How To Forward Just One Part of an E-mail Chain in Gmail & Outlook

Email chains are either a useful way to track a conversation or a nightmare of confusion that gets in the way. Chances are, if you work for a large company or corporation it’s the latter. If you’re involved with clubs or groups it’s the former. Either way, you can forward just one part of an email chain in Gmail and Outlook so you can address specific points without all the confusion. This tutorial will show you how.

Email threads are particularly annoying when viewed on a phone. Both Gmail and Outlook do a credible job compressing them and highlighting the latest part of the conversation but the email can still be an untidy mess that takes longer than it should to unravel.

If you want to expand on a point or address something specific, it is possible to forward a single email within an email chain. This helps you make your point and ensure everyone reading it can follow what’s going on. It’s a useful trick to know, wherever or however you use email.

As Gmail and Outlook are so popular and I use them myself, I’ll use those as an example. Other email providers or email clients will likely have similar features.

Forward a single part of an email chain in Gmail

Gmail does a pretty good job of taming email threads by compressing them. When you read an email, you will see the last two threads in the chain along with a divider with a number in a circle. That number denotes the number of replies within the chain. You can click on the divider to open the chain and will see just the header for each. This does make navigating email chains easier but is still a hassle.

To forward just a single email in a chain, you can try this:

  1. Open the email chain within Gmail.
  2. Select the specific email you want to forward and open it.
  3. Select the three dot menu icon to the right of the specific email.
  4. Select Forward and complete the To field.
  5. Add your text to the email body as you need and hit Send.

If you want to reply to a specific email within a thread, you can do the above but select the small black arrow instead of the three dots. This automatically sets up the reply for you.

This also work with the Gmail app, with the conversation divided with the counter and the last two messages displayed in the clear. You can open the individual mail you want to forward and hit the three dot menu and forward from there.

Forward a single part of an email chain in Outlook

Outlook is another incredibly popular email app that is used a lot in business. As corporations are the most guilty of long email chains, it would be remiss of me not to include it here. If you’re using Outlook, you have to set up conversation grouping before you can forward an individual message.

In Outlook desktop or Office 365, try this:

  1. Open Settings within the main Outlook window.
  2. Select Reading and turn Caret Browsing to on.
  3. Select the individual mail to forward and delete the rest.
  4. Add the recipient and hit Send.

Deleting the rest of the mail is optional but does keep things tidy. It ensures the email you’re forwarding isn’t lost within the chain and stands out enough to be quickly read and understood.

You can do something similar in Outlook for the web:

  1. Open your Outlook inbox.
  2. Select the Settings gear icon in the top right.
  3. Select All Outlook Settings at the bottom of the slider.
  4. Select Show Emails as Individual Messages from Message Organization.
  5. Select Save at the top of the settings window.

Once set, you should be able to select the individual email from your Inbox and forward it as you would normally forward. It will not include the other elements of the email chain so should be easy to understand and follow.

You have similar forwarding option in the Outlook app but I don’t have an email chain to test.

I’m sure Yahoo, Thunderbird and other email clients and providers have similar options but Gmail and Outlook are the two I use most and have most experience with. If you know how to forward individual emails within a chain in other apps, please tell us about it below. It will not only help TechJunkie readers, it will help increase my own knowledge too!

One thought on “How To Forward Just One Part of an E-mail Chain in Gmail & Outlook”

Avatar Charles Cohen says:
I followed your advice. It didn’t work. In fact……why do I trust anything I find on the internet?

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