I just upgraded to Ubuntu 12.04 and Thunderbird 13.0.1.

I had 2 accounts earlier in Thunderbird:
[email protected]
[email protected]

I also had another account on SeaMonkey:
[email protected]
which I imported into Thunderbird.

Now the account order I want is:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

but it shows:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

I couldn't find any option in Thunderbird to sort them as I want. I came across a 3rd party extension but I avoid using such extensions. Is there any other way this can be done?

  • Why !? In my Thunderbird 13.0.1 (under Ubuntu 12.04) I simply have a default email account and then two more in alphabetic order. This is all based on 'Account Name', which I can easily edit.
    – david6
    Jul 17, 2012 at 7:55
  • @david6 Please add an email account which should be on the top alphabetically and check! It won't sort to the top. It will stay in the sequence it was added. I use the email address as the account name.
    – Sri
    Jul 17, 2012 at 10:03

3 Answers 3


Yes. There is a way to do this using the config editor.

The source for this solution is a post by user billko at http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=1463325 however users of current Thunderbird version may get confused with the steps provided in that post (as I was) hence this Q&A. This will also be useful for Ubuntu+Thunderbird users who look for solution here.

  • Open Thunderbird Mail
  • Go to Edit > Preferences > Advanced
  • Click on 'Config Editor' button
  • Agree to the warning
  • In the search box type account
  • In the list of options displayed, look for the email addresses and identify the accountn vis-a-vis the servern vis-a-vis the mailbox, where n is a serial number in the order in which the account was created (see image below)
  • Now edit value against the preference-name mail.accountmanager.accounts to reflect the sort order you want
    eg. in my case, I modified the original order account1,account2,account3 to account3,account1,account2
  • Now also edit the value against the preference-name mail.accountmanager.defaultaccount to the first account in the sorted list as above
    eg. in my case, I set it to account3

Image: Thunderbird config editor - account sorting Thunderbird config editor - account sorting

  • +1 Nice work on the answer! A workaround is to delete all accounts and then manually add them in the order you want. Jul 17, 2012 at 10:27
  • Does this also change the order of checking mail accounts?
    – Sadi
    Jan 17, 2014 at 7:45

An easier solution is installing this addon: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/thunderbird/addon/manually-sort-folders/?src=search

  • 1
    It is specifically mentioned to avoid extensions (or addons).
    – Sri
    Jul 17, 2012 at 6:17
  • Good idea although deemed undesirable in the question. Does this also change the order of checking mail accounts?
    – Sadi
    Jan 17, 2014 at 7:47

An easier solution is to use thunderbird to install the addon.

thunderbird > tools > addons > search "manually sort folders"

Install and restart thunderbird.

thunderbird > tools > addons > extentions look for the extension and click preferences.

Now you have some more options as it opens up the box for ordering your accounts, folders extra settings, the last one currently has one option pertaining to startup and which account/inbox you want to be the default opened.

  • The point is to avoid addons and please check all the answers - this same addon is already suggested by jasmines on 7/17/2012.
    – Sri
    Mar 13, 2013 at 17:02
  • Even without a link, this answer is more complete than that one and this provides specific installation instructions, other advice, and explanation. It makes good sense that this was posted as a separate answer even after that answer. Jan 17, 2014 at 7:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .