Thunderbird and default sorting of mails

Have you ever wounder how to change the default sorting of the Thunderbird mail client? For me the standard default sorting it’s very annoying since I prefer the newest mail first. But out of box the my mail client shows the oldest one first.
So I went out and searched for a solution. And expect what: I found one! 🙂

Open your Options dialog and choose „Config Editor“ of the Advanced/General Page. The „about:config“ of Thunderbird will open. Into the filter field type „mailnews.default“ and you’ll see the current default of mails and news. Fine, but what are all these silly values means?

  • 1 ascending
  • 2 descending


  • 17 byNone
  • 18 byDate
  • 19 bySubject
  • 20 byAuthor
  • 21 byId
  • 22 byThread
  • 23 byPriority
  • 24 byStatus
  • 25 bySize
  • 26 byFlagged
  • 27 byUnread
  • 28 byRecipient
  • 29 byLocation
  • 30 byTags
  • 31 byJunkStatus
  • 32 byAttachments
  • 33 byAccount
  • 34 byCustom


  • 0 Unthreaded
  • 1 Threaded

For me I’ve just changed the mailnews.default_sort_order to 2 and mailnews.default_view_flags to 0 and I was happy.

Is there any addon out there which does the job? Up to now I didn’t found any. May I go ahead a write one …. as soon as I’ll get some spare time. (A request of such an extension could speed this process…)

Do you want more information about this? Look here.