Mark a Conversation or Individual Emails Unread in Gmail

When you open an email and don't have time to reply, mark it unread

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In the middle of an email thread, it's awkward to stop responding. If you're just glancing at a Gmail conversation and don't have time to respond, you'll want to keep that particular message in the thread in mind and visible in Gmail so you can continue reading later.

You can mark the email unread, of course, or star it perhaps—or rely on a hidden Gmail gem that lets you mark a thread unread only from a certain message onward.

Mark Individual Emails Unread in Gmail

To mark an individual email message unread in Gmail:

  1. Make sure conversation view is disabled. To disable conversation view, click the Settings gear icon. Click Settings in the menu that comes up and go to the General tab. Select Conversation view off and Save Changes.
  2. Find and check or open the desired email.
  3. Select More in the toolbar and Mark as unread.

Mark Part of a Conversation Unread in Gmail

To mark as unread only part of a thread or just the latest message in Gmail:

  1. Open the conversation in Gmail.
  2. Make sure the message in the thread that you want to mark unread is expanded.
  3. If you cannot see the message, click its sender's name and preview.
  4. You can also select Expand all to the right of the thread.
  5. Click the down arrow next to Reply in the message's header area.
  6. Select Mark unread from here from the menu.

You can also mark the entire thread unread, of course, by expanding it and clicking the More button in the toolbar. Select Mark as unread to mark the entire thread as unread.