How to Show Most Recent Message on Top of Mail Threads in iOS Mail

Dec 5, 2016 - 7 Comments

iOS Mail

The Mail app in modern versions of iOS adjusted mail threading behavior, so that the oldest message in an email thread appears at the very top of an email message. This chronological ordering means you have to scroll down within the email thread to see the most recent email messages received on an iPhone or iPad, which is fine for some Mail users but the adjustment may be unwelcome to others.

If you’d prefer to have email threads appear in reverse chronological order with the most recent messages appearing on the top of an email thread, you can toggle a settings switch in iOS to achieve that result.

Change Mail Threading to Show Most Recent Messages on Top in iOS

  1. Open the “Settings” app on the iPhone or iPad and go to “Mail”
  2. Look under the Threading section and find the switch for “Most Recent Message on Top” and flip that to the ON position
  3. iOS Mail threading show recent messages on top

  4. Exit Settings and return to Mail app to see the new reverse chronological message threading setting in effect

Many users may not even notice a difference here, you really have to be replying to and receiving a lot of email conversations to notice the change to begin with. Nonetheless, you’re not enabling anything particularly new, you’re simply setting the mail threading back to what it was like prior to the most recent iOS releases.

If you make the adjustment to reverse chronological mail threading and decide it’s not for you, you can easily reverse the setting by at any time by toggling the setting back to the off position.

Thanks to Lifehacker for the handy tip.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Colin says:

    The key thing is after you select “”Most Recent Message On Top”, you have to unselect the “Organize By Thread”.

  2. Steven J Schmidt says:

    I had this happen in the past where “Most Recent Message on Top” was checked but the emails were flipped and it has happened today again. This time powering off the phone and powering it back on did not fix it. It is still showing the oldest part of the thread on top and I have to scroll to the bottom to see what the latest reply is. It is quite a problem for me to respond to coworkers quickly. I wish my company was not so reliant on Microsoft products I really don’t like that company at all. I guess I really don’t like Apple at all either. Decisions are made by both companies that make my life harder not easier. If there is a permant fix out there please let me in on it.

  3. Michael BarDov says:

    Although I set the “show recent mails on top” in settings, I still get emails starting about 5 months ago on top and I have to swipe all the way to the recent emails.

  4. Amigalander says:

    I noticed mail on my Mac is upside down too as of Sierra. I briefly looked for a setting but couldn’t find it. How do you do this on the Mac?

    • Jane says:

      For Mac Mail app: Choose Mail > Preferences, click Viewing, then select or deselect “Show most recent message at the top.”

      hoping this message isn’t too late! I just found the solution to this!

  5. Alan says:

    IOS 9.3.5 only has an “Organise by Thread” switch.

  6. James says:

    Or use Spark – it’s a much better email app. :)

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