Would you like to see you inbox in Outlook more focused towards your most important emails? This can be done easily by choosing to enable “Focused Inbox” feature, which does exactly what the name implies.
But note that for Outlook Windows users, it only works with Exchange, Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365), and Outlook.com accounts.
Outlook email client employs REST API to detect the importance of emails and sort them appropriately. It detects several factors of a received email: whether the email is from one of your frequently contacted accounts, if it is a bulk email, if it is an automatically generated email, if it contains marketing keywords, etc. After all that calculations, Outlook decides whether it is an important email to you or not.
The more you interact with your emails; more the algorithms get better in determining which emails go to which inbox.
If your inbox is currently switched to ‘normal’ view and you want to see the focused inbox, follow the steps below:
- Go to Outlook and then click on “View” tab at the top ribbon
- Click on “Focused Inbox”
- Then you will see both tabs at the top of mailbox – “focused” and “other”.
Note that enabling focused inbox does not delete or marks spam all the emails that don’t make it to the “Focused” group. They are still accessible within the “Other” folder.
Furthermore, going into your “Other” group from time to time and marking the emails that you find important as such makes Outlook algorithms better in making “focused” group more accurate and will make it suit your work and style better.
Here’s how to do that:
- Go to “Other” group and open the email you want to mark as important
- Open that email or right click on the email
- Select “Move to Focused ” from the overflow menu that appears
- You can also choose “Always Move to Focused” to force Outlook to always move the emails from that particular sender to “Focused”
- You can also do the reverse from the “Focused” group. Open the email from the “Focused” group, right the click, and select “Always move to Other” to never get the emails from that particular sender in your focused inbox.
“Focused Inbox” is also a feature that is available on Outlook.com web email. Just go to your Settings à Display Settings à Focused Inbox à and then select “Sort messages into focused and other.” Same applies for Hotmail and then go “Settings” and turn on the slider for “Focused Inbox.”
What is the difference between Focused Inbox and “Clutter?”
Clutter was also a feature for Outlook client that uses the same concept as “Focused Inbox.” It was a slightly less enhanced version of the more modern “Focused Inbox” functionality. The “Clutter” has now been slowly rolled out in favor of “Focused Inbox.”
Here are few more important points worth mentioning:
- Focused Inbox does not work with shared mailboxes
- It does not affect the @mention feature of tagging other users
- Your Notifications are synced to Focused Inbox
- On iOS, your badge count is for Focused inbox as well
It works on all your emails, not just the news one that you receive. When you enable it, you will see even the older emails in your mailbox being sorted into Focused and Other.