How to Sort Messages by Category in OS X Lion’s Mail


Barry writes: In previous versions of OS X, I could sort my mail by category (From, To, Subject, Date, etc) by clicking on the appropriate column header. Now, in OS X Lion, I can’t seem to find how to do this using Mail’s new layout. Everything is only sorted by date. Is there a way to sort by other criteria?



There are several options for sorting email in Lion’s Mail application. In the new vertical side-by-side layout, you’ll see “Sort by Date” in light grey at the top of your message list. Click on that to get a drop-down menu allowing you to sort, either ascending or descending, all the categories that used to be found in their own columns in previous versions of Mail.

Mail in Lion - Sort By

Use the “Sort By” drop down menu in Mail’s new view to sort by category.

This same menu can also be found by choosing “View” from Mail’s Menu Bar, and then “Sort By.”

Mail View Menu Bar

Alternatively, choose View > Sort By to perform the same function in Mail.

Finally, if you don’t like the new Mail layout and you wish to revert to the “classic” layout, go to Mail > Preferences > Viewing, and click “Use classic layout.” 

For many more tips on Lion’s Mail application, see Melissa’s Quick Tips.