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How to separate email threads in Gmail

How to separate email threads in Gmail

min read

Billions of people use Gmail to manage personal and professional inboxes. It’s such an essential tool that some of the “basic” features are taken for granted.

Gmail’s Conversation View feature is one of them. It’s the feature that creates email threads when you converse back and forth with one or more people. 

In this post, we’ll explain what Gmail Conversation View is, how it works, and how you can separate individual emails out of a threaded conversation if you need to.

<a href="#what-is-gmail-conversation-view" class="anchor-link">What is Gmail Conversation View?</a>

<a href="#how-to-separate-email-threads-in-gmail" class="anchor-link">How to separate email threads in Gmail</a>

<a href="#why-you-might-need-to-separate-your-emails-in-gmail" class="anchor-link">Common reasons to separate emails in Gmail</a>

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What is Gmail Conversation View?

Conversation View is a feature in Gmail that groups emails with the same subject line in chronological order. Gmail calls these groups conversations.

A screenshot of an email conversation in Gmail with conversation view
Conversation View groups emails with the same subject line into chronological order

Each time someone replies to an email, Gmail creates a new message draft with the same subject line. Keep in mind, when we say "email", we're referring to a an a single message that’s sent to one or more recipients.

With conversation view enabled, Gmail groups emails with the same subject line into a conversation. When Gmail groups email replies into a conversation, it sorts them chronologically so you can easily see how the conversation unfolds.  Once grouped into a conversation, the emails are commonly referred to as an email “thread”.

For most of us, this is the logical way to organize and read emails in our inboxes. We can see the original message at the top of the thread, and each response is displayed below in chronological order. 

However, Conversation View is a feature that can be turned off in your Gmail settings.

A screenshot of Gmail's conversation view settings options
Conversation view can be turned on or off in your Gmail settings

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How to separate email threads in Gmail

Gmail’s Conversation View can help to keep track of back-and-forth conversations with email threads, but it can also become hard to find what you’re looking for as conversations grow longer and more complicated.

The solution? Use Streak’s free Thread Splitter feature to separate an email from a conversation or thread in Gmail into a new conversation. You can use Thread Splitter to select any number of emails in a conversation and “split” them into a new conversation with a new subject line. 

⚠️ Before getting started, it’s important to note that ‍you can’t merge threads together again after separating them.

Separate email threads in Gmail by following the steps below:

1. Download the free Streak extension

2. Open the email conversation in your Gmail inbox

3. Click the three-dot “More” menu at the top of the email

A screenshot of the overflow menu above an email in Gmail, with the "split thread" option highlighted
In the menu at the top of an email, click the three dots and select "split thread"

4. Select “Split Thread”

5. Select the message(s) you want to separate from the conversation

A screenshot of Streak's thread splitter feature with a check box next to each email so you can choose which emails to separate into a new conversation
Select the emails you want to move into a new thread

6. Click “Move Messages to New Thread”

7. Enter a subject line for the new email thread and click “Done”

a screenshot of Streak's thread splitter asking you to enter a new subject line for the new email conversation
Create a subject line for the new email thread

Once you’ve separated the emails, you’ll find the new email thread with the subject line you entered in your inbox.

a screenshot of a Gmail inbox with the new conversation including the separated emails
Using Streak's thread splitter, you can separate the emails into two new threads with their own subject lines

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Common reasons to separate emails in Gmail

Thread Splitter can be a useful tool to help organize email conversations for both personal and professional use cases. If you’ve read this far, you likely already have a reason to separate emails from a conversation or thread in Gmail. 

Some of the most common reasons to separate an email from an existing conversation or thread in Gmail include: 

  • Support and Sales handoffs: When a customer support conversation reveals a sales opportunity, the Thread Splitter can separate the sales-related emails from the support thread for clearer communication.
  • Project management: In project discussions where multiple topics are covered in one thread, Thread Splitter can be used to create separate threads for each topic, keeping your project management conversations organized.
  • Departmental communication: When different departments of an organization are involved in one email conversation, Thread Splitter can separate emails into multiple threads for each department to focus on their relevant parts.
  • Improve follow-up: By breaking down a lengthy thread, users can focus on specific emails, making follow-up actions more straightforward and efficient.

Thread Splitter is 100% free to use! We’re sure you’ll find tons of uses for this, so let us know how you’re using the Thread Splitter on Twitter by mentioning @Streak.

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