I have been emailing my Gmail account error messages from a project I am working on.

I am trying to use Gmail filters/labels to sort out the class of errors. But because the subject line is basically always the same even if I have a specific filter for 3 known error cases, the label is applied to the conversation, instead of the specific message.

Therefore, all the errors get all the filters. I do not yet want to delete the errors, but would rather file them separately.

I have not yet used the NOT contains string yet, but that looks to be non-scalable as I get to the fourth or fifth error case I am done with handling.

Is there any option other than turning off Conversations for all my email? (I guess I could use one of my spare accounts to turn off conversations and do the work there but would be nice to have such an option).

  • 1
    Ever come up with a solution here? I am curious about the same thing. I want one specific set of messages to not thread while the rest of my email works as normal. Thanks, Bridget
    – user10764
    Commented May 10, 2011 at 18:54
  • @Bridget Nope, I just use my cats email account for those messages and left threading off there. She does not mind if I use it.
    – geoffc
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 9:45
  • 1
    Just went around this with ELMAH. The trick with that particular error source is to set the subject line to include the exception summary text, so each type of exception is threaded together. That way it's easy to separate (say) injection attack logging from things which are more interesting. The trick is that the subject line in your ELMAH config can be a String.Format template, with {0} being where the exception message is inserted into your subject line. So you can easily have "system name: exception type" threads.
    – philw
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 15:17
  • Sucks that this isn't possible
    – HaggleLad
    Commented May 2, 2022 at 12:00

3 Answers 3


I had a similar problem, the only way around it was to... first disable THREAD views, which you can do in Gmail > Settings > Conversation View => Turn off. After you do that you can search/create filters that will be applied to single emails and not threads.

  • Correct. If you do not disable "Conversation View" you will end up with whole conversations being put to your filtered labels (folders), not just the filtered messages. Upvote.
    – Ross
    Commented Jan 20, 2018 at 7:43
  • 7
    If I create a filter while conversation view is disabled, and then re-enable it, will the filters continue to operate on individual messages? Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 20:58

How about trying to solve the problem on the "other end", i.e. the system that generates error messages.

By adding in a date-time stamp or an ID number (incremental count) of the errors, then you would generate unique subject lines that would be sorted as unique conversations.

This could be done programmatically if you wrote the system yourself, or maybe the system has some settings or feature that would turn on unique error reports.


No, there is no way you can do it and it is extremely unlikely to have a JavaScript/Extension for such a feature.

The only way you can do this is (as you already said in the Question) by Going to

GMail>Settings>General>Conversational View as shown in the screenshot:

Turn the GMail Conversational view on and off

and then when you are done, you can undo it.

Alternatively you can visit m.gmail.com (the mobile version of Gmail) as Conversation View is not supported there at all.

  • 1
    The OP asks: “Is there any option other than turning off Conversations for all my email?” How does your solution answers this question?
    – Alex
    Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 9:02
  • @Alex I have edited my answer, I think it's fine now.
    – user19533
    Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 9:09

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