Manage Focused Inbox - Admin Help

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. Focused Inbox is an improvement of Clutter. Check out Focused Inbox for Outlook for more info.

As the admin, if you want to be sure that your users receive business specific emails, for example, from HR or payroll, you can control Focused Inbox so these business specific emails reach the Focused view. You can also control whether you want to allow mailboxes in your organization to see the Focused Inbox in their mailbox.

Use the UI to create a transport rule to direct email messages to the Focused view for all your users

This example allows all messages with the subject "Human Resources" to be delivered to the Focused Inbox.

  1. In the Exchange admin center, navigate to mail flow > Rules. Click Screenshot: EAC Add icon and then choose Create a new rule....

  2. After you're done creating the new rule, click save to start the rule.

Screenshot: Create and save new Foucsed Inbox rule

Use the Shell to create a transport rule to direct email messages to the Focused view for all your users

This example allows all messages from “Human Resources to be delivered to the Focused Inbox.

New-TransportRule -Name <name_of_the_rule> -SubjectContainsWords "Human Resources" -SetHeaderName "X-MS-Exchange-Organization-BypassFocusedInbox" -SetHeaderValue "true"

Important: In this example, both "X-MS-Exchange-Organization-BypassFocusedInbox" and "true" is case sensitive.

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see New-TransportRule.

How do you know this worked?

You can check email message headers to see if the email messages are landing in the Inbox due to the Focused Inbox transport rule bypass. Pick an email message from a mailbox in your organization that has the Focused Inbox transport rule applied. Look at the headers stamped on the message, and you should see the X-MS-Exchange-Organization-BypassFocusedInbox: true header. This means the bypass is working. Check out the View the Internet header information for an email message topic for info on how to find the header information.

Turn Focused Inbox On or Off in your organization

This example turns FocusedInbox Off in your organization.

Note: Your users won't see the Focused view until they close out and restart Outlook.

Run the Get-OrganizationConfig cmdlet.

Get-OrganizationConfig

Read the response and look for the Focused Inbox responses. Run the following cmdlet to turn Focused Inbox off.

Set-OrganizationConfig -FocusedInboxOn $false

You should see a response that FocusedInbox has been turned off.

Note: If Focused Inbox is turned off in your organization and you want to turn it on, run the Set-OrganizationConfig cmdlet with -FocusedInboxOn $true.

Turn Focused Inbox On or Off for specific users

This example turns FocusedInbox Off for Tim Matthews in the Contoso organization.

Note: Your users won't see the Focused view until they close out and restart Outlook.

  • Connect to Exchange Online using remote PowerShell

  • You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "Transport rules" entry in the Messaging policy and compliance permissions topic.

Run the Get-FocusedInbox cmdlet.

Get-FocusedInbox -Identity <tim@contoso.com>

Read the response and look for the Focused Inbox responses. Run the following cmdlet to turn Focused Inbox off.

Set-FocusedInbox -Identity <tim@contoso.com> -FocusedInboxOn $false

You should see a response that FocusedInbox has been turned off.

Note: If FocusedInbox is turned off for Tim Matthews, and you want to turn it on, run the Set-FocusedInbox cmdlet with -FocusedInboxOn $true.

There are two states associated with Focused Inbox.

  • Organization Level: Focused Inbox state, and an associated last update time-stamp.

  • Mailbox Level: Focused Inbox state, and an associated last update time-stamp

The Get/Set-Organization cmdlet returns/modifies Focused Inbox at the organization level and the Get/Set-FocusedInbox cmdlet returns/modifies Focused Inbox at the mailbox level.

Outlook decides to show the experience by choosing which cmdlet has the latest time stamp. By default, both time stamps are "null" and in this case, the feature is enabled.

Yes. You can turn Focused Inbox on or off for your entire organization, or you can turn it on or off for specified users.

There are two cmdlets for controlling Focused Inbox. When you run Get-FocusedInbox for a mailbox, it returns the mailbox level state of the feature. The experience in Outlook is chosen based on which ever cmdlet state was last modified.

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