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Want To Sort Thunderbird Emails By Date Received? Here You Go!

Published By Mohit Jha
Tej Pratap Shukla
Approved By Tej Pratap Shukla
Published On April 29th, 2022
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

Mozilla Thunderbird is an open-source email client used to store emails and other personal information like address book, tasks, calendars, etc. But mainly the focus is to manage the email messages. Now, commonly users want to set their emails to be sorted by date. This is done so as to have the newest emails on top of your inbox. But this isn’t always the case.
In this post, we will show you how to sort Thunderbird emails by date. And if it’s still not showing the messages in the correct order, we also have another sorting option.

How to Sort Emails by Date in Thunderbird?

    1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird application and highlight the folder whose emails you need to sort
    2. Next, navigate to the toolbar and click View tab
      Note: If your toolbar is hidden, press the Alt key to show it.
    3. From opened menu list, select Sort by >> Date
    4. You can also choose from Ascending/Descending options to sort the messages in reverse order

In Thunderbird sort emails by date

Since, emails date are set according to the sender’s date, sorting the emails by date may still display the messages in incorrect order. This generally happens when the email sender has a different/incorrect clock set on their system.

You can fix this by sorting the emails as per Order Received. To do that:


  • Simply go to Menu and select View >> Sort by >> Order Received.

These methods will sort Thunderbird emails by date and order received. By using the second you, no matter what date is set on your system or the sender’s system, the top emails will always be the most recent ones. You can use the Ascending/Descending attributes here as well to reverse the display order.

Sort Thunderbird Emails by Date and Export in Sorted Order

“Hi, I want to keep some of my mailbox folders outside of Thunderbird for long term archive. I tried dragging and dropping emails but it doesn’t save the messages in date order. So, Is there a way by which I can put emails in date order? Any direct or comparable solution would be feasible. Thanks!”

ImportExportTools is a FREE add-on provided for Mozilla Thunderbird. Download and install it.

I. Configure to export emails in sorted date order

    • Launch Thunderbird email client on your machine and select the required folder
    • Click on Tools menu and select ImportExport Tools >> Options

options selection

    • Select the Filenames tab and in the Customized format for filenames section, mark Use following format option.
      Here, set the format to use Date as the first option. You can also choose to add time to date as well as prefix for the saved files. Click Ok to save the chnages.

configuration settings

II. Now we export the emails in sorted order

    • Go to Tools >> ImportExportTools >> Export all messages in a folder
    • Now, just choose from the multiple export options such as EML/ HTML/ Plain Text Format/ PDF/ CSV etc.

export options

  • After selecting the destination location, the export process will begin. This way you can sort Thunderbird emails by date and export them in sorted way.

What If You Want to Export Sorted Emails as Outlook PST?

“Our Office administrator told us to convert all Thunderbird emails of last 2 years into PST file format as from now onward we have to use Microsoft Outlook as the email client. I have no idea that how to do the same and I cannot afford to lose any single email. I need a perfect solution that can help me instantly as I have very less time. Is it possible to sort and convert Thunderbird emails to Outlook in bulk? Please help!”

We can see that the ImportExport Tools NG does not provide PST as an export format. Hence, this is the point where MBOX to PST Converter proves handy. The software converts Thunderbird emails along with attachments to PST file format.

So, just use the methods above to sort Thunderbird emails by date and export them as PST using the best software afterwards. In addition, maintain the folder structure and data integrity along with properties and attachments intact.

The Bottom Line

In this digital era, emails are the most vital ingredient that is responsible for the growth of a business. Accessing and managing these emails is sometimes easy and sometimes it becomes completely a new level of challenge. In this technical guide, we have covered one such email migration issue i.e., how to sort emails by date in Thunderbird so as to display them in the newest received order. Solutions to queries regarding exporting these emails in multiple formats are also provided.

In Thunderbird sort emails by date – Is this task possible?

Yes, it is actually very easy to know how to sort emails by date in Thunderbird. Read the article to know the full procedure.

Can I actually save the Thunderbird files in the sorted order?

Yes, you will require an extension or external software for this task. It depends on your needs to sort Thunderbird emails by date. For formats such as EML, HTML, etc., a free-addon is enough.
For proprietary formats such as PST, NSF, powerful software applications are required. Know more in the article.


By Mohit Jha

Mohit is a Microsoft-certified expert who has assisted thousands of clients with Outlook & Microsoft Office 365 issues. He enjoys writing on email clients as well as data migration. He is always excited about giving troubled readers the most up-to-date knowledge, explanation, and refinements.