I'm a professional game developer from Wakefield, England, working as a senior programmer for Rebellion North.
I'm a married father of five and I a also sometimes do Retroburn stuff.
Martin 'Bytrix' Caine
Father. C++ Games Programmer. Cyclist. Guitarist.
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Email Deliverability
Saturday, March 19th 2011 / Blog

Reordering email accounts in Thunderbird

I've been using Mozilla Thunderbird for quite some time now as my email client of choice (much preferred over Outlook and Windows Live Mail) and one thing that's slightly annoyed me is there seems to be no way to re-arrange the order of the email accounts shown in the left panel.

If you use multiple PCs and have multiple accounts set up on each PC you might find that the accounts are not in the same order. I've noticed this, and I've also just added a further email account, but I'd like this one to be shown at the top of the list. A quick search took me to a solution which required manually editing some config files. Fortunately though you don't need to edit config files as there is an advanced configuration editor built into Thunderbird:

On the top menu click Tools -> Options, in the General tab click the button marked Config Editor... You'll have to accept the little warning message and then you'll be prompted with a list of every single Thunderbird configuration variable.

Scroll down to mail.accountmanager.accounts and you should see a value something like account1,account2,account3,account4. Simply edit the value and re-order the elements to change their order in the left pane. After changing the variable you'll need to close and re-open Thunderbird and your accounts should be re-ordered.

If you found this post helpful please leave a comment below:
roger / 2011-12-19 17:41:04
Worked great. Only hitch and a minor one at that is the config editor wasn't on the General Tab, but the Avanced tab under TB 8

wes / 2012-09-18 17:48:01
please expand on your advice above ...
Simply edit the value and re-order the elements to change their order in the left pane.

and separately is that separate from
edit the value
re-order the elements ?

ie they are separate processes ?
is the second part above redundant ?
Andy Roid / 2012-12-12 11:26:56
it works great. Thanks a lot
m / 2012-12-28 21:53:22
To find configuration editor:
Tools>Options>Advanced>General>Config Editor
LP / 2013-03-11 15:57:52
1. Thanks

2. In new Th/b: Edit>Preferences>Advanced>General, then look for a "Config Editor" button.
Turner / 2013-05-16 01:15:37
Thanks for looking into this! Serious oversight on Mozilla's part here.
Ralph Grove / 2013-10-03 00:30:12
Tried this with Tbird 17.0.8 and it had no effect whatsoever on the displayed order of the accounts.
nuescht / 2013-11-15 22:12:10
doesn't work in tb 24.1.0 under osx
LJI / 2014-08-04 08:18:13
Th/b 31.0 doesn't seem to have a "config editor" button under Edit>Preferences>Advanced>General, and I can't find any add-ons to do this that will work with 31.
Bob Cross / 2014-08-26 10:46:47
Thanks for this - just what I was looking for after adding a new Hotmail account.

@LJI: I just checked my TBird 31.0 install on Ubuntu12.04LTS and the Config Editor button is definitely there. Obviously in Windows it's in a different place. What OS are you using and could it be that someone's locked down against configuration changes?
Tags:   blog   thunderbird