Gmail groups email with the same subject line into a conversation view (threaded).

I've never had an issue with this functionality until I began using an online fax service (myfax). I can't label / store email from the fax service into different folders because it is all grouped up.

I am looking for a way to programatically break conversation view for incoming mail from a particular sender. I've gone through all the filter settings and looked at a lot of the Google Mail API.

Is there a simple script I can run to pop and account by itself perhaps, add a time-stamp to the subject line and automatically forward it on? (MyFax gives me the option of changing the mailbox incoming fax notifications are sent to)

This shouldn't be too hard but I'm finding nothing in the way of doing this. Please help!

Note: MyFax does not allow any configuration of their outgoing emails (i cannot set it up on their end).

3 Answers 3


Gmail now has a feature to disable conversation view. Its under the General tab in settings. Unfortunately it disables conversations for the entire account. There's no way to selectively break conversations. The best you could do would be to use IMAP to access the problematic messages and rewrite them.

  • 1
    Still havent found a way to do that automatically. I guess I could write a python / perl script to do it though. Thanks.
    – Aaron
    Aug 20, 2010 at 13:58

Also try IFTTT.

This allows you to set up triggers that cause actions for all sorts of things that happen on the internet. In this case, you can automatically forward the email with the date received added to the subject thereby creating a new conversation for each email.

Sadly, gmail won't forward to an arbitrary email address so it's probably not possible to automatically delete the original at the moment (using a filter and forward). This will lead to some clutter sadly but was the best alternative I found. For me, the above is fine since my problem is that opening conversation filled with deleted emails would trigger a request for all the deleted emails which was typically very slow.

One way to do the above using IFTTT is:

  • Sign up for an account
  • Create a new recipe
    • Click Create
  • Choose the trigger (You could use email here instead)
    • Click this
    • Type gma
    • Click gmail
    • Click new email from search
    • In your gmail account, find a search that matches the emails you want
      • Advanced search is accessed with a down arrow in the input box
    • Paste the search query from your gmail account
  • Choose the action
    • Click that
    • Type gma
    • Click gmail
    • Click send an email
    • Type your email in to address
    • At the end of subject click the plus button
    • Click recieved at
    • Click add ingredient
    • Make the subject pretty
  • Finish
    • Click create action

Anyone using an email provider that supports arbitrary email addresses for forwarding should set up a filter that forwards the email to IFTTT and deletes it. Then setup a recipe at IFTTT that uses the email trigger instead.

  • Bollocks. The first answer requires losing conversation view with all emails. Not worth it. The forum linked to in the second has the original poster telling people not to use Tarpipe. IFTTT is the most viable hack offered here (the only decent solution would be if there was an option in gmail). IFF is quite intuitive. My answer gives a name and a short summary which is more helpful than the noise of a google search. In answer to your question: type "e... m... a..." for both channel and trigger and you should see what you need. Hardly worth a down vote. That said, I'll update my answer. Apr 12, 2014 at 3:59
  • I tried to edit my comment above but can't. I was partially mistaken. Sorry. Gmail won't allow arbitrary addresses for forwarding so using the email channel is not an option. Using the Gmail channel is a workaround and they appear to be looking into better approaches. Apr 12, 2014 at 5:17
  • Unfortunately IFTTT has dropped support for Gmail, due to some changes to the Google API.
    – Marco
    Jul 13, 2019 at 8:33

I found this answer in an Evernote Forum recommending the Tarpipe service:

Recently, I found a service called Tarpipe (tarpipe.com) that makes this process a lot easier. Tarpipe sets up a workflow that will process incoming e-mail and change the Subject line in any way that you choose and then forward it on to another e-mail address. So, for example, you have a newsletter that you get each week and you would like to save in Evernote. If you use Gmail, you go to the 'Create Filter' dialog and set up a filter that selects this email from your incoming e-mail.

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