How To Sort Emails By Columns
In Vista Mail, Outlook Express, Outlook

Who Should Read This Page:
Users of Vista Mail, Outlook Express, and Outlook

Did you know you can sort your emails by any column which appears in Vista Mail, Outlook Express or Outlook?  Did you know you can sort them in one order than in the reverse order, also?  Well, you certainly can and it's easy!  Read below to find out how!

If you are using Windows as your operating system, you can sort by columns in almost any Windows program.  Here, we'll focus on email programs but the principle is the same.

Let's look at an example of email columns:

Do you see the different columns?  In this example, we have 6 columns available (you may have more or less, depending on your settings).  The six columns above are: Priority (!) - if there's a red exclamation point next to an email, that's high priority, if there's a blue exclamation point, that's low priority, and if there's no exclamation point, that's normal priority; Attachment (paperclip) - If an email has an attachment, a paperclip will appear next to it; Flag - You can "flag" an email by clicking in this column - flags can indicate when follow-up is needed, etc.; From - this one is pretty obvious, this will show from whom the email originated; Subject - what subject the sender wrote; and, finally, the date and time received.

Now that you understand what these columns represent, we'll talk about sorting with columns.  In the picture above, the emails are sorted by when they were received.  How do we know this?  Look closely at the small arrow (circles in red) beside the column heading "Received."  Since the arrow is in that column, we know that emails are being sorted by when they were received.  Now, take a look at this example:

Again, emails are sorted by when they were received but something is different.  Notice that the arrow is now pointing upwards when in our first example, the arrow was pointing downwards.  The direction in which the arrow is pointing determines which way the emails are sorted.  When the arrow is pointing downward, as in our first example, then the newest email would be at the top of your page and the oldest would be at the bottom.  Conversely, when the arrow is pointing upward, as in example #2, your oldest emails would be at the top with the newest at the bottom.

Most people sort their emails by the date it was received; however, suppose you have a lot of emails in your mailbox and you want to find an email sent by a particular person.  How would you do that?  Simple!  Take your mouse and left-click one-time in the "From" column heading.  Your emails will now be sorted alphabetically by the sender's name.  Let's say the emails sort in the "wrong" direction - perhaps the Zs are at the top and the As are at the bottom.  All you need to do is click in the "From" column heading again and your emails will reverse in order, still sorted by who sent them.  Here's how that would look:

You can sort your email by any column you like and you can reverse the order simply by clicking on the same column heading again.  Here, emails are sorted by subject:

That's all there is to it.

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