I like how Mail groups related messages together in a "conversation", but I hate how it always by default shows the oldest unread message in a thread--even if it is months old! This has gotten me on a couple of occasions where I will see a new email come in, click it, and see a message from months ago, but not realize that I'm not seeing the one that just came in.

Anyone know how to make Mail always scroll to the top/newest message in a conversation when clicking a message?

2 Answers 2


In Mail preferences, at the bottom of the Viewing pane, under Viewing Conversations, there is a checkbox to Show Most Recent Message At The Top. I think that's what you want.

  • Unfortunately this just swaps the chronological order. It doesn't affect which message of a conversation is displayed when you select the message in the list.
    – devios1
    Dec 18, 2013 at 21:43
  • Interestingly, if I check "mark all messages as read when opening a conversation" it gets closer to working in that the next time I click the conversation it will scroll to the top, but still not the first time I click it!
    – devios1
    Dec 18, 2013 at 21:47
  • It worked for me. I think when you open a conversation it just shows the most recent unread message, which is neat.
    – Anael
    Oct 10, 2016 at 19:03

You can also use defaults, the command-line interface for user preferences. Open the Terminal app and type:

defaults write com.apple.mail ConversationViewSortDescending -bool true

If you are using Mojave, you will first have to grant full disk access to the Terminal app.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .