Changing Thunderbird's default folder sort and threaded view

 Sat, 02 Mar 2024 22:17 UTC

Changing Thunderbird's default folder sort and threaded view
Thunderbird logo: MZLA Technologies Corporation | This image: CC BY 4.0 by cybrkyd

A new install of Thunderbird has the default folder view set to ‘Threaded’ view and the sort order set to ‘Ascending’. Each folder can be setup to change the view to something different but what about changing all folders at once in Thunderbird?

Here is how to quickly change the view for all folders to ‘Unthreaded’ and sort-by-date (descending) via the config editor.

To access Config Editor, navigate to Edit » Settings » General and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on Config Editor.

Folder sorting

To change from Ascending to Descending, search for mailnews.default_sort_order and change the value from 1 (ascending) to 2 (descending).

Next, look for mailnews.default_sort_type and set the value to 18 (default). This value represents ‘Date’. To sort by other columns, set this to another value:

17 = None
18 = Date
19 = Subject
20 = Author
21 = ID (Order Received)
22 = Thread
23 = Priority
24 = Status
25 = Size
26 = Flagged
27 = Unread
28 = Recipient
29 = Location
30 = Label
31 = Junk Status
32 = Attachments
33 = Account
34 = Custom
35 = Received

Disable Threaded View

Search for mailnews.default_view_flags and change from 1 (threaded) to 0 (unthreaded).

Restart Thunderbird for the changes to take effect.

Further information on various settings can be found at the Mozilla Knowledge Base website.