I often want to share an old email chain with a friend -- usually someone who was on on the chain in the first place.
Is there an easy way to send a "link" or otherwise share that email?
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There is no way to get a link or to share an email or thread with another person using just Gmail. Gmail gives you a unique URL in the address bar for each message thread but that URL is only accessible after you have logged in to your account, so another user would not be able to access the link.
Gmail Labs has a Create a Document feature but the document it creates only seems to include the last email in a thread and there is no easy way to copy the remainder of the thread into that document for easy sharing.
One possible solution would be to print the thread as a PDF and send that.
Another possible solution would be to Forward All the thread to an Evernote account and use Evernote's share by URL feature to privately share the note.
There may be other 3rd party web-apps that can achieve this - worth a Google.
I happened to need this feature to "reference" an old email with my colleagues. And I managed to do this with "rfc822msgid:" search operator.
Copy the Message-ID from the header of the message you want to reference, then search for it. For example, the Message-ID is
firstname.lastname@example.org and you can search for
rfc822msgid:email@example.com in the Gmail search box. Gmail will assemble a URL for you in the browser address bar, like this:
You may want to remove
/u/0 part to make it a little more account-independent:
Then you can send this link to your friends. When they click the link, they will perform a search for that Message-ID in Gmail. And since the Message-ID is unique, they can get one, and the very email you want to reference and the thread in which the message resides.
Oh, this message must be in your friends' Gmail inbox first, of course.
While this question already has an accepted answer, I just found an alternative that for me, more closely satisfies the OP's question:
While you can't share URLs as @OrangeBox points out, you can share search queries. Using Gmail's Search Operators, I've found that it's usually pretty easy to return a single result from even a large body of emails.
So the approach would be to:
...if this person has the email in their inbox, they should be brought to a search results page with a single result, where they can easily click on the email to open it.
There may be better ways of arriving at a unique email search query, but this one is easiest to execute, imo.
if you click on print icon on top right of the email, it will open a page with print dialog, if you just disregard this panel and click cancel you can use the url for access the mail later on. For some reason there is another icon like open in a new window, but that one does not work if you copy/paste url to somewhere else, so for now I stick with print url.