Save replies in same folder as source message (instead of always saving replies in the Sent folder)

In settings for Mail -> Send, is the option “Save copy of sent messages to “Sent” folder”.  When reading e-mails in the [global] Inbox(es), yes, I want replies saved to the Sent folder.  However, if a message was moved into another folder, I want replies saved in that same folder.  For example, I create subfolders under the Archive folder to group old conversations together (rather than leave them pollute the Inbox folder) by topic or source, like Archive -> Home Repair -> . When I get messages from that sender, I move them into that archive subfolder. That’s where their messages get stored. When I reply to their message, I want my reply in THAT SAME archive folder, not back in the Sent folder.

I want to save a copy of my sent messages as follows:
- If the message is in the Inbox, the sent copy goes into the Sent folder.
- If the message is somewhere else, the copy of the reply should be saved in the same folder
(not in the Sent folder).

Seems em Client does not provide me a decent and automatic method of organizing my replies. It is clumsy and error-prone to have users send a reply, select the Sent folder, and then move the reply to the non-Inbox folder where is the original message for the reply. Folders exist for organization. Not all users pollute the Inbox with every message they receive. They move messages into other folders, so the user may also want replies saved there, as well.

Yeah, I’ve seen the other similar threads where the response is “not possible”. Yes, it is. Other e-mail clients, like Outlook and Thunderbird can do this. It is not possible only if your programmers are never tasked with implementing the feature.

No, eM Client does not offer that option. Maybe this is because of the Conversation feature, in which all related (Sent) messages are displayed together irrespective of their location.

Having said that, I think this idea, or similar to the implementations in Evolution or Thunderbird, would be useful.

That assumes the user of em Client has conversation mode enabled (which it is, by default).  I turned it off.  Over a long time of e-mailing, I’ve found conversation mode to be unreliable due to the huge number of users of crappy e-mail clients (local or web clients) that do not add the References header.

The References header records the hierarchy of articles within a thread (and its subthreads).  It is what provide a tree hierarchy of articles in a discussion.  There are still many e-mail clients that do not add the References header.  The server doesn’t add this header.  The client adds it.  When a responder uses an e-mail client that omits the References header, their reply looks like it start a whole new thread (aka conversation). 

Some e-mail clients will fallback to use the Subject header on which to match and try to use date for order but that is not reliable.  Many users have overly short Subject headers, especially those accustomed to texting.  You get a whole bunch of unrelated message with a Subject of “Hello” threaded into the same conversation.

Although the References header is allow to line wrap (each subsequent line has a leading space character for continuation), it will get truncated if it surpasses 998 characters in length.  The starting/opening message’s MID header value is kept, the last N of MIDs for parent posts up a thread are kept, but MIDs for post 2 to N-1 are discarded to keep the References header to the RFC recommended length of 998 characters (actually 986 characters for the list of angle-bracketed delimited MIDs because the header name and delimiting space character are included, which is 12 characters for "References: ").  So, conversations that get really deep within any subthread eventually lose their tracking for hierarchy, and some posts start showing up at the wrong level.

Besides, showing a conversation is not the same as grouping all the related messages within the same folder.  I’m grouping e-mails that may not be between the same sender and recipients.  For example, I might be grouping together every contractor that is bidding on a home build.  I don’t want separate conversations.  I want to see all those bids on that project grouped together.  Likewise, when I’m replying to all those different contractors, I still want to see my replies grouped together with the e-mails from the contractors.

I get an e-mail.  It get moved into a folder that indicates what it is about.  I’m reading it while it is that non-Inbox folder.  I decide to reply to it.  Now I have to go into the Sent folder to move my reply from there over the folder with the originating message.  Business users have long used the option in Outlook to save replies in the same folder (if not in the Inbox).  This lets them organize their e-mails how they want, and that may not be by some unreliable conversation view.  Seems em Client really isn’t oriented to business-like use, even for organizing personal e-mails the same way, as is Outlook.

em Client is very good.  I find a lot that I like about it.  Being free (for a trial period, but with the limit of just 2 accounts) is nice to see how it works.  However, even if I decide to buy it, there are so many features missing from em Client that I’ve used in Outlook that having to pay for an e-mail client likely means that I will pay for Outlook, not em Client.

Yeah, Conversations is a bit of a love-hate feature. I use it, then I disable it, then I use it, . . . . 

I would also like to see more organizational features in eM Client. You have my vote.

I agree that his feature would be very useful. Outlook has it (see attached), and for people making extensive use of public folders, it’s a massive time saver. If I understand it correctly, Conversation View is just a filter for what you’re looking at and has nothing to do with the storage location of the messages.

Yes, the Conversation view is a filter of sorts; the sent messages are only saved in the Sent folder.

The system that eM Client uses with the Conversation view deprecates the need to save the reply message with the original because no matter where the message is in the folder tree, it will always be shown with the original. I have found the inclusion of drafts in the conversation to be a huge time-saver.

If you look at Thunderbird, threads do not include sent messages, so in that instance you would need to have the reply saved in the same folder in order for it to be included in the thread.

And of course your scenario where you are using public or shared folders, eM Client’s system is an issue as the other members will not have access to your replies.

And of course your scenario where you are using public or shared folders, eM Client’s system is an issue as the other members will not have access to your replies.

Yes. But, as I say, this feature is not purely about filtering which messages you see, but also about saving time when messages are being stored in non-standard locations and not having to move them manually.

I also would vote for this. It’s one of the features that keeps me in outlook because of the way I manage all of my email into categories. The conversation view is occasionally helpful, but it misses things too often to trust.

Yep, me too.
I’ve purchased eM Client because I had too many log-in issues with MS Office/Outlook.
I love it, with the need to save replies/forwards to the same folder being the only thing I’d really want to see addressed.

I too would very much appreciate this feature. I’m still considering the Pro version, but this would be a no-go. Like many serious email users, I have many accounts, business, personal, hobby, interests etc. While rules might fix this, that’s a pain with 20-30 email accounts.

eM Client has gone a different direction. As I said above, the Conversation view deprecates the need to save the reply message with the original.

I agree with others in this thread, conversation view is occasionally helpful, but I turn it off and on depending on what I am looking for. When I’m looking for something that isn’t found easily by that or searches, it helps to be able to scan a list of emails, and replies, that I have organized into a specific topic folder.

Conversation mode, which is a search filter, is NOT a replacement for saving e-mails together, sent and received, into the same folder. I already mentioned on Jun '19 the failing of using the References headers because some clients don’t use it and the loss threading due to truncation of that header, and using the Subject header as a fallback means grouping unrelated message that happen to have the same Subject string.

There is also a business need to keep messages together. Conversation mode only works within the client. If the message stored is exported, there is no conversation mode outside the client.

Conversation mode requires more computing power to do the search filtering or tagging across folders than simply grouping the messages together. I cannot see code to group or tag all messages in a conversation (the premise of such is dependent on the Received header which means the linking can be fragile or broken) using less code than an “Save sent message with original” using more code, especially since it is only performed on a send operation rather than having to be active all the time.

Conversation mode is not a per-folder setting, either. It’s either on in ALL folders or it is off in ALL folders. Just because I get new e-mails in my Inbox doesn’t mean I want them cluttered with all old messages. eM Client does not have per-folder view settings. I can’t even configure the Inbox, Trash, and Spam folders to only show the first 3 lines of each message as text-only, and allow full preview mode in other folders. I’d like to see the first few lines of each message to know if it is something I want to see (and, no, the Subject is hardly sufficient to know what is the content of a message). In the Spam folder, I’d like to see the first few lines to see if there are false positives, but I don’t want to render to view the entire message. And spam or malicious messages might get deleted, so the same for the Trash folder. All the other folders, especially those that I create, are safe to preview the message.

Also, I might decide to delete some messages that were part of a thread (aka conversation) because they were spam, junk, garbage, duplicates, or other reason. So, obviously I don’t want to see those in a conversation.

If conversation mode was such a supreme alternative to grouping sent with received, why is the option even disabe-able? It would be something everyone would want, so non-coversation mode wouldn’t even be offered. If that were true, lots of users would scrap em Client as rude and an unmanageable client.

Incorrect. If you select a conversation and choose Save As, it will save the whole conversation as eml files together in the same directory. No other email client can do that.

Simply select the conversation then right-click and choose Tag. It will tag all the messages in the conversation irrespective of their folders. No other email client can do that.

No, but that is the point. You do not have to manually move your messages around to keep related messages together. Conversation mode displays them in one group irrespective of where they are within a single account.

So delete them. Messages in the Trash and Junk folders are not included in conversations for obvious reasons. eM Client is good, but it cannot include something that is not there.

The option to disable it is there for people just like you. eM Client does give you options.

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Thanks for the info about saving a conversation in its entirety. However, that means I have to go to each conversation and save it, then go to the next conversation and save that one, and repeat ad nauseum for each conversation. Or can I select all conversations and have them ALL get exported but EACH into its own [sub]folder? Conversation export, although each thread is kept together, would be worthless if I had to export them one at a time. I’ve used other products that, yep, had a feature, but it was only available with repeated operations.

Thanks for the heads up that Trash and Junk folders are NOT included in conversations. I wouldn’t want deleted or suspect messages appearing in a conversation.

Just to be clear, are the above available in the free version of em Client?

While you’re helping, although a side issue from the original topic, can I have different views on different folders? As mentioned, I’d like a 3-line text-only preview of messages in the Inbox, Trash, and Junk folders, but a full text/html preview of a selected message in other folders. This was possible in MS Outlook although modifying or creating views to apply wasn’t intuitive to newbies. I’d have to define or modify view templates, and then select them for each folder (that I wanted different than the default view).

If the References header is missing (not all local clients add it, and it’s missing in some webmail clients) or gotten truncated (due to maximum header length, especially with long discussions), how is conversation mode going to work? In every other e-mail client that I’ve used, lack of a References header or its truncation ended up breaking a conversation into pieces. Some clients fallback to using the Subject header, but that is unreliable and can mix together unrelated conversations (e.g., too many users simply say “Hi”). Does em Client somehow maintain its own tracking history of messages, like tagging them the moment they arrive so, at least, the truncation problem is avoided (but not the missing References header)? If a message is missing the References header, can I somehow in em Client flag it as part of a conversation and where it appears in the conversation? Likewise can I exclude a message from a conversation. I might want to keep a message, but it is unwanted within a conversation.

em Client does give me the option to disable/enable conversation mode. It does not however, from the issue first addressed, give me the option “Save sent messages in same folder as original”. I used to use MS Outlook as my e-mail client, but decided to stop paying annually for that subscriptionware (part of Microsoft 365). It had the where-to-save option, and I found it very helpful.

Thanks for the replies.

Yes, the behavior is the same with either license.

Wondering how you would do it in another application with threads? You would have to export each thread individually, would you not?


Unfortunately not.

You are going to find much the same except that eM Client will not use Subject alone. Two messages with the Subject: Hi, will not be grouped unless they contain other common headers.

That is a great idea, but no, eM Client does not offer that. This is a big issue with messages especially that come from a ticketing system. The software used sends each reply as a brand new unrelated message and it is very difficult to group them in any email client.


And that brings us full circle to why eM Client probably does not have that option - it is deprecated because, when using Conversations, the sent message does not have to be in the same folder as the original for them to be grouped in the message list. Email clients that only offer threading need the sent message to be in the same folder as the received one in order for them to be threaded. eM Client does not.

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Me: Conversation export, although each thread is kept together, would be worthless if I had to
export them one at a time.

Gary: Wondering how you would do it in another application with threads? You would have to export each thread individually, would you not?

I haven’t even bothered trying to export conversations in this or other e-mail clients. Instead, I export the folder. With clients that have “Keep sent in same folder as original”, I just export the folder because all the sent & received messages would’ve been kept together. Alas, there is no hierarchy or threading, as with conversations, within that external export folder, but the messages are kept together. Which messages (sent and received) are grouped are based on the granularity of the folders that I create and in which I keep related messages.

For example, for each item that I sell at Craigslist, I create a new subfolder for just that sale. All inquiries (incoming messages) are kept in a separate folder for that sale. I can even use rules to move inquiries to a folder for a particular sale. When I reply to one of those inquiries, I want it saved with the other messages on that sale. After the sale is complete, I delete any messages in that folder other than from the buyer and myself. I export the folder, so I separately archive all messages between the buyer and myself regarding that sale. I don’t need them occupying space in the message store in the e-mail client. I don’t even need them backed up in the e-mail client’s backup, so I delete the folder after exporting it. I only need them for awhile, like a year, in case there is a problem with the sale. I want them exported to a file format that is independent of the e-mail client’s file format, and I want all headers included, not just some common ones.

There is a folder selection when exporting messages. Alas, I have to wade through a bunch of menus before I get to select the folder. There is no Export/Import function in the right-click context menu of a folder in em Client. If I export a folder, will all conversations in other folders get copied, or do just the messages actually in that folder get exported? I suspect the latter, which means the conversations get broken (missing) in the export. The export of the folder to outside the e-mail client would be an incomplete archive. While, as you mention, I can export a conversation (one at a time), this can get tedious. Many buyers are using mobile devices, and their e-mail clients do not add the References header. I’ve seen the problem with webmail clients, but mobile e-mail clients are horrendous. Seems the legacy e-mail app programmers are not coding the mobile apps, but some newbie team is coding those that don’t have the experience with e-mail protocols.

You are correct. But instead of export, right-click and choose Save As. Or just select the messages or conversations and drag them to a folder in Explorer.

If you select all the messages in the folder and choose Save As, or drag them to Explorer, it will include all the messages in the conversations regardless of what folders they may be in.

Okay, thanks for the information. Looks like they put more thought into how to handle conversations than I’m used to in other e-mail clients, but seems to compensate for the “Save sent in same folder as original” option.

I’ll have to wait until I get more e-mails from mobile and webmail clients, the ones that too often omit the References headers, to see how em Client handles conversation mode with those. Since all incoming e-mails are new e-mails, it was the point of the References header to keep a thread linked together. Wonder how em Client does it in the absence of a References header.


Just found Conversations | eM Client. Not promising for conversation mode if all em Client is using is the Subject header. That leads to lumping together unrelated messages just because they have the same string in the Subject header. Too often the Subject header is not unique for unrelated messages. Sometimes the Subject header is empty, so all messages with an null string for Subject would get grouped together. Some senders, especially from mobile platforms, use overly terse Subject strings, so it is easily possible for different unrelated threads to have the same subject.

I don’t have a clue why they would be using the MID (Message-ID) header since that is required to be unique for every message. Every message in a thread (conversation) has a unique MID. Tracking replies is a local-only function of the e-mail client, and only associates a message with another message, but only on a send. Date would only assist in ordering the hierarchy of messages whether related or not to a thread. List of Senders (an aggregate of the To and CC header) would be only a partial list, or empty, when BCC is used. BCC is a pseudo header stored only locally to add those recipients to the To and CC fields for an aggregate list of recipients where each is specified in a RCPT-TO command from the client to the server. For N recipients, N RCPT-TO commands are send by the client to the server, and 1 DATA command to send the body of the message. Then the server handles sending that 1 copy to N recipients. None of the recipients will see what was specified in the sender’s local e-mail client for the BCC field (which is not a header in the sent message). There’s also the mention that em Client and Gmail’s webmail client will group differently into a conversation.

Sure would feel a lot more secure about em Client’s conversation threading if they had mentioned using the References header which has been around since 1982 (RFC 822, sections 4.1 and 4.6.2) just for this purpose of grouping related messages into a thread (aka conversation). Regardless of all the other heuristics (which are superfluous when there is a References header), those are guestimates on relatedness.

If you think it rare that conversations end up with unrelated messages (when not relying on the References header as the primary criteria), it has not been rare for me with other e-mail clients that did not first rely on the References header for proper threading. My e-mail volume has severely waned in the last few years, so I haven’t gotten enough to know if em Client doesn’t conflate unrelated threads.

If References is present, it is the only header needed to thread together in proper hierarchy all messages in a discussion. None of the other guessing tactics are needed. None of the other headers are needed. Not even the Date header (which is specified by the sender’s client, not a server, and sometimes the date/clock is off on the sender’s host, or they deliberately use a future date to position their message at the top but only works on their starter post since References will proper order any replies) is needed to organize the messages in date order. A problem with the References header is that, along with others, truncation will occur which keeps the first MID (the starter message) and the last MIDs, and the ones between the first and last get dropped. That happens with extremely long discussions, or due to some users specifying ridiculously long MIDs generated by their client (and a tactic used by trolls to chop up a discussion early).

If em Client is using the In-Reply-To header, that is tenuous. It only specifies in a message which is the parent message. There is no chaining into a hierarchy as with the References header. Backwards pointing chains that span only 1 prior level are easily broken.

For NNTP clients, a simple check of whether that client uses the References header is if it has a rebuild thread function. It can use the References header in any message to rebuild the hierarchy of messages up to that end of that [sub]thread. It can re-retrieve the missing messages if the retention expiration on the server hasn’t deleted the prior messages. An e-mail client can find all other superseding messages in its message store and show in the proper hierarchy by just using the References header from one message. I haven’t found info that clues in that em Client uses the References header, something that NNTP clients have done for decades.

I’m still hunting around to see if em Client first relies on the References header and, only in its absence, uses the other guessing methods. References is the gold standard to organize message into threads. Anything else is guessing. If the References header is present (an it is more often than not), it is perplexing that most e-mail clients don’t use it (in fact, I haven’t found one that does use References, and instead relies on guessing schemes).

To me, if I don’t know that em Client relies first on a References header, if present, then its conversation mode cannot be trusted. Alas, as a freeloader (I use the free version), I am not granted permission to ask their devs how their product works, assuming whomever responds actually knows. I’m not paying to find out if em Client is a smart client by first relying on the References header, if present.

NNTP clients have been using the References headers for decades for proper threading. Seems rare in e-mail clients despite it is a near 40-year old header.

I vote in favor of adding this feature. Conversation view is not a suitable alternative.