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Focused Inbox for Outlook

All of the information in this article can be viewed live in the Office support center.

Focused Inbox helps you focus on the emails that matter most to you. It separates your inbox into two tabs—Focused and Other. Your most important emails are on the Focused tab while the rest remain easily accessible—but out of the way—on the Other tab. You’ll be informed about email flowing to Other, and you can switch between tabs at any time to take a quick look.

Check out this video for a brief overview.

How does Focused Inbox work?

Focused Inbox works with you to prioritize what's most important. What lands in Focused Inbox is based on the content of the email (e.g., newsletters, machine-generated email, and so on) and who you interact with most often. If you need to fine-tune your Focused Inbox, Move to Focused and Move to Other options are available to do that.

Focused Inbox was first released on Outlook for iOS and Android. All versions of Outlook that receive updates will soon become Focused Inbox capable, including Outlook 2016 for Windows, Outlook 2016 for Mac, Outlook on the web, and Mail for Windows 10. You'll see Focused Inbox once your Office 365 or Outlook.com mailbox is enabled for it.

Outlook 2016 for Windows

Turn Focused Inbox on or off

  1. In Outlook 2016, select the View tab.
  2. Select Show Focused Inbox.

    The Focused and Other tabs will appear at the top of your mailbox. You’ll be informed about email flowing to Other, and you can switch between tabs any time to take a quick look.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to turn off Focused Inbox.

Change how your messages get organized in Outlook 2016 for Windows

If messages weren't organized the way you want, you can easily move them and specify where all future messages from that sender should be delivered.

  1. From your inbox, select the Focused or Other tab, and then right-click the message you want to move.
  2. If moving from Focused to Other, choose Move to Other if you want only the selected message moved. Choose Always Move to Other if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.

    If moving from Other to Focused, choose Move to Focused if you want only the selected message moved. Choose Always Move to Focused if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Focused tab.

Outlook on the web and Outlook.com

Turn Focused Inbox on or off

  1. In Outlook on the web or Outlook.com, select > Display settings > Focused Inbox.
  2. Under When email is received, select Sort messages into Focused and Other. The Focused and Other tabs will appear at the top of your mailbox. You’ll be informed about email flowing to Other, and you can switch between tabs any time to take a quick look.

    If you want to turn off Focused Inbox, select Don't sort messages.
  3. Click OK.

Change how your messages get organized

If messages weren't organized the way you want, you can easily move them and specify where all future messages from that sender should be delivered.

  1. From your inbox, select the Focused or Other tab, and then right-click the message you want to move.
  2. If moving from Focused to Other, choose Move to Other > Move this conversation if you want only the selected message moved. Choose Move to Other > Always Move if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.

    If moving from Other to Focused, choose Move to Focused > Move this conversation if you want only the selected message moved. Choose Move to Focused > Always move if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Focused tab.

Outlook 2016 for Mac

Turn Focused Inbox on or off

  1. In Outlook 2016 for Mac, on the Organize tab, select Focused inbox.

    The Focused and Other tabs will appear at the top of your inbox. You’ll be informed about email flowing to Other, and you can switch between tabs any time to take a quick look.
  2. Repeat to turn off Focused Inbox.

You can set the badge count—the count of unread mail—to include only the messages in the Focused list. See Outlook > Preferences > Notifications and Sounds > Badge count to adjust this setting.

Change how your messages get organized

If messages weren't organized the way you want, you can easily move them and specify where all future messages from that sender should be delivered.

Move messages from Focused to Other
  1. From your inbox, select the Focused tab, and then select the message you want to move.
  2. On the Home tab of the ribbon, select the down arrow on the Move to Other button.
  3. Choose Move to Other if you want only the selected message moved. Choose Always Move to Other if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.
Move messages from Other to Focused
  1. From your inbox, select the message.
  2. On the Home tab of the ribbon, select the down arrow on the Move to Focused button.
  3. Choose Move to Focused if you want only the selected message moved. Choose Always Move to Focused if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Focused tab.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Focused Inbox work with Clutter?

Active Clutter users will see a prompt inviting you to try Focused Inbox. Here's an example.

After switching, you'll no longer receive less important email in the Clutter folder. Instead, email will be split between the Focused and Other tabs in your inbox. The same algorithm that moved items to the Clutter folder now powers Focused Inbox, meaning that any emails that were set to move to Clutter will now be moved to Other. Any messages already in your Clutter folder will remain there until you decide to delete or move them.

Can I keep using Clutter instead of Focused Inbox?

You can keep using Clutter for now. Eventually, Clutter will be replaced by Focused Inbox.

If I turned off Clutter, will I still be able to try Focused Inbox?

Yes, you’ll receive a prompt to try the Focused Inbox when your mailbox is ready.

Does Focused Inbox organize all the mail in my inbox as soon as I turn it on?

Yes. As soon as you enable Focused Inbox, you’ll see the Focused and Other tabs at the top of your Inbox. The more you use Focused Inbox, the smarter it gets about how it organizes your messages. You can also teach Outlook what matters most to you by moving emails between Focused and Other, and setting overrides to make sure emails from certain senders always show up in a particular destination.

I’m using Focused Inbox already on Outlook for iOS or Android. Does anything change for me?

Nothing will change in Outlook for iOS or Android. As our Outlook desktop and web apps are updated to include Focused Inbox, the content of your Focused and Other tabs will be the same across all your Outlook clients.