Sort Gmail by Subject, Size, Labels and Sender to Organize Your Inbox

Gmail search by size

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53 Responses

  1. Rajesh Kanuri @ TechCats says:

    Thanks for the share.. Coding is the best part which i always love to play with..

  2. JK says:

    Abhishek, thanks for the detailed information, it is really informative.

  3. Pete Soloway says:

    What an amazing number of posts, both hear and at myriad other sites, discussing a workaround for a dirt simple feature that should have been in GMail right from the start. I mean having to write code for a simple sort? Really??

    Does Google ever read any of this?

    • Misterfish says:

      Excellent site with useful ways to sort out Gmail’s virtually useless on-line email client. I cannot imagine how anyone with half a brain could think it un-necessary to have a sort by the different columns.
      I use Thunderbird as my client so as to merge all my email accounts, but Gmail’s genii insist that I have to go into gmail online to both delete old messages (max 100 at a time!!!!) and to see what gmail has suddenly started to consider spam and won’t pass on to T’bird.
      And now I find that gmail block my account every time I use my computer when away from home. Now how can that be justified?
      Anyone with a better email client, please post details!

    • Thunderbird is the best option we have. Apart from that here are my recommendations –

      Windows 10 Mail: If you want to have basic features, this is neat however it is available only on Win10.

      MailBird – It is a fantastic option if you are less concerned about privacy.

      Opera mail – free and good but needs Opera.

    • Misterfish says:


  4. Jason True says:

    Superb workarounds. But the point is, they are still workarounds. I am so gutted to have given all my mates my gmail email as my primary, I am sorely tempted to relocate to yahoo and just do an email-all to let them know the new address. Surprising how cra p google’s email product is, particularly given how good their other products are.

  5. Brandon says:

    Google doesn’t allow SORT because of their Google Adwords business model. If they allowed you to Sort, they wouldn’t be as able to serve up targeted ads to you based on your search query.

    I think this is a pathetic business model however, because removing the capability to Sort email makes email about 60% less useful. Having to remember what to “Search” for really is a backwards way to find emails you need.

  6. Pete Soloway says:

    Well that explains it pretty well and helps me decide that I’m going to have to lose GMail altogether.

  7. Mark Townsend says:

    Everything else about Google products makes me want to go buy some of their stock. But this one leap into the abyss of computer gobbley-gook convinces me that maybe Google is no different than most organizations: there must be some idiots in very high positions, who somehow have concluded that it is all right to ignore what their customers want.

  8. Jo says:

    This comment is to Google development only, and likely unread, but just to clarify nothing personal to any individuals or their comments.

    I understand the method used and I recently worked with individuals, just like the gmail developers, who were gung-ho, tally ho and yippie ki-yay in their insistance upon our private school’s switch from Outlook to Gmail until they screwed up by doing so and those individual Gmail inboxes were full of unsortable mail. Switched them back fast! Brilliant research and work!

    I “get” that it’s a search and not a “sort” engine, but it doesn’t work for mail; making your client do the work you should have done makes gmail a “0” for efficiency.

  9. Peter Realtor says:

    Tried Gmail for about 30 days and can’t get used to not having folders, sort by date/subject/email address, etc. Gmail missed the boat and I’ll be back to using Yahoo email.

    Labels are not the same as folders and it makes Gmail totally useless for 99% of the people that use it for work. Casual consumers may find it usable, but serious people won’t. So Google will be loosing who knows how many pair of eyes looking at email ads.

    Another very annoying “feature” is that it saves you email in real time every second. I’m a fast typist and 100% of the time it misses letters as I type in when it saves.

    I guess regressing back 20 years in email functionality is considered progress by Gmail. It’s time to fire their developers and hire ones that actually use it so they can listen to the users.

  10. Kris says:

    thank you for this info! I was so frustrated with gmail because of not being able to “mass delete” by sender…and now I can! much obliged!

  11. steven says:

    Thank you so much.
    This is very useful.

  12. Karen says:

    THANK YOU!!! Sorting by attachment is a lifesaver for my over quota mailbox!

  13. Sarah says:

    This was very helpful!!!

  14. Keith Harvey says:

    I do like GMail but the lack of inbuilt sorting obviously annoys many current users and repels potential customers. Google’s unbending stance puts the ‘rightness’ of their philosophy before the wishes of the users, an attitude common at Microsoft (who conditioned millions to think in menus, then forced them to use the ridiculous Office ‘ribbon’, high-handedly omitting a Classic View option) and at EBay (who scrapped their powerful wildcard search method and thus emasculated their search engine). Ignore our howls of protest and you’ll be punished in the market place. This Linux Mint PC I’m using has all-free software. Works beautifully, and comes from a product-responsive community who always stay in touch with their user base.

  15. Jay N says:

    Really did help – Thanks

  16. Sherwood Botsford says:

    How do I get sent messages to have labels that match the received ones? E.g. if I reply to a message that I labeled Foo, how do I get the reply to automatically get labeled foo so the conversation doesn’t show up in ‘has:nouserlabels’

    • Hello Sherwood,

      If I understand correct, you want to see received messages with same label. For that, switch on the Conversation View from Gmail settings > General tab. With the conversation view, the replied mail will have same label as the received mail and both will be shown in a thread.

      To search for only replied mails which particular label, use the search – in:sent label:your_label

  17. Paul says:

    I was so hopeful…. oh well. I copied/Pasted the code … and got the error message at the bottom.. any thoughts?

    !function(){function e(e){var t,n,a,r,l=e.getElementsByTagName(“td”);for(a=0;a<l.length;a++){if("yX xY "==l[a].className)for(t=l


    n[0].innerHTML;if(l[a].hasAttribute("role")&&"link"==l[a].getAttribute("role"))for(t=l[a].getElementsByTagName("div"),r=0;re?-1:e>t?1:0}function n(n){var“tr”),0);if

    (a.length){for(var r=a[0].parentNode,l=[],g=0;g<a.length;g++)l[g]=[e(a[g]),a[g]];for(l=l.sort(t),g=0;g<l.length;g++)r.appendChild(l[g][1])}}for

    (var a=document.getElementsByTagName("table"),r=0;r<a.length;r++)if("F cf zt"==a[r].className){n(a[r]);break}}();


    VM11345:6 Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property '0' of undefined
    at e (:6:2)
    at n (:12:68)
    at :14:96
    at :14:111
    at Object.InjectedScript._evaluateOn (:878:140)
    at Object.InjectedScript._evaluateAndWrap (:811:34)
    at Object.InjectedScript.evaluate (:667:21)e @ VM11345:6n @ VM11345:12(anonymous function) @ VM11345:14(anonymous function) @ VM11345:14InjectedScript._evaluateOn @ VM11336:878InjectedScript._evaluateAndWrap @ VM11336:811InjectedScript.evaluate @ VM11336:667

  18. grumpyprogrammer says:

    This is unbelievable that Google hasn’t bothered to add sorting to Gmail. It’s like building a car and not bothering with seats or windows. Sorting is an integral part of managing tabular data (listable data). Massive usability fail.

  19. Jose Mazcorro says:

    Great!, so easy although I am still looking for google to include the “sort by sender” option in their interface. I think that specially for those who are regular consumers this sorting is much prefered because we are looking for friends and frequently contact persons and not for conversations.

  20. Jerry L. says:

    If your code worked properly, it *would be* an excellent work-around for Google’s Failure.

    However, the sort-by-sender code you wrote does not seem to work. Can you explain in a step by step instructions how to use it? Pasting into the Address Bar makes no sense. It just returns a Google search result page. How do you tell it to execute the code?

    – Using Firefox browser v41 or 42
    – Login to my gmail account and display email on the page.
    – Copy and paste your code into the Address Bar.

    [CODE]!function(){function e(e){var t,n,a,r,l=e.getElementsByTagName(“td”);for(a=0;a<l.length;a++){if("yX xY "==l[a].className)for(t=l[a].getElementsByTagName("div"),r=0;r<t.length;r++)if("yW"==t[r].className&&(n=t[r].getElementsByTagName("span"),n.length))return n[0].innerHTML;if(l[a].hasAttribute("role")&&"link"==l[a].getAttribute("role"))for(t=l[a].getElementsByTagName("div"),r=0;re?-1:e>t?1:0}function n(n){var“tr”),0);if(a.length){for(var r=a[0].parentNode,l=[],g=0;g<a.length;g++)l[g]=[e(a[g]),a[g]];for(l=l.sort(t),g=0;g<l.length;g++)r.appendChild(l[g][1])}}for(var a=document.getElementsByTagName("table"),r=0;r<a.length;r++)if("F cf zt"==a[r].className){n(a[r]);break}}(); [/CODE]

    – RESULT: The page now displays a Google search results page as if I entered a search string into the Address Bar.
    "if" (and any subsequent words) was ignored because we limit queries to 32 words.

  21. Craig says:

    How is typing a sort scenario quicker, easier, more effective than being able to sort by COLUMN? This is the main reason I avoid using the online gmail web page. Google just doesn’t get it… gmail should stop trying to be Apple by forcing us to do what they think is a better way to work – it isn’t

  22. Benny says:

    The F12 > console > enter code thing is awesome.

    Is there a way to combine that with is:unread somehow?

    So to see all my UNREAD emails sorted alphabetically?

  23. Anne-Marie Shaffer says:

    I sorted using the code in #2, however, when I click on the emails, I get something different.

  24. Ben says:

    Hello, how to reverse sorting of sender? Thank you

  25. ChristianCommarmond says:


    I tried the sort by sender. It looks like it sorts, but if you click on an email, you will open the mail that was at this line before you sorted… So it looks like the sort does not take into account the internal identifyer of the email…

    So, it is useless and even dangerous…
    Sorry for the bad remark, but I nearly deleted very usefull mail .

    But I appreciate the work done.


  26. Kate says:

    this is SO helpful!!! I have been wanting to sort gmail by sender for YEARS.

  27. Karl says:

    How about sorting the entire Inbox by the “Date Of Last Reply”

  28. Anna says:

    Hello, I have been looking for a way to sort gmail alphabetically and I was so excited finding your site that post the most close answer for me. I am using chrome so I cut and paste your code into source window. Unfortunately the code didn’t work as I expected. There is no error, I got a “true” after I pressed return key. Can you let me know if I did anything wrong or the code needs to be updated? Really appreciate!

    • Anna says:

      Clarification – it didn’t work on any gmail folder (I tried several) but it is working on inbox. Is it possible to modify the code to make it work on different lable?

  29. Chewbacca2000 says:

    Wow, a date at the top of the article sure would help to know if this information is outdated and if Gmail ever got around to ushering itself into the 20th century

    • Abhishek Mandloi says:

      We keep the post published date at bottom of the article since we believe that the most important information should be the first i.e. article on top and rest all meta information at the bottom. Many sites (who do not publish news articles) follow this principal. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  30. Laurie Todd says:

    Open gmail
    1) If you have not already done so create folders for sender names and subject matter
    2) Empty trash folder
    3) Select Inbox
    4) Find a single message from the sender you require and hover pointer over it, a dropdown box will appear. Click in the email message icon at the bottom of the box then all the messages from your selected sender will be collated and listed in a single column in date order
    5) From first dropdown box at top of screen select All and all messages will now have a tick and be highlighted yellow, also a Trash bin icon will have appeared on the dropdown line above the messages.
    6) Select Trash and click, now all the sender messages will be transferred to the empty trash bin
    7) Now open the Trash folder and all the messages from a single sender will be there in date order
    8) Repeat action 4) and select All and in addition to tick & highlight there will now be a move to icon on the top line. When you click on move to a dropdown list of all your folders appears. Select which folder you want and click. then all your mails will be transferred to the selected folder and the trash box will be empty ready for another transfer of different sender files
    9) You can leave your inbox for weeks and still select and file hundreds of messages at once by this method

  31. There is a search operator for unlabeled messages: has:nouserlabels

  32. jon deaux says:

    Google’s insistence on forcing us to search for EVERYTHING instead of allowing us to scan a sorted list is why I now use a portable version of Thunderbird with the Lightning calendar plugin on a password protected flash drive.

    I can now sort emails any way I want while being able to scan a sorted list to find the email that I’m looking for.

    Google does not seem to understand that if you’re not sure of what you’re searching for, finding the correct keywords can be difficult to impossible.

  33. Just says:

    Google wants you to search because they save and sell the info they learn from your searches. THEY HAVE IT ALL.

  34. Jim says:

    Apple/Mac users- the Apple ‘Mail’ app included with OS X has long included the ability to sort by: Date, From, Size, Subject, To, Unread, and a couple other options including ascending and descending options.

  35. Kristen Damon says:

    Another reason you can’t sort, and it’s exactly why we WANT to sort: email takes up space, for which they can charge you if you go over your limit. Making it easier to sort, find and delete email is not on their priority list, and obviously they aren’t losing too many customers, so my suggestion is to view your email in Outlook. Boom. Problem solved.

    • rmpbklyn says:

      i tried that on the iphone but it stop synching. i use k-9 on android and it has sorting. but have not found other than outlook that has sort

  36. rmpbklyn says:

    you can use k-9 if you have android, it has sort button without coding
    however have not found the equivalent for ios/phone

  37. Paul says:

    I did this. It worked. But how do I undo it?

  38. Paul says:

    Now that ive done this. How do i Undo it?

  39. Paul says:

    How can i get my gmail back to normal after doing this?

  1. January 7, 2010

    […] have previously discussed how you can sort mails by size, labels and subject. But often we need to group similar mails to view the entire conversation from the specific sender […]

  2. January 19, 2010

    […] really messy to keep track of these files. More ever, there is no sorting facility in Gmail to sort messages by size or attachments. But, Search facility can come to little use here. Here is a collection 10 power tips to keep track […]

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