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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?

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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 '13 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 '13 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 '16 at 19:03
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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.

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