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Email Feature: Focused Inbox

Microsoft is in the process of rolling out this filtering option to some versions of Outlook (during 2017-2018). Focused Inbox is replacing Clutter.

This article applies to: Email for Faculty and Staff

Focused Inbox

Microsoft is rolling out Focused Inbox, a feature that separates your inbox into two tabs: Focused and Other. It learns to identify your more important messages and puts them in Focused. This feature replaces Clutter.

Focused Inbox is currently available in Outlook on the Web and the Outlook apps for iOS and Android. Microsoft is working to make Focused Inbox also function in email applications for Outlook for Windows and Mac, with a target availability in early calendar year 2018. Microsoft's page on when each of the various clients/apps will get Focused Inbox is confusing because of the many footnotes. The Cornell community has acquired many flavors of Outlook through many channels, so it's impossible for us to make a blanket statement about timing.

If you check your email on more than one device, you WILL have access to all your messages on every device, even though they may be divided between Focused and Other Inboxes on one device, and all contained in your single Inbox on another device.

This Focused Inbox for Outlook article on Microsoft's support site goes into more detail. 

Turn Focused Inbox On or Off

Microsoft frequently rolls out small changes to Outlook on the Web, so the exact wording and location of the items mentioned in the procedure below may have shifted a bit.

  1. Go to and log in with your NetID and password.
  2. In the red toolbar, click the gear icon.
  3. Under Your app settings, click Mail.
  4. In the Options column on the left, click Layout, then select Focused inbox.
  5. Select either Sort or Don't sort, as you prefer.
  6. Click Save.
  7. To return to your mailbox, at the upper left, click Options (or the arrow next to it).

Microsoft's article describing how to train Focused Inbox will help you organize things in the way that suits you best.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 1:29pm

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