Friday, July 24, 2009

Reordering Accounts in Thunderbird/Icedove

I have far too many email accounts. I use Icedove (the non-branded version of Thunderbird) as my mail client and am quite happy with it.

Lately, however, the email server at work was replaced and I had to setup a new email account in Icedove. Being the last to be added, the new account's folders naturally showed up last in Icedove's folders pane.

I wanted to move the new account upwards to a more visible position, so I attempted to drag and drop the new account's top level folder with the mouse.

Guess what? it doesn't work and nothing happens. What a drag. What a drop.

There seem to be two ways of doing this:
  1. the sane, yet obscure method: install the Folderpane Tools add-on and modify the ordering of the folders via its Preferences dialog.
    I only found out about this after I used the next method...
  2. Follow this procedure:
    1. close Icedove
    2. consider backing up your ~/.mozilla-thunderbird directory before going any further...
    3. open the file ~/.mozilla-thunderbird/20bir36j.default/prefs.js in a text editor (e.g. gedit) - replace the bit in red with your own profile directory name
    4. search for a line that starts with
      user_pref("mail.accountmanager.accounts",
      the rest of the line looks like this:
      "account1,account12,account3,account4");
      and it corresponds to the current ordering of accounts, with two exceptions:
      • account1 is associated with local folders (which appear last)
      • the first account that's displayed is the default account, regardless of its position in this list
    5. reorder the accounts to your liking, e.g."account1,account4,account2,account3"
    6. save the file
    7. launch Icedove, verify that the ordering of accounts is correct
    8. Enjoy the resulting brain damage.

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