How To Sort Gmail by Date, Subject, Name

To sort Gmail by date, subject, and name among important work emails, social updates, and newsletters, you can utilize Gmail's native features or use an email sorter app like Clean Email. Continue reading this article for a detailed guide.

Searching and Filtering: Organize Gmail Without Sort Buttons

Unlike some traditional email services, Gmail doesn't provide the conventional "sort by" buttons for organizing your inbox. So, does it mean that it's not possible to sort Gmail inbox by date, subject, or name? Not exactly!

Instead of sort buttons, Google's mail service relies on its powerful search and filter functions to help you efficiently organize Gmail messages. This approach might seem different at first, but it offers great flexibility because you can combine multiple search terms to pinpoint the exact emails you need.

We speculate that the main reason why Gmail doesn't include sort buttons is that the mail service wants to keep things simple for casual users, minimizing the risk of a user accidentally changing the order of their inbox and struggling to revert it back. At the same time, its search functionality empowers power users to create complex queries and filter combinations that can achieve much more than sorting alone.

How to Sort Gmail by Date

Remember how we said that Gmail doesn't have sort buttons? Well, it actually does have one button that lets you sort messages by date, but you could easily miss it. The button we're talking about masquerades as the email counter on the right-hand side of your inbox.

When you click on it, you reveal a dropdown menu with two options: Newest (default) and Oldest. You can click on Oldest to see your 50 oldest emails displayed first, sorted chronologically. To revert to the default setting, just click on Newest in the same dropdown menu.

Click on Newest in the same dropdown menuClick on Newest in the same dropdown menu

But what if you want to sort email by date so that you can quickly check messages received on or around a specific date? Here's how you can accomplish this:

  1. Click the Show search options icon in the search bar.
  2. Click the Show search options iconClick the Show search options icon
  3. Locate the parameter labeled Date within and click on the field next to the calendar icon.
  4. Click on the field next to the calendar iconClick on the field next to the calendar icon
  5. Select the specific date from which you want to sort messages.
  6. Click on the dropdown menu labeled 1 Day to define the time range around your selected date.
  7. Confirm by clicking the blue Search button.
Confirm by clicking the blue Search buttonConfirm by clicking the blue Search button

For example, if you select 3 days from the dropdown menu, you will see emails from 3 days before your selected calendar date, the selected date itself, and 3 days after the selected date.

Notice that whenever you use this feature, something like after:2024/04/07 before:2024/04/14 appears in the search bar. This is a search filter, and it represents another way to modify the Gmail order by date. You can enter similar search filters directly in the search bar to achieve the same results without using the Date within feature.

The format for these search filters is quite straightforward and intuitive. Use the "after:" keyword followed by the date in the "YYYY/MM/DD" format and combine it with the "before:" keyword followed by the date in the "YYYY/MM/DD" format.

💡 Note: You can also use only the "after" or "before" keyword.

How to Sort Gmail by Subject

Sorting Gmail by subject is an effective way to find specific emails related to a particular topic or conversation. The good news is that Gmail's search function allows you to easily sort emails by subject using relevant keywords from the same search options window we used in the section above:

  1. Click the Show search options icon in the search bar.
  2. Type your subject keyword in the Subject search field.
  3. Confirm by clicking the blue Search button.
Confirm by clicking the blue Search buttonConfirm by clicking the blue Search button

📌 Tip: To further narrow down your search results, combine the steps to sort Gmail by subject with the date search as described in the previous section. This will help you find specific emails related to a particular topic within a given time frame.

How to Sort Gmail by Name (Sender)

Now that you've mastered sorting by date and subject, let's explore how to find messages from a particular person:

  1. Click the Show search options icon in the search bar.
  2. Enter the sender's name in the From search field. If you don't remember it from the top of your head, you can check your Google Contacts or start typing initials, and Gmail will suggest matching contacts.
  3. Confirm by clicking the blue Search button.
Sort Gmail by NameSort Gmail by Name

This will display all emails from the specified sender. For more ways to sort Gmail by sender name, check out our comprehensive guide on how to sort Gmail by sender.

Clean Email: A Smarter Way to Sort Gmail by Date, Subject, Name, and More

Clean Email is an email sorter app for Gmail and other email services that offers extensive message-sorting capabilities.

When you connect it with your Gmail inbox (it takes just a few clicks to do so, and your privacy and security are respected from start to finish), it automatically groups messages by Sender (name and email), and you can pick from several other grouping options, including Email Address, Subject, Date, or Recipients, just to name a few.

Group Unread Gmail emails in Clean EmailGroup Unread Gmail emails in Clean Email

Once your messages are grouped, Clean Email offers numerous sorting options to help you further organize your emails. For example, if you group messages by Subject, you can choose from the following automatic sorting options for Gmail messages. Click the Newest on Top button to open the options menu:

  • Subject (Z-A)
  • Subject (A-Z)
  • Number of messages (High to low)
  • Number of messages (Low to high)
  • Total size (Large to small)
  • Total size (Small to large)
  • Newest on Top
  • Oldest on Top
Automatic sorting options for Gmail messages in Clean EmailAutomatic sorting options for Gmail messages in Clean Email

With these options, you can easily find, manage, and organize your emails in a way that best suits your needs. I personally often group messages by Sender and sort them so that the senders who have sent me the highest number of messages are displayed first.

This way, I can quickly identify and manage the most frequent senders in my inbox, which is particularly helpful when dealing with subscriptions, newsletters, or notifications. By addressing the emails from the biggest senders first, I can make my inbox significantly cleaner without spending a lot of time.

I also sometimes sort Gmail by size, which helps me quickly identify and remove large emails or attachments that are taking up valuable inbox space. Thanks to this, I have been able to keep using the free Gmail plan instead of having to add yet another subscription to my monthly expenses.

In addition to its powerful sorting features, Clean Email offers other useful tools to help you manage your inbox, such as:

Cleaning Suggestions feature in Clean EmailCleaning Suggestions feature in Clean Email
Smart Folders feature in Clean EmailSmart Folders feature in Clean Email
Stop spam emails with Screener feature in Clean EmailStop spam emails with Screener feature in Clean Email

And for messages you simply want to reply to or forward, Clean Email makes it possible to do so directly from its interface, eliminating the need to switch back to Gmail.

How to Sort Gmail by Date, Subject, Name - FAQs

How do you sort emails in Gmail?

To sort emails in Gmail, use the search bar to filter messages by criteria like sender, subject, or keywords. For a more advanced sorting experience, the Clean Email app can organize your messages into smart categories automatically, making it easier to manage your inbox efficiently.

How to sort by subject in Gmail?

To sort by subject in Gmail, go to your inbox, click on the dropdown arrow in the search bar at the top, enter the subject in the "Subject" field, and hit search to see all emails related to that subject.

How to sort Gmail by oldest first?

Gmail displays messages in chronological order by default, with the most recent messages at the top. You can sort emails by oldest first by pointing to the number of messages above your inbox, then clicking "Oldest" to see the oldest emails first. However, if you only have one page of mail in your folder, this will not work because you may easily scroll to the bottom and work your way up in that case.

How do I sort my emails by date?

To know how to sort emails by date, simply use the calendar and date columns to set the start and finish dates. Gmail will present the date range based on when the supplied date falls “after” or “before.” You can modify a Gmail sort by date fix until you have found the exact date range you desire.

Try Clean Email for Free
*****4.4based on 1011 user reviews
Get Started
InboxClean Your Mailbox

Tools like Quick Clean and Smart Views to help you quickly clean out an overloaded inbox

Mute unwanted emailsUnsubscribe

Keep unwanted emails out of your Inbox by unsubscribing - even from email lists that don’t have an unsubscribe link

Clean your emailsKeep it Clean

Automate repetitive with Auto Clean rules to archive emails as they become old or sort them into folders

Use filters to find emails you want to clean.Arrow
Screener FeatureArrow
Auto CleanArrow
Sender SettingsArrow