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For Important COVID Vaccination Messages, Don’t Forget to Check Outlook’s Clutter or Focused Inbox, Gmail Categories, or Junk Folders

Related services: Microsoft Outlook

Think you're missing an important email that you expected from health authorities about the COVID-19 vaccine? Don’t forget to check email filters and junk or spam folders!

Cornell community members who are in the process of registering their eligibility for, or signing up to get, the COVD-19 vaccine should remember to make sure these official communications have not inadvertently ended up in their Clutter, Focused Inbox “Other” tab, or Junk and Spam folders. Settings in your individual email client may cause messages to be mislabeled either as lower priority or spam.

Know Your Email Filtering Features

  • Clutter is an obsolete Outlook feature intended to sort out low-priority items, but it may still be active for some users. If you still have Clutter turned on in your Outlook application, just click the Clutter folder to look for official messages that may have been sorted there. (For details about turning off Clutter, visit Email Feature: Clutter (Discontinued).)
  • Focused Inbox is the current Outlook email filtering feature. When turned on, it separates email under the categories of Focused and Other. To check if a message you expect has been filtered, click the Other tab in Outlook or Outlook on the web and look there. (Details about using or turning the feature off can be found at Email Feature: Focused Inbox.)
  • Inbox Categories in Gmail can be used to sort email as well. If you see categories and tabs such as “Promotions” and “Updates” in your Gmail inbox, check in each to try to find the email you are looking for. (For more about using or turning off Gmail categories, visit Add or remove inbox categories and tabs in Gmail.)
Unfortunately, Cornell does not have the ability to ensure that all of your important messages get delivered to your Inbox. Whenever you use filtering options like those listed above, you should check regularly for important messages that may have been misidentified by your email client.

Also, remember that every once in a while authentic email may end up in your Junk or Spam folder – but, when looking for wayward messages, be sure to use great caution and never click links in the malicious junk mail also found there.

Contact Cornell’s COVID Support Center with questions or concerns about the pandemic response on campus. Contact the IT Support Desk for questions or issues with Cornell IT services.

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