I recently discovered that in Gmail, by default, you star messages, not conversations. And that in the "starred" list, it shows the starred messages with their conversation, and not the conversation by itself.

It makes a difference because for example the date of the shown conversation will be the date of the one starred message, not the last one in the conversation.

In particular, if the conversation is no longer visible in the "starred" area, it will not be bumped by new messages! In practice, it means that I will see new messages in conversations marked as "unimportant", but I might miss new messages in conversations that I marked as "followed"!


  1. Find an old message (sent before yesterday)
  2. Star it
  3. Forward it to yourself today
  4. Check that the date of the conversation in the "starred" area is still the date of the old message, and not today

It doesn't matter if you apply the star in the message view or the conversation list (in the latter case, it effectively stars the last message of the conversation).

So what I need (from what I understand) is a way to have new messages in conversations with at least one starred message automatically starred.

Is there? Or should the "starred"/"followed" status be understood as an "acknowledged, don't show me again" label?

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1 Answer 1


Based on this thread from the google products forum, it is the intended behavior and there is no way to "bump" starred conversations when a new message arrives.

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