You’re not imagining things: Apple did remove the column option from macOS Mail



Apple changed long-standing display options in macOS Mail with the release of 10.15 Catalina. This no-longer-new version dropped the ability in Mail’s column view (via View > Use Column Layout) to manage columns widths, click to sort by characteristics (like sender, subject, and size), and to retain your preferred ascending or descending first order when you switch among sorting options.

Unfortunately, despite the passage of time and many complaints in Apple’s forums, this remains in place. But never say never.

The first release of iTunes’s successor in Catalina, the Music app, omitted the three-column view that some iTunes users loved and had relied on for many years. It was one of the most complained about features, and apparently Apple listened. In December 2019, with the release of 10.15.2, the iTunes Columns Browser returned in Music.

While Apple doesn’t respond directly in its user forums, there’s no reason to believe employees don’t examine them based on changes that are made to Apple software. You can add your voice to an existing conversation on the topic or start a new thread.

Catalina may have shipped six months ago, but Mac users have seemingly updated in more of a rolling fashion to macOS 10.15 than previous releases based on the Mac 911 inbox. Typically, we rarely see few new questions about an operating system this late, but Catalina ones keep appearing as people make the shift—and find themselves perplexed at an expected feature they can’t find or one that’s outright missing.

This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by multiple Macworld readers.

Ask Mac 911

We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked most frequently along with answers and links to columns: read our super FAQ to see if your question is covered. If not, we’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email yours to mac911@macworld.com including screen captures as appropriate, and whether you want your full name used. Not every question will be answered, we don’t reply to email, and we cannot provide direct troubleshooting advice.

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