement for me.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 4/10/11 5:45 AM

Thunderbird has been put forward before a few times and there is a portable version you can access using a portable hard drivet.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. brenmelis 4/18/11 2:06 PM
I have used many different email programs, and there isn't any one program that is perfect for any one person.  But typically there are work-arounds. Being able to sort messages within a folder (or labels, as google must call it to be different) is pretty basic, though.  Google forces users to do things the google way or not at all.  We MUST use labels and filters to be organized or to do simple cleanups of folders (which I will forever call folders and not labels -- google even had to use a different word for this concept).  This label and filter process is painfully cumbersome.  I like most things google, and I've given the email program more than enough time for me to adjust.  But overall I don't like it.  The labs have enabled many other types of choices.  Why not add a lab for sorting?   

And while I'm complaining,

Why doesn't google mark messages that have been responded to? 

Why can't sent messages also be archived rather than just accumulating in the sent folder? (And with no sort function, unless you have your sent messages labeled, it takes a long time to find a message.)

Why doesn't the trash folder EVER automatically empty itself, like it's supposed to?

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. 4/18/11 2:38 PM
I have to say, I love the "labels" and this is why :

If I was using Outlook, I could only put my message in one "folder" , however with Gmail, I can assign multiple "labels" that are appropriate.  It is a much better method.  If one needs to use one label/folder to be comfortable they can, however if they feel something fits multiple categories (which most things do) you have a solution. 
Plus Gmail was on of the first people to implement threaded views, which is great.
My only issue with the threaded views is that when you apply a label, then archive, it sorts based on the date of the first message in the thread not the last.  So.... if someone replies to a year old thread and you archive it today, it will not be on the top of your sort view , it will be a year or more back, assuming you can remember when the thread started.  But if you leave it in the inbox, it sorts based on the last reply to the thread (which is what I would prefer to happen when archived).

Labels are great in my opinion, much better than a fixed folder view of the world.  :-)
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. brenmelis 4/19/11 4:28 AM -- You are most fortunate that gmail's structure fits your needs.  And I would agree that one advantage (probably the *only* advantage for me) is being able to put more than one label on the same message.  The threaded view, however, is disliked by so many people that google finally offered the option to turn it off -- which I promptly did.  Threaded views work sometimes, but unfortunately the choice is all or nothing.  I disabled it because the majority of the time it does *not* work for me.

The designing of anything needs to take into account different needs and different styles and even different abilities.  Imagine if pants were made in only one size and people were told to gain or lose weight in order to fit it.   And if they were too tall, well then, too bad. 

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 4/19/11 4:49 AM

Very good analogy but most trousers are made with very few choices of length so you have them altered. Using Outlook or Thunderbird is the same as using an alteration service.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. brenmelis 4/19/11 5:21 AM
@The C Man -- I've actually tried Thunderbird (and also Apple Mail). It solves the sorting problem but presents other issues for me.  So I'm left muddling through with the sorting issue in gmail, among a few other minor things.  Ironically, though, Thunderbird kind of negates the uniqueness of gmail. 

And, unfortunately, if you're too tall, there's no way to alter a pair of pants that are too short for you. My point was that if there were only one choice of size (for, um, width, not just length), you would be forced to alter yourself in order to fit them.  Good design doesn't force people to morph into something that they're not.  Good design accommodates consumers and users.

Google is very innovative.  And I actually like the fact, e.g., that they came up with the threaded view (even though it doesn't really work for me overall), because it's a design that accommodates another kind of thinking.  But, still, if possible, you shouldn't accommodate just one way of thinking, no matter which style it is.  So it was good that google made it possible to turn off threaded view.  Sorting is a very basic element in email programs.  It would just make gmail that much better if there were a choice to sort. 

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 4/19/11 5:29 AM

Pointed this out many times before but the only Sorts that really work require the use of your own processors. Hotmail does it through making use of your on board power and Yahoo, although it professes to do it, makes a complete hash of it in most cases.

It's very much like Microsoft's Photosynth which uses your own graphics card and processing power to create the whole thing.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. riknlaur 4/19/11 5:31 AM
Not a problem!  We have processors.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 4/19/11 5:37 AM

In that case use Thunderbird or Outlook. What is truly on the web is just that - on the web - you need to download it to your pc - you have to use a third party app.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. wdurham 4/19/11 6:18 AM
brenmelis -

I like the way you are thinking. But does it never occur to you (or anyone else) that GMail isn't a "me too" product?

It isn't supposed to be the same as every other offering out there.

It's supposed to offer an alternative - a different way of doing stuff. 

If you want the old or ordinary way of doing stuff, use Yahoo or Hotmail or any of the equally good clients to manage a GMail account. 

If you want something new and different with a tangential approach, use GMail.

GMail's only problem is the massive body of users who came to GMail expecting to find a Hotmail or Yahoo clone and are bitterly disappointed that GMail does things differently. They are therefore extremely loud in their insistence that GMail should do exactly what all the others do and become just another overweight, flakey, resource hungry copy-cat. Google has given in to some of the loudest, screamiest demands - I hope they will resist others and keep GMail's uniqueness intact.

Example: I've been a Photoshop user for many years. About 2 years ago, someone told me about a new - FREE! - graphics program that could do everything Photoshop did, plus a bit more, and was utterly superb.  So I downloaded it. I didn't like it - it was very capable, but it was hard to use after all those years with Photoshop. But I stuck with it, because a free graphics program with the capability of Photoshop would be a big money-saver for me. I still didn't like it - it just didn't do things the way I was used to doing them, and I could not get to grips with the different interface, the different menu, the different palettes. But did I jump up and scream and yell at the developers because it wasn't a Photoshop clone? Did I threaten and demand that they must do everything exactly like Photoshop did it, or it was a "dealbreaker"? 

No. I just went back to Photoshop. And continued working happily. 

So in my view, people who hate GMail shouldn't use it. People that want GMail to behave like Hotmail or Yahoo should use Hotmail or Yahoo. People who hate innovation shouldn't bother with Google products, but should stick to what they are comfy with. Just like I have done with Photoshop. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. brenmelis 4/19/11 9:12 AM
@The C Man -- I'm not a technical person.  For someone like me, either something works, or it doesn't.  All I know is that gmail is the only email program I've ever used that can't sort mail.

@wdurham -- I don't look at gmail as a "me too" program that must be the same as everything else out there.  I was actually very excited when google came out with gmail, since they're so innovative and clever.  I'm not disappointed with it because it's different.  There are some great features in gmail.  I'm disappointed because some very standard things are different and make organization difficult.   I think you can go too far with innovation at times.  The question becomes:  What is old and ordinary?  I think sorting is a basic part of human nature.  If it's so old and ordinary, then why even be able to alphabetize a contact list, since alphabetization is just basic sorting? Maybe we should use labels to organize that as well?  How far *should* google have gone in re-designing an email program?   In fact, they didn't overhaul everything.  There are still things within gmail that are done the same way as in other email programs.  I don't see innovation as change for the sake of change and the abandonment of other ways of doing something.  I see it as improvement and/or alternatives.  And there's nothing wrong with asking google to change something, since google itself asks for suggestions and feedback (just like everyone else does).  I like sorting.  If there aren't enough sorters out there or if it isn't cost effective for google to make a change, then, yes, I will accept the program as it is -- but I can still think it's imperfect.  (I've never bought a perfect car, but that hasn't stopped me from buying another car from the same manufacturer that sold me the "imperfect" car.) 

Re: How do I sort in Gmail. The C Man (Call me C) Ex TC 4/19/11 9:32 AM

You are most likely perfectly correct but you might have to pay for it. You pay for Hotmail when you buy Windows. Yahoo charges for certain services. Please give details of all the other free email services that have Sort and are purely web based. Other readers will be more than interested.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. deltrob 4/19/11 9:43 AM
I believe AOL is free and has a good sort function. Don't get me wrong, I prefer GMail and left AOL years ago in favor of GMail ... but c'mon, sort should be a basic function.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. manny.b 4/19/11 9:52 AM

Check out and you'll find it is Gmail with more advertising and the Sort functions are almost identical to Gmail's search. In the Uk it's also known under the new owners banner of TalkTalk.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. wdurham 4/19/11 10:40 AM
deltrob - I can understand that those that are used to Sort pine for it, but when you have Search backed by Google, why? Especially when search actually lets you find more than sort could ever do....

I was an Outlook user for more years than I care to remember, but I find Search in GMail is far more effective than Sort in Outlook ever was

GMail sorts by date by default. that's that one sorted.
You want sender? Put the sender's name or email address in the search box - autocomplete will pop up and help.
You want subject? Type subject:whatever - any word will do - in the search box
You want any word in the body of the message ? Type the word in the search box
You want dates between xxx and xxx? Put the before: and after: dates in the search box
You want messages with attachments? Type has:attachment in the search box
You want messages with big attachments? Type filename:wmv or filename:pdf or filename:ppt - or any other extension which is likely to be a huge file - into the search box

I have cheerfully dispensed with the weapon of Sort in Outlook (or whatever email client) in favour of the entire armoury for finding stuff that GMail offers. 

And then there's always the thing that if you don't like the way that GMail works, just use Thunderbird or Outlook to manage it and have all your old familiar stuff at your fingertips. Nobody makes you use GMail, and more importantly, nobody makes you use it in the web interface.
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. brenmelis 4/19/11 11:01 AM
I use a Mac, so I don't pay for windows.  Hotmail, yahoo, and aim/aol are all free and all sort.  I've used other email programs over the years, and I would have to go back and find names, because I dropped them a long time ago.  All were free, all were web based, and all sorted email.  There is no one perfect program.  And no program can be all things to all users.  I know that very well, since I've tried different email program, browsers, RSS readers, bookmark applications, etc. And there are always groups who hate X and there are groups who love X -- it doesn't matter what X is.    And don't get me wrong -- it's not that I dislike gmail.  It has some very good features.  But it lacks sorting.  Simple sorting is, well, simple.  I find search, filters and labels to be cumbersome.  You can also search in yahoo and hotmail, btw, but I've rarely used it, because simple sorting is usually enough for me.  (I do like that more than one label in gmail can be applied to the same email -- that's what I would call an innovation.)  But importantly -- I respect everyone else's opinion on what works for them and what doesn't. 
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. gbillindc 4/21/11 8:12 AM
Regarding why google didn't build in simple or basic functionality such as sort has nothing to do with their awareness of basic email management features.  In fact, they built it so it would allow users to access their past emails through search but not allow them to conveniently remove or organize.  Why??  Because they need those old emails.  They use those to understand what they can sell in advertising.  Did you actually think Google has created this product to serve mankind or something??  Get with the program folks, this is a business and their model is based on getting into your personal life to sell targeted advertising.  Letting you remove all that data is counter productive to their bread and butter... HELLO!!!!
Re: How do I sort in Gmail. brenmelis 4/21/11 11:30 AM
@gbillindc -- That would make sense to me if the search function weren't also such an easy way to find and delete emails.  But search makes it just as easy to find and delete as sort does.  It's just done differently. 
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