Sort Emails by Date Received in Thunderbird

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It's a common practice to sort emails by date so that you can get the newest messages first in your Inbox, but that isn't always what happens.

Because the "date" of an email is determined by the sender, something as common as a clock set incorrectly on their computer, can make the email appear to have been sent at a different time, and will, therefore, be listed incorrectly in your email client.

For example, you might find that when your emails are sorted by date, there are one a few messages back that was sent only seconds ago but appears to have been sent hours ago because of an incorrect date.

The easiest way to fix this is to make Thunderbird sort emails by the date they were received. That way, the topmost email will always be the most recently received message and not necessarily the email that was dated closest to the current time.

How to Sort Thunderbird Emails by Date Received

  1. Open the folder you want to sort.
  2. Navigate to the View > Sort by the menu and choose Order Received.
    • You can use the Ascending and Descending options in that menu to reverse the order so that the oldest received messages are shown first, or vice versa.

A shortcut for this step is to click the word Date at the top of the list of dates. This will reverse the order of the dates so that the oldest received messages are shown first, or vice versa.

Use the Grouped by Sort option at the bottom of the Sort By... dropdown to put dividers in for Today, Yesterday, Last 7 Days, Last 14 days, and Older.

If you don't see the View menu, select the Alt key to temporarily show it.