Conversation View



Postbox displays messages in the Thread Pane by conversation.

Postbox Conversation ViewThe Conversation Summary Row is a roll-up of all the child messages within it. Here we see a selected Summary Row with 3 child messages. Messages will be displayed as a single, chronological conversation, gathering message fragments from other folders such as Sent, Archive, and storage folders.

All Signature data is stripped from this view, and reply and forward tags such as Re: or Fwd: are stripped from summary row subjects. If you would rather not have signature data stripped, this can be adjusted in Preferences|Options > Display > Conversations > Hide Signatures.

Click the message count widget to expand the conversation and view its child messages. Here we see 3 child messages as they exist in the currently selected folder. 

When a child message is selected, only the content for that specific message will be displayed. This is the "true" view of the message as it was sent by the author.

Signature data is not stripped from this view. 



By default, Postbox will display all messages related to the current conversation from all folders, such as the Inbox, Sent, and Archive folders. To only display messages from the current folder:

  • Go to Preferences > Display > Conversations
  • Select The Current Folder from the Include Messages From: dropdown.

Turning Off Profile Photos When Reading Messages

To stop showing conversation photos when reading messages,

  • Go to Preferences | Options > Display > Conversations.
  • Uncheck the Include contact photos for each participant in the conversation checkbox.

Disabling Conversation View

To disable conversation mode for a particular folder, go to View > Threads and deselect Organize By Thread.

To disable the conversation view for all folders, go to Preferences | Options > Display > Conversations and then disable the setting for Enable conversation view for all folders. Note that this setting will only work for folders that haven't had the setting modified. For those folders, please use the option found in View menu > Threads, then deselect Organize By Thread.


There are several ways to tune conversation display, and the user-configurable settings available at Preferences | Options > Display > Conversations are described below. 

Any time you make a change to thread settings, you must restart Postbox for the change to take effect, then you must repair the folder to reset the view. To repair a folder, right-click the folder, select Properties from the contextual menu, then click the Repair Folder button.

Alternatively, you can reset all folders by going to the Help menu > Troubleshooting > Reset IMAP mail databases and Search Indexes, but note that you will need to re-download your mail and will have to reindex your messages by going to Tools menu > Indexing > Index All Folders.  conversations will now be threaded by subject instead of Reference headers.

Remember... these settings are global across all accounts!

Thread by message ID

By default, Postbox will only thread messages together in a conversation if they contain proper Reference or In-Reply-To headers. This ensures that only messages we know are part of the conversation get threaded together without any false positives. 

If you wish to disable all threading by subject and only place messages into the same conversation if they have Reference or In-Reply-To headers. Then turn off Threading by message subject and Thread by subject without Re: described below.

We recommend this setting always be turned ON.

Note: If you make this change, you will see little (if any) incorrectly threaded conversations. However, you will see an increase in messages that are not part of a thread if they are missing the necessary mail headers, and this can sometimes happen if a mail server strips or rewrites the mail headers.

Threading by message subject

Some mailers drop Reference and In-Reply-To headers causing messages sent from those mailers not to be threaded in the conversation. You can set Postbox to also thread messages by subject as a fallback mechanism, but only for those messages containing "Re:" in the subject.

You must repair the folder to reset the view if you enable this setting. To repair a folder, right-click the folder, select Properties from the contextual menu, then click the Repair Folder button.

We recommend this setting be turned OFF. If this setting is turned on, we recommend that Thread by message ID is also turned on.

Note: If you make this change, you will see many more false positives in your conversations as any message with the same subject may be threaded into the conversation.

Thread by subject without Re:

Selecting this setting will thread messages together even if the subject doesn't contain a "Re:." 

NOTE: This is a particularly dangerous setting because it will associate messages with the same subject together, even if they are unrelated!

If your boss sends you a message with the subject "Job Well Done," and your lover sends you a message with the subject "Job Well Done," those two messages could be related together, and replies could include content from either message if you are using Summarize Mode!

You have been warned!

We recommend this setting be turned OFF.


If messages are not displaying in conversation view correctly, the first thing you should do is make sure your search index is up to date. Go to the Tools menu and select Indexing > Index All Folders.

If messages from other folders (such as Sent and Archive) are not being included in your Conversation View, please do the following (we'll use the Sent folder as an example):

  • Go to Preferences / Display / Conversations and select "Include messages from Every Folder"
  • Select your account (NOT the account group) and then right-click the Sent folder and select Properties. Then, select the checkbox for "When getting new messages for this account always check this folder." When Postbox checks for new messages in the Inbox, it will now also check this folder so that it is included in the conversation.

You can repeat these instructions for any other folder you want to include in Conversation View.

What Not To Do

Something you should really avoid doing is reusing messages from your Sent folder. If you do this, the new message you send will inherit the message ID from the previous message, and both messages will then be threaded together.


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