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Thunderbird Account Order

This post has been replaced for Thunderbird and Windows 10.

I have a number of different mail accounts which I read using Mozilla Thunderbird. Each time a new account is added it appears at the bottom of the mail list. One new account I wanted to move near the top, but Thunderbird does not give an option to reorder accounts. The answer is to edit prefs.js file. On Linux systems ~/.thunderbird/<your profile>/prefs.js, and for Windows C:Documents and Settings[User Name]Application DataThunderbirdProfiles<your profile>pref.js

Look for a line like: user_pref("mail.accountmanager.accounts", "account3,account2,account5,account4,account1");
This is the line you will need to modify.

So what does account3 mean and which email account does it match?
In the lines above you will find something like: user_pref("mail.account.account3.identities", "id2");. If the id was 2, search in the prefs.js file for user_pref("mail.identity.id2.useremail". This will give you the matching email address.

One little extra if you wish to make a certain email address at the top. It needs to be made the default. See the line starting with: user_pref("mail.accountmanager.defaultaccount"

Remember, only edit this file while Thunderbird is closed.


  1. t

    must change user_pref(“mail.server.server3.login_at_startup”, true);

  2. Ade

    There’s an addon that provides a wee interface to reorder the accounts the the folders pane and it does just what it says it does.


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