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Microsoft Focused Inbox

Published: 28 October 2021

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Microsoft Focused Inbox

Microsoft has introduced a feature called Focused Inbox, the goal of this feature is to intelligently sort your email to remove unimportant email such as marketing or shopping to a separate ‘other’ folder allowing you to concentrate on business email and remain work ‘focused’. The ‘other’ tab is then only a click away when you are ready to read through.

Focused Inbox is part of Outlook 365 installed on your Mac or PC, and present in the Outlook app for mobile devices as well as Webmail.

How it works

When it is turned on the automation of Focused Inbox works for personal and work emails and will ‘learn’ what types of email you receive for better filtering. The Focused tab will consist of email from work, people you contact frequently, and emails detected as important.

The Other tab will have email such as newsletters, adverts, etc.

If Focused Inbox classifies an email wrongly you can manually classify email as ‘other’ or ‘focused’ by right-clicking n the message and selecting either:

Move to Other/Move to Focused – which moves the email into the correct tab, however future messages from this sender might arrive in the wrong tab.

Always Move to Other/ Always Move to Focused – moves the message and all future messages will appear in the correct tab.

In Webmail, when you right click you will have to use the Move submenu to find the ‘Move to…’ options above.

Webmail Move to

Turning on Focus inbox in Outlook

In Outlook click on the View Tab, and then click on ‘Show Focused Inbox’

Show Focused Inbox

This will turn on the ‘Focused’ and ‘Other’ tabs in the Inbox column and your email will now be being sorted.

On a Mac click on the ‘Organise’ tab, and then ‘Focused Inbox’ from there.

Mac Focused Inbox

Disabling Focused Inbox

In Outlook go to the ‘View’ tab and click the ‘Show Focused Inbox’ button to turn off the feature. The ‘Focused’ and ‘Other’ tabs will disappear and your Inbox will change back to the ‘All‘ and ‘Unread’ tabs.

On a Mac click on the ‘Organise’ tab, and then ‘Focused Inbox’ from there to turn off the feature.

Turning on Focused Inbox in Webmail

Go to Webmail via Office.com or the Webmail link from the Staff page. Sign in and click on the ‘Settings’ button (cog icon) in the top right corner. Scroll down settings and turn on the ‘Focused Inbox’ toggle.

Webmail focused inbox

Once on your Inbox will start to sort email into the ‘Focused’ or Other tabs.

Disabling Focused Inbox in Webmail

Go to Webmail via Office.com or the Webmail link from the Staff page Sign in and click on the ‘Settings’ button (cog icon)in the top right corner. Scroll down settings and turn off the ‘Focused Inbox’ toggle.

Once off the ‘Focused’ and ‘Other’ tabs will disappear and you will just see the Inbox.

Turning on Focused Inbox in the Outlook mobile app

Usually the Focused Inbox is on by default for the Outlook app, but if it is off, to enable it, click the menu button at the top of the App screen, then tap the ‘Settings’ button (cog icon). Use the ‘Focused Inbox’ slider to turn Focused Inbox on.

App Focused Inbox

Disable Focused Inbox in the Outlook mobile app

To turn off Focused Inbox for the Outlook app, click on the menu button at the top of your screen, and then tap the ‘Settings’ button (cog icon). Use the ‘Focused Inbox’ slider to toggle the Focused Inbox off.

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