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When I run a search in Thunderbird (currently running version 13.0.1), the results default to being sorted by relevance. I generally find it much more useful to me, to have them sorted by date instead.

Is there a way I can change this default behavior?

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It drives me crazy that it won't default to date. I have never found "relevance" useful when I'm searching for a lost message. – Nathaniel Waisbrot Aug 26 '13 at 14:42

This extension will help you: Search Results Sort By Date Not Relevance.

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