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Thunderbird Account Order

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A little note on Thunderbird configuration.

Thunderbird does not allow manual drag-drop of accounts in the folders/accounts pane, which is inconvenient if you have many accounts with clear priorities. There is a module to address this but it didn’t work for me.

As it turns out this can be done by editing in about:config. There is a setting mail.accountmanager.accounts which holds the display order (based on the order of account creation in the Thunderbird instance). By default the accounts are called account1, account2 . . .  which isn’t tremendously useful, but a look in the Profiles/<uuid>.default/prefs.js file shows a series of settings for identities like:

user_pref("mail.identity.id1.archive_folder", "mailbox://<user email & server>/Archives");
 — from which it should be possible to identify each identity’s email account. However the id is not the account, and they may have different numbers, so it is necessary to extract a list of identities and email accounts, use that to decide the preferred order, and then look earlier in the prefs file for the id/account correspondence, which is a series of lines like:
user_pref("mail.account.account<n>.identities", "id<n>");
 — where n may not be the same number. Listing these like:
ac3    id2    uname1@dom1.tld
ac4    id3    uname2@dom1.tld
ac10   id9    uname1@dom2.tld
ac11   id10   uname2@dom2.tld
 — allows a replacement prefs string to be compiled like:
 — for pasting into the about:config entry. Restart Thunderbird. That’s almost it

Occasionally it’s not quite there yet, as Thunderbird displays the default account at the top of the list no matter what you do to the order. This is independent of the order setting.

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