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I have 11 email accounts (work etc). When I'm creating a new message, the "from:" field is a dropdown list of my email accounts I wish to send the email from.

They are in the order of how I setup my accounts initially, frustrating in hindsight, having not known how I create my accounts (what order) would be a convenience issue down the road.

So, does anyone know how to modify the sort order of mail accounts?

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First of all, quit if it's still running.

Open up a Terminal and use the following commands to change your preferences file to an XML format – the default format is binary, and you can't edit this.

cd ~/Library/Preferences
plutil -convert xml1

Then, open this file with a text editor of your choice, preferably one that highlights XML syntax, but you can also use TextEdit:

open -a "TextEdit"

Now, look for the key called MailAccounts. It's value is an array, with dict children. Here, you'll find all your mail accounts in the order they were created in.

You can now manually move these dict children around. Save the XML file and reopen Mail. Now, your Mail account order will be changed.

To prove that this works, here's a screenshot before:

And this is after editing the file:

enter image description here

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The method @slhck provided works, and you can also do this through the Mail Preferences as well.

Open, click Mail -> Preferences.

Click on Accounts and you will see your account list. Reorder them as you wish by dragging an account over or below and reorder them as you wish.

enter image description here

Close the Preferences pane and quit and then open it again. It will be ordered in the way you placed them in.

Here is a screenshot of the "From:" field before:

enter image description here

Then after:

enter image description here

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Drag and drop? Ingenious! :P (but seriously, why didn't I think of this?) – slhck Apr 3 '12 at 15:42
By the way: Sure you want to expose your full name and e-mail addresses? – slhck Apr 3 '12 at 16:01

Dragging accounts in the preferences pane and editing no longer work with newer versions of apple mail (version 6.6 for sure).

However this question on AskDifferent essentially provides an effective answer, changing the default, though it doesn't rearrange the account order in the 'from' dropdown when sending.

You can now drag the accounts around in the mailbox/folder display on the left of the main window. The top account in the mailbox/folder pane is the default for sending. Note that the newer apple mail's will send with the address of the currently selected mailbox if there is one. This can be overridden in the preferences, which also overrides the default set by the order in the mailbox/folder pane.

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