Reply to All by default in Gmail

by Manshu on May 10, 2011

in Personal Technology

Most people who use MS Outlook as their work email probably use the “Reply to all” option a lot.

You probably get a lot of email addressed to more than one person, and are expected to reply with everyone in the loop.

Gmail is slightly different because most of the personal email is only addressed to you, however I’ve felt the need to Reply to all more and more in Gmail in the past few days and have never quite got used to the shortcut there.

The shortcut is simply the key “a”. If you’re reading a message with multiple people and hit “a” then Gmail will open up the Reply to all option for you.

If, however, you’re not used to the shortcut keys of Gmail (like me) there is a simple setting change that you can change and replace the “Reply” button on the top right of the message with a “Reply to all” button.

I’ve enabled this a couple of weeks ago, and found it quite useful.

It’s very easy to do and takes just takes three steps and can be done as follows:

  1. Go to Options on the top right of the screen.
  2. Click on Labs.
  3. Select “Enable” on the Default “Reply to all” option there. This is the third option from the top as I write this.

 

Gmail Enable Reply to All

Gmail Enable Reply to All

Another thing I’ve noticed when emailing a lot of people in the loop is that if you want to privately email someone who is part of the conversation then you should start a new thread.

At least twice in the last week I’ve seen that when I scroll to see quoted messages – I see emails that were sent to just one person, and that I shouldn’t have seen at all.

I don’t know how exactly that happens and that’s what makes it a bit risky. So, if you’re in a chain email I’d suggest starting a fresh thread referring to the older email if you don’t want everyone to see it at some later point.

Even if this isn’t an error in Gmail it might just be people unable to understand how the conversation works, and making mistakes.

If you know why this happens, please do leave a comment because I’m quite curious about it.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kapil Dev Tejwani May 11, 2011 at 3:21 am

Hi Manshu,
Reg your point “At least twice in the last week I’ve seen that when I scroll to see quoted messages – I see emails that were sent to just one person, and that I shouldn’t have seen at all.”
I believe it happens because the person sending the mail has kept only one person in to and the rest all are just kept in bcc…so in this case you might happen to be in bcc..so you still will receive the mail..but you might not find your name in the list of to recepients…
Let me know if am understanding it right

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Manshu May 11, 2011 at 7:02 am

What you are describing is correct and that happens though the email that I saw later on was surely not like this. I mean there’s no way that person would have kept in BCC for that type of message.

I have access to three or four Gmail accounts and will try to replicate that situation – hopefully I’ll be able to clear it up 🙂

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Sudip May 11, 2011 at 5:10 am

“Another thing I’ve noticed when emailing a lot of people in the loop is that if you want to privately email someone who is part of the conversation then you should start a new thread.”

– What you referred above never happened to me. Just do a double check by accidentally you’ve pressed Reply to All instead just “Reply” or “Forward”.

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Manshu May 11, 2011 at 7:03 am

It wasn’t a reply to all or forward for sure – that’s the first thing I checked 🙂

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