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DUPE: Use Focused Inbox in Outlook

Focused Inbox intelligently pre-sorts your email so you can focus on the most important messages. The first thing you'll notice when Focused Inbox is enabled, is that you now have two tabs at the top of your mailbox: Focused and Other.

Foucsed Inbox has two tabs where your mail is sorted: focused and other

The Focused tab is for your most important email messages. These are messages that demand your attention and are from the contacts you interact with most often. The Other tab is the place for auto-generated mail, bulk email, or mail that can wait until later. The more you use Focused Inbox, the smarter it gets about how it sorts your messages, but you can always move the messages if they aren't sorted the way you want.

Focused Inbox works across all your Outlook email accounts—including both work and personal accounts—and on your desktop and mobile devices.

For most users, Focused Inbox will be turned on automatically and you can start using it right away. In some cases, you'll need to turn the feature on.

  1. In Outlook 2016, select theView tab.

  2. Select Show Focused Inbox.

    Show Focused Inbox button on View tab

  3. The Focused and Other tabs will appear at the top of your mailbox. Click the tabs to display the messages collected there.

    Focused and Other tabs are at the top of the inbox when Show Focused Inbox is selected

  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 to turn off Focused Inbox.

For most users, Focused Inbox will be turned on automatically and you can start using it right away. In some cases, you'll need to turn the feature on.

  1. In Outlook 2016 for Mac, select View > Arrange By.

  2. Select Turn on Focused Inbox.

    View menu with Arrange by and Turn on Focused Inbox highlighted

  3. The Focused and Other tabs will appear at the top of your mailbox. Click the tabs to display the messages collected there.

  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 to turn off Focused Inbox.

Tip: 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.

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

  1. In Outlook 2016, 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 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 messages from the sender to be delivered to the Focused tab.

    Side-by-side view of the Move and Always Move options

If messages weren't sorted 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. In Outlook 2016 for Mac, select the 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.

    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 messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.

    The two choices on the Move to Other menu are Move to Other and Always Move to Other

Move messages from Other to Focused

  1. In Outlook 2016 for Mac, select the message.

  2. On the Home tab of the ribbon, select the down arrow on the Move to Focused button.

    Move to Focused button

  3. Choose Move to Other if you want only the selected message moved. Choose Always Move to Other if you want all messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.

    THe two choices on the Move to Focused menu are Move to Focused and Always Move to Focused

How does Focused Inbox work with Clutter?

Focused Inbox and Clutter cannot be used together. If you've been using Clutter and decide to turn on Focused Inbox, any messages that would have gone to Clutter will now go to Other. Any messages already in your Clutter folder will remain there until you decide to delete or move them. If you like Clutter and want to continue using it, you can. Once you enable Focused Inbox, however, you won't be able to go back to Clutter.

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

No. Focused Inbox will start sorting new email messages that come in after it has been enabled. Existing messages are untouched.

Does Focused Inbox work with Gmail or other email accounts I imported into Outlook?

No, Focused Inbox is only available for Exchange-based email accounts. If you've imported your Gmail account into Outlook and are reading or sending mail from it, the Focused Inbox ribbon buttons, menu items, and tabs will not be available. This is also true for other accounts imported into Outlook, including AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail or Outlook.com, and MobileMe. For more information about importing email accounts, see Outlook email setup (Outlook 2016) or Add an email account to Outlook 2016 for Mac.

How does Mark All as Read work with Focused Inbox?

Mark All as Read (on the Folder tab in Outlook 2016 and the Organize tab in Outlook 2016 for Mac) only applies to the current view (Focused or Other).

See Also

Focused Inbox for Outlook Mobile

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