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Email Feature: Focused Inbox

Microsoft Outlook filtering option. Focused Inbox replaces the Clutter feature.

This article applies to: Email for Faculty and Staff

Focused Inbox

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

If you had Clutter enabled and want to turn it off, follow the steps below to turn on Focused Inbox. This will, as a side effect, disable Clutter forever.

You can then decide whether to leave Focused Inbox enabled or turn it back off. If you choose to turn Focused Inbox off, wait about an hour before doing so.

Focused Inbox is currently available across platforms: Outlook for Windows, Outlook on the Web,, Outlook for Mac, and Mail for Windows 10.

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.

For more details, view Microsoft's Focused Inbox for Outlook page.

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. At the bottom of the menu that opens, click View all Outlook settings. The Settings pane will open.
  4. In the left-most column, click Mail.
  5. In the center column, click Layout.
  6. In the right-most (main) column, under Focused Inbox, select either Sort messages into Focused and Other or Don't sort my messages, as you prefer.
  7. Click Save.
    (The Save button will not appear until you have changed at least one setting.)
  8. To return to your mailbox, close the Settings pane.

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, June 11, 2020 - 8:05am

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