In Mail 5.0, when I view a message, it's marked as read. No surprises there.

When I get a few messages in the same thread, and I view the thread, the latest message is marked as read, but I can't figure out how to mark the earlier messages as read.

I've tried scrolling down to make sure Mail knows I've seen all the messages in the thread. I've also tried clicking the drop-down button to reveal all of the messages in the thread (in the middle "preview" column, or whatever it's called) and highlighting the message that's still marked as unread.

The only thing that seems to work is to right-click and select Mark > As Read.

Is that just a bug or am I doing something wrong?

3 Answers 3


In case you didn't know, when viewing the different messages in the right reading pane, if you select any of the individual messages they will be marked as read. This gives you the ability to mark some as read and leaving others marked as unread.

  • Yes, I can mark each individual message as read, but the thread as a whole is still marked unread. Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 21:57

If you Right-Click (or Control-Click) the thread itself in the list of emails in that box, there is a contextual menu item that says Mark > as Read.

This isn't a bug as much as it is a design decision. When you select the email in question, invariably you have more emails in that thread than you have screen real-estate. So it only marks those as read which you can see at the top of the screen or in full. Everything else is not read because you haven't seen them yet.

I hope that helps and explains why they chose to do what they did.


Try using Command + A ( select all ), then right clicking > Mark > as Read/Un-Read.

You could also setup a "Smart Mailbox" to filter all unread messages, then use process above.

Hope that helps!

You must log in to answer this question.

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