Focused Inbox for Outlook


Last updated: 19 April 2018

Focused Inbox 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.

Outlook 2016 | Outlook on the web | Outlook.com | Outlook for Mac | Mail for Windows 10

Question mark indicates help content How do I turn off Focused Inbox?

Outlook 2016

In Outlook 2016, Focused Inbox is only available for Office 365, Exchange, and Outlook.com accounts.

Turn Focused Inbox on

  1. In Outlook 2016, select the View tab.

  2. Select Show Focused Inbox.

    Show Focused Inbox button on View tab

    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.

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

Change how your messages get organized

  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.

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

See Focused Inbox in action

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

Outlook on the web

The instructions are slightly different depending on whether you're using the new Outlook on the web. Choose which version of Outlook on the web you're using to see the steps that apply to you.

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

Outlook on the Web Beta

See Instructions for the new Outlook on the web.

Outlook on the web

See Instructions for classic Outlook on the web.

Note: If your organization has included its logo in the toolbar, you might see something slightly different than shown above.

Instructions for the new Outlook on the web

Turn Focused Inbox on

  1. Open Outlook on the web.

    A screenshot of Mail in the Outlook on the web beta

  2. At the top of the page, select Settings button to open the Settings pane.

  3. Select the toggle next to 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.

Change how your messages get organized

  1. From your inbox, select the Focused or Other tab, and then right-click the message you want to move.

  2. Top move a message from Focused to Other, select Move > Move to Other inbox. Select Always move to Other inbox if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.

    If moving a single message from Other to Focused, select Move > Move to Focused inbox. Select Always move to Focused inbox if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Focused tab.

Instructions for classic Outlook on the web

Turn Focused Inbox on

  1. Open Outlook on the web.

    Primary view of Outlook on the web
  2. Select Settings icon > Display settings > Focused Inbox.

  3. 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.

    On the Display Settings page you can turn Focused Inbox on or off

  4. Click OK.

Change how your messages get organized

  1. From your inbox, select the Focused or Other tab, and then right-click the message you want to move.

  2. If moving a single message from Focused to Other, select Move to Other inbox. Select Always move to Other inbox if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.

    If moving a single message from Other to Focused, select Move to Focused inbox. Select Always move to Focused inbox if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Focused tab.

    Move to Focused and Move to Other options in Outlook on the web

Outlook.com, Hotmail.com

The instructions are slightly different depending on whether you're using the Outlook.com beta. Choose which version you're using to see the instructions that apply to you.

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

A screenshot of the top left corner of the Outlook.com beta mailbox

See Instructions for the Outlook.com beta.

A screenshot of the top left corner of the classic Outlook.com mailbox

See Instructions for classic Outlook.com.

Instructions for the Outlook.com beta

Turn on Focused Inbox

  1. Open Outlook.com or Hotmail.com.

  2. Select Settings icon Settings. In Quick settings turn on Focused Inbox.

    A screenshot shows the Quick Settings pane with the Focused Inbox option selected to turn on.

  3. At the top of your mailbox, in the email messages list, select between Focused and Other. You can switch between the tabs any time to take a quick look.

    A screenshot shows the Focused and Other tabs at the top of an Outlook.com mailbox.

Change how your messages get organized

  1. From your inbox, select the Focused or Other tab, and then right-click the message you want to move.

  2. If moving a single message from Focused to Other, choose Move > Move to Other inbox. Choose Always move to Other inbox if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.

    A screenshot shows the right-click menu with the options for Move to Other inbox and Always move to Other inbox.

    If moving a single message from Other to Focused, choose Move > Move to Focused inbox. Choose Always move to Focused inbox if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Focused tab.

    A screenshot shows the right-click menu with the Move to Focused inbox and Always move to Focused inbox options.

Instructions for classic Outlook.com

Turn Focused Inbox on

  1. Open Outlook.com or Hotmail.com.

    Primary Outlook.com or Hotmail.com screen
  2. Select Settings icon > Display settings > Focused Inbox.

  3. 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.

    On the Display Settings page you can turn Focused Inbox on or off

  4. Click OK.

Change how your messages get organized

  1. From your inbox, select the Focused or Other tab, and then right-click the message you want to move.

  2. If moving a single message from Focused to Other, choose Move to Other inbox. Choose Always move to Other inbox if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.

    If moving a single message from Other to Focused, choose Move to Focused inbox. Choose Always move to Focused inbox if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Focused tab.

    Move to Focused and Move to Other options in Outlook on the web

Outlook for Mac

In Outlook 2016 for Mac, Focused Inbox is only available for Office 365 accounts.

Turn Focused Inbox on

  1. Open Outlook 2016 for Mac.

  2. On the Organize tab, select Focused inbox.

    Focused Inbox button on the Organize tab of the ribbon

    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.

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.

Change how your messages get organized

  1. From your inbox, select the Focused tab, and then select the message you want to move.

  2. Select Message > Move to Other if you want only the selected message moved. Choose Message > Always Move to Other if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Other tab.

    Select Message >Move to Focused if you want only the selected message moved. Choose Message > Always Move to Focused if you want all future messages from the sender to be delivered to the Focused tab.

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

Mail for Windows 10

Turn Focused Inbox on

  1. In Mail for Windows 10, choose Settings button in Mail and Calendar for Windows 10 > Reading.

  2. Slide Sort messages into Focused and Other to On.

    Turn focused inbox on or off with the slider under Sort Messages into Focused and Other

    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.

Move messages from Focused to Other

  1. From your inbox, select the Focused tab, and then right-click the message you want to move.

  2. Choose one of the following:

    • 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 Other tab, and then right-click the message you want to move.

  2. Choose one of the following:

    • 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

For the latest information on Focused Inbox availability see our blog post.

Focused Inbox will replace Clutter. 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.

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

Yes. You will be able to turn on Focused Inbox as described in the instructions above.

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.

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.

Related Topics

Turn off Focused Inbox
Focused Inbox for Outlook Mobile

Get support
Contact us
Expand your Office skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×