QnA: Can I sort e-mails in the sent-items folder by recipient?

Question: I want to know if i can sort the sent items folder by "Sent to" instead of "Sent By" which is obviously myself.. I find it strange that this is not a sort option.

Answer (by Liang Chen, one of our Messaging Dev Leads):

No you can't. With its current design the email list view is optimized with a set of specially handled properties (sender, subject, and time) for better performance and in Sent folder you need recipient instead of sender, which requires some expensive database operation and will slow down performance. This is an unfortunate tradeoff we had to make between performance of more important scenario (inbox folder) and user experience of less important scenario (Sent folder) under current restriction.


Comments (12)

  1. BlakeHandler says:

    Duuuude — what a tease!

    When I saw the article title I got SO excited! Only to find out the answer is NO!

    Hey, you got me to read your blog! ha ha

  2. zhamid says:

    :).  Sorry!  It is definitely something we’d to do at some point in the future.  However, this seemingly small item is actually fairly large and challenging due to our existing architecture.  

  3. Zim28 says:

    If you can not sort your sent items, by who they were actually sent to, can you change the little mail icon in your inbox to show that you either replied or forwarded a message?

    For instance in Outlook, when you reply to a message the icon will show the opened mail and place a coresponding arrow to show you it was either forwarded or replied to.  

    In WM 5.0 the only diffrence between the message icons, are unopened, opened, or the added paper clip if there is an attachement.

  4. zhamid says:

    Currently that feature is not supported.  I really want those icons too, but the problem is that unlike the desktop, we (the device) don’t really know whether you’ve replied to a message or not.  There are things we can do, such as asking the server to quit filter so much stuff out for us, but we haven’t done those yet.  I hope we get to this in our future releases because I really want that feature too.

  5. dguo251359 says:

    Looks like WM6 doesn’t support this feature either, however, my gripe is that the sent box doesn’t even show the "To" field, instead it only shows "From" field, which is really something simple to fix right?

  6. dguo251359 says:

    Just a follow-up and clarification. I was referring to the Outlook Sent box (sync with desktop), which won’t display "TO" field, however, on a POP3 account, "Sent" folder does display "TO" field.  This is definitely a bug.

  7. Steve Kirby says:

    I have a new Samsung i760 running WM 6.0 and called Verizon tech support on Wireless Sync.  They confirmed that neither WM5 or WM6 will sort by the "To" field in the Sent Box, they looked at 3 different smartphones with me on the line, they took info from me and will report a bug.  It makes no sense to sort by "From" or even display the "From" in the listing.  I cannot believe this has persisted thru 2 version of O/S?  Otherwise WM6 is excellent.

  8. Gerry Keen says:

    how on earth do you expect to be taken seriously versus blackberry when you cannot even get this right.  I would have dismissed it as ludicrous if someone told me that MS would show who sent the email in the sent items until I tried setting up Outlook Mail on a WM6 handheld yesterday.  It took hours (settings all over the place) and I gave up on the sent items and phoned Palm tech support, who confirmed this state of affairs.

    Very, very, poor.  If you think WM6 is great you really need to take a look elsewhere. I shall keep all my colleagues on blackberries, which just work out of the box and have an easy straight-forward intuitive interface.

  9. Dave says:

    "However, this seemingly small item is actually fairly large and challenging due to our existing architecture.  "

    Seems like a fundamental flaw in the existing architecture then.  It’s interesting that my friend’s activeSync enabled iPhone sorts sent items by the "to" field automatically, and it’s not even officially released/supported yet.  Time for Microsoft to step-it-up.

  10. sean says:

    With the 6.1 integrated internet browser being so so far behind Opera it’s ridiculous, you can’t sort Sent Items by ‘To’, convoluted media management, I have to wonder really how much of leap they an even make in 7 just to catch up with RIM/Apple/Nokia. (Although unproven I can’t imagine Android sitting still for long…)

    I’ve even had to go into a registry editor to fix a bug with the clock on my Touch Dual. To even have the capability or necessity for that on a mobile device that just highlights how clunky the architecture really is.

    I wish they wiped the slate clean with their mobile tech and just started a new highly scalable OS from scratch.

    It would have been expensive to say the least, (though Google have shown it can be done), but with people moving towards PC in a pocket it could have been the strategic route to leaving all the old desktop OS code behind once and for all…

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