I’ve been part of a conversation at work that’s gone in a really weird direction and want to forward the entire thread to HR. Can I do that in Gmail?
First off, it’s clear that you have what Google calls “Conversation View” set in Gmail. It’s a great feature that lets you have Gmail automatically group a series of emails into the same discussion and makes it really easy to track multiple, disparate discussions simultaneously. Without conversation view enabled (Tip: It’s in Settings in Gmail) you would just see each email as a separate entity and a discussion of a dozen messages would be a dozen entries on your Gmail screen and, yes, a dozen forwards to HR.
Turns out that while there are some oddities with how Gmail works with conversations if you’re trying to extract an individual message for printing, deleting or similar, there is a very simple way that you can forward along an entire discussion thread. Even better, it automatically does its best to remove any quoted email to make the result as succinct as possible.
Now whether you should forward something to HR and whether you have permission to do so with other people’s email messages, well, that’s something best left to your human resources team to advise you on, but technologically, yes, you can do it.
First off, here’s a discussion I started in Gmail about my daughter’s school. As you can see below, there are 10 messages in the thread:
Click to move into the conversation and you can see the individual messages:
Here’s where you need to be a bit of an explorer because the Gmail interface puts buttons and menus in various places. See the arrow on the lower right, for example? The triangle adjacent to it pops up a menu of options for responding, forwarding, etc. Heck, you can delete an individual message in a thread from that menu if you so desire [which is how you can prune a conversation thread to be just those messages that are relevant if you’re so desirous]
That, however, isn’t the menu you want.. Above the entire conversation display are more options and menus, one of which is simply labeled “More”. Click on it:
The last entry – highlighted – is what you want to utilize: Forward all.
Choose that and you’ll get a new email ready to send that is a summary of every other email message in the conversational discussion thread, as shown:
And that’s all there is to the task. Rather easy, once you know where to find that Forward all feature!
Pro tip: While you’re here, please check out our extensive Gmail Help area. Lots of useful tips and tricks!