While mutt has set sort = threads to show threaded, "conversation" style messages, it doesn't display one's own replies in the threads. Instead, you have to change to the Sent folder to see your own messages. Is there any way to display one's own replies where they belong inside threads?

  • 1
    Just save the send email in your current folder and not in the send folder? Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 23:00
  • But what happens if I reply on an email from my phone?
    – aioobe
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 11:09
  • You should write up notmuch-mutt up as an answer and accept it. It works fine here!
    – Sparhawk
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 2:12
  • I have since stopped using mutt and now use mu4e (mu for emacs). I will go ahead and answer this question though. Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 2:34

5 Answers 5


I found a solution that works for me even though it is not pretty.

set record = "+INBOX"

I just set record to my inbox, in that way the messages get threaded. It might not be ideal when I am the first sending an e-mail, but normally I will get an answer, so no issue.


I found that notmuch-mutt has some of the behavior I'm looking for. It defines a macro that looks at message-ids and can create a virtual folder to show an entire threaded conversation regardless of where each message lives. Out of the box it only works on search results. I'm not sure if the same behavior can be applied to regular mailboxes.


The common way to see your own messages in the threaded display, which makes sense, is done by sending a BCC to you.

I use

my_hdr Bcc: [email protected]

and it works great.

  • 13
    This looks like a plain ugly hack to me. Sending copies of all emails to myself just feels wrong. Especially if it is to accommodate for a poor viewing code in the email client. I often search my Gmail inbox and include things such as to:me. Using the approach you suggest messes this up.
    – aioobe
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 7:16
  • I did my own little investigation on this feature asked by OP and @aioobe and there seems to be no easy way to do that, so it's a good idea for a patch. There are already a number of patches written for mutt by various people. It would be a great feature to have, btw! Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 8:18
  • 3
    Yes. I've started looking into writing a patch. I see it as a last resort though. (Same story for a 'mute' feature.)
    – aioobe
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 8:32

You can make a patched mutt save your message to the current folder. To cite the FAQ:

How to save copies of outgoing/sent eMails to the current folder?

You need the current_shortcut patch (see PatchList). With that patch, "^" points to the current folder. You can use that folder in folder-hooks etc.

folder-hook . 'set record="^"'

Note: Make sure you have at least current_shortcut.2. Version 1 is broken.

It seems that the Ubuntu 16.04 package ships that patch.


notmuch is the solution, but it's several solutions, not one.

  • I couldn't abide set record = "+INBOX" or the my_hdr BCC solution.
  • I couldn't get the fcc-hook solution described here working (may be mutt only, not neomutt).
  • so I got notmuch up for the "virtual folder" approach, and it provided a good solution, but not a great one (for me), and it was pretty complicated to get working and stable.

Luckily, along the way I found a great, simple, fast alternative solution also provided by notmuch: <entire-thread>.

With entire-thread you leave the default the default (no replies visible; no virtual folders), but if my cursor/marker is on a thread and I want to see my replies in it, entire-thread will reconstruct the thread to include my replies. Because this ended up feeling cleaner and easier, I ended up undoing the full-on switch to notmuch virtual folders and reverting to traditional folders.

Invoke it in your .neomuttrc with:

bind index + entire-thread       # or instead of `+` bind to `,+` or anything

Downsides are that

  • if I want to see a message sent by me that's not part of a thread I still have to <change-folder> to Sent
  • when I'm done viewing the entire thread I have to <change-folder> back to Inbox But <change-folder> isn't slow for me now that I'm doing header-caching right, so these are minor.


  • I'm on neomutt on macos, on a macports build (lots of messing with variants to get here)
  • I only have ~30K emails

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