Possible Duplicate:
Change the default sorting order in Thunderbird

I like my mails to be sorted by date, with the newest at the top and the oldest at the bottom. However, I prefer unread emails - no matter how old they are - to appear even higher on top than the newest read emails.

In Thunderbird 2 this was easily achievable by choosing "Read" as the sorting type and "Descending" as the order.

In Thunderbird 3, however, for some reason this has changed. If I choose "Read" as the sorting type, all messages will always be displayed oldest at the top, newest at the bottom. Changing between "Ascending" and "Descending" only changes whether the unread messages will be displayed above or below the read messages.

How can I set up Thunderbird so that it will display my inbox like this:

Newest unread

More unread...

Oldest unread

Newest read

Other read...

Oldest unread

  • 1
    @random: This is not at all an exact duplicate of the linked question - they're both about sorting order, but the other question does not even touch on the effect I outline in my question, and applying the ticked-off answer will consequently not solve my problem. Please re-open this question.
    – Thomas
    Aug 3, 2011 at 1:07

1 Answer 1


Although this question is pretty old, I'll add the following for reference: With my version of Thunderbird (31.0) everything's working fine: I first sort by date and then by unread, et voilà. But, of course, the version used by the questioner is pretty outdated now.

An answer from the Mozilla Support page suggests to reinstall Thunderbird: https://support.mozilla.org/de/questions/993878#answer-554454

If that does not work, one might try the following approach from the user "DanRaisch" on the mozillaZine forum, although that's only a workaround:

Customize the toolbar by right clicking on it and choosing "Customize" from the context menu. Drag the "View:" selector onto an open spot on the toolbar or menu bar. Use that dropdown selector to choose "Unread" then sort by date.

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