How to Turn On/Off Focused Inbox feature in Outlook

Email sorting can be quite a task for unorganized individuals. Fortunately, most email services offer an option to refine and organize emails that matter to them most. Focused Inbox is one such refinement, and improvement feature rolled out for Microsoft Outlook 2016, Outlook.com and Outlook On The Web customers.

The purpose behind rolling out this feature is to help Outlook customers focus on the most important items in their inbox by moving unimportant ones to a separate folder – ‘Other’. With this, an Outlook user can easily stay on top of incoming email without having to visit another folder. Let us see how to enable Focussed Inbox in Outlook.

Turn On Focused Inbox in Outlook 2016

Open your Outlook 2016 and navigate the mouse cursor to ‘View’ tab of the ribbon interface. Next, find and choose ‘Show Focused Inbox’ option.

Focused Inbox in Outlook

The Focused and Other tabs should be visible to you in the ribbon interface of Outlook 2016. In case, there’s any incoming message the feature will inform you about it. You can either direct it to ‘Focused Inbox’ or ‘Other’ or switch between tabs any time.

If you would like to configure these settings. For instance, change how your messages get organized then, from your Inbox, select the Focused or Other tab, and right-click the message you want to move.

If you want to move the message from Focused to Other, choose ‘Move to Other‘. This works only for a selected message. You can select ‘Always Move to Other’ if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.

On the other hand, for moving messages from Other to Focused, choose ‘Move to Focused‘ and ‘Always Move to Focused’ for all future messages to be delivered to the Focused tab.

Please note that Focused Inbox is being rolled out in a staged manner in accordance with the change management policies for Office 365. If you receive a This setting can’t be applied to any of your accounts message or notice the feature is not available for you, do not get disappointed. It should be available to you, soon. The feature is first rolled out to customers who have selected First Release cadence. After it is found that the feature is ready for the larger audience, it will be rolled out to everyone in the service, including customers who have selected Standard Release cadence.

Enable Focused Inbox in Outlook.com & Outlook on the Web

The procedure is more or less the same for Outlook.com and Outlook on the Web. For Outlook on the Web. Navigate to ‘Settings’> Display settings > Focused Inbox and then under ‘When email is received’ menu, chose ‘Sort messages into Focused and Other’. Instantly, Focused and Other tabs should appear as shown in the screenshots below.

From there, you can configure other options related to the feature.

Also, updates to the different stages of roll out will be announced on the Office 365 Public road map, and more detailed information will be communicated via the Office 365 Message Center, says Microsoft.

PS: As of May 25, 2017, you can just go straight to Gear Icon at top right, choose Display Settings and from there pull-down menu and click on Focused Inbox link to select Don’t Sort Messages. Thanks, Suz Won.

Windows 10 Mail app users may want to see how to enable or disable Focused Inbox in Mail App.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.