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What is the Focused Inbox and how to enable it

Focused Inbox in Outlook on the web

The Focused Inbox tries to reduce the number of unimportant email notifications from your account. It is currently only available to Office 365 subscribers.

The feature splits your inbox into two folders, Focused and Other. As the name suggests, Focused is for your important emails, and Other is for all the rest. Emails can be moved between the folders by right clicking an email and selecting the ‘Move to Focused inbox’ or ‘Move to Other inbox’ options.

Teach the Focused Inbox

How to move email between Focused Inbox and the Other InboxThe Focused Inbox attempts to learn behaviour. You can improve its accuracy by using the ‘Always Move’ option.

If a sender is important and you always want notifications from them to display, the email can be moved into the Focused Inbox using the Always Move option. This creates a new rule and assists the machine learning engine behind the Focused Inbox to pick up important emails in the future.

From the inbox, right click any email preview > click ‘Always Move to Focused’ or ‘Always Move to Other’.

To move a specific email without creating a rule, right click any email preview > click ‘Move to Focused’ or ‘Move to Other’

How to turn it off

If you prefer a single inbox, here is how to turn off the Focused Inbox in Outlook 2016:

  1. Open Outlook 2016.
  2. In the ribbon bar at the top of the screen, click the View tab.
  3. Click the ‘Show Focused Inbox’ button. It will change the inbox options back to ‘Read’ and ‘Unread’.
    Focused Inbox on & off option in Outlook 2016

The Focused Inbox can be switched back on in the same way, at any time.

Updated on August 24, 2018

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