When I forward a message or reply to a message in Gmail, the Gmail inbox does not show these messages as forwarded or replied to.

There is no indicator at all, so I can't tell if I have already forwarded or replied to a certain message, which is very important for me, especially when I need to handle with many business emails on a daily basis.

What I want to have, is the same indicator / marker for forwarded and replied to messages as the one in Outlook:

Outlook 2003 Reply Indicator

Outlook 2003 Forward Indicator

Outlook 2010 Reply Indicator

The only feature in Gmail which is somewhat close to what I'm trying to achieve, is the conversation counter, which doesn't necessarily indicate I have replied to a message:

Gmail conversation counter

I know the conversation view can be disabled, however it wouldn't solve my problem; while it will split conversations to single messages, I will still have to label every message I have forwarded or replied to, and since every message is on its own, I wouldn't be able to set a filter to detect messages I have replied to (which is possible in conversation view).

I have found this Google Groups discussion regarding the lack of this feature in Gmail. However, there is no solution for this problem at the moment, and it doesn't look like a similar feature will be added to Gmail anytime soon.

Any ideas on what can be done to achieve something similar to what I'm looking for?

  • The "me" in your conversation counter screen shot indicates that there's a message in the conversation that originated from you.
    – ale
    Aug 16, 2012 at 14:56
  • I know, but I want to know whether I have replied to the last message that was sent to me in the conversation. See my (edited) answer below.
    – amiregelz
    Aug 17, 2012 at 0:16

2 Answers 2


This is the best way I have found to make an automatic forwarded and replied to messages indicator / marker in Gmail - based on a filter (conversation view must be enabled):

  1. Go to Settings -> Labels and create two new labels: Replied and Forwarded. You can also shorten their names to RPL and FWD. It doesn't matter what you label them, just as long as it has meaning to you.

    You can also colorize the labels as you want - e.g Green for Replied and Blue for Forwarded.

  2. Go to Settings -> Filters and create a new filter with only one condition - From: me. Make sure you apply the label to your inbox.

    • You can also create two more filters for messages containing the words Re: and Fwd: in the subject, but some messages arrive with the word Re: in the subject, and some people delete the word Re: from the subject when they reply to a message.

However, this does not solve the problem entirely; for example, if I reply to a certain message, and the recipient replies back, then the conversation is still labeled as Replied. That's the reason conversations that include (someone, me) only indicate I have replied at least one time in the conversation.

If the conversation view is disabled - I won't have the problem mentioned above - but I won't be able to automatically mark / tag / label messages I have replied to, because my reply is not part of a conversation, and therefore I can't apply any generic filter to messages I have replied to.


This is what I do...

When I reply or forward the email I then archive the conversation. I do make sure that a filter added a label, or I added a label manually. When the conversation is archived it is no longer in the inbox. If another party responds to the email then Gmail brings the entire conversation back to the inbox. Thus starting the cycle over again.

If I have a need to check back with the recipient I either add a task, or leave the conversation in the inbox with a star.

Another approach is to use the Gmail labs Multiple Inboxes, you can then see all the recent conversations with a specific label. If you add is:starred to the search query you can limit it to only this conversations you starred.

  • Doesn't stuff in Gmail labs tend to break? I believe many people can't afford to let Labs play experiments with their inbox and corrupt it in the process.
    – Pacerier
    Apr 18, 2014 at 4:28
  • The lab items I mentioned in this answer are still working 20 months later. Apr 18, 2014 at 11:01

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