If you've ever needed to pass along an entire conversation thread to someone else, you're in the right place. Gmail offers a straightforward method for forwarding entire email chains.
By forwarding an entire email chain, you can give your team members an overview of important discussions and decisions, making sure everyone is on the same page and reducing the chances of missed information.
Let’s get started and learn how to forward a whole email chain in Gmail.
How to forward an entire email thread in Gmail
Step 1: Turn on conversation view
Before you do anything, it’s important to ensure you have “conversation view” turned on in your Gmail account. The conversation view allows Gmail to thread replies to an email into a conversation, allowing easier viewing and sorting through emails. We’ll get into why later.
To do this, click on the settings button (gear icon) in the top right-hand corner of your Gmail. This will open the quick settings. Scroll to the bottom of your quick settings to find the “Email Threading” section. Ensure that the conversation view is turned on.
Step 2: Open thread you want to forward
Now that you know you’ve got conversation view turned on, locate and click the conversation thread you want to forward. The number next to the names of the participants is the number of emails in that thread.
Step 3: Click “More”
Once you have the email thread open, click on the More button (three dots) at the top of the email. This will open up a drop-down menu.
Step 4: Select “Forward all”
Find and click “Forward all” in the drop-down menu that opens up.
Step 5: Finish composing email and send
When you click “Forward all,” Gmail will open a new conversation under the same thread. Now all you have to do is enter the recipient’s email to forward the whole email chain.
By default, Gmail starts the conversation with a “Forwarded Conversation” along with the email's subject appearing on top of the email. You can delete it and add a more appropriate body text as well.
If you scroll down in this conversation, you’ll see all the emails of the chain appearing below. When you’ve finished entering the body text, click “Send,” and you’re done!
Important notes when you forward an email chain in Gmail
Now that you know how to forward an entire email chain in Gmail, here are a few other things to know about it.
Why do you need to use conversation view?
The conversation view gathers all the emails in the chain and presents them as a single, organized thread. If you forward this thread to a recipient, they can read through the emails in the order they were sent. This way, they don’t miss any important information or get confused regarding the order of the emails.
Without the conversation view, each email in the thread will be treated as a separate message. When you try to forward the emails individually, the recipient will receive multiple individual messages instead of one cohesive thread.
This can make it difficult for them to understand the chronological order and context of the conversation. This is why using conversation view is important when forwarding an entire email chain to someone in Gmail.
Forward vs. Forward All
The Forward feature allows you to send an individual email to another recipient. This is useful when sharing a specific email with someone without including the entire email thread. On the other hand, the Forward All feature is designed to send an entire email thread, including all the previous replies and messages, to another recipient.
It bundles all the emails in the conversation into one new email and sends it to the desired recipient. As said, it’s great for when you want to provide someone with the full context and history of a conversation, ensuring they have access to all the relevant information.
Is there a way to forward an email chain on mobile?
Unfortunately, there’s no direct way to forward an entire email chain on mobile. There is no “Forward All” feature, and the “Forward” feature applies only to individual emails.
One way to get around this is to click “Print All” and save the entire thread as a PDF on your mobile. Then, you can compose a new message and send the PDF as an attachment or a link. You can also forward the last email in the thread and attach the PDF.
However, it’s probably best to just wait and use Forward All when you’re at a desktop.
Learn more Gmail tricks on the YAMM blog!
Now you know how to forward a whole email chain in Gmail! These kinds of features are why Gmail is the go-to email service for many: it’s quick, easy, and useful. If you want to learn other Gmail tricks and tips, come visit the YAMM blog!