How to Use Focused Inbox in Outlook — or Disable It Altogether

Enable or disable Outlook's Focused Inbox

Email icon on purple sphere in a line of other darker spheres
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The default view in recent versions of Outlook is a feature called Focused Inbox. Focused Inbox separates important emails from the rest and places them in a special tab for fast access. If you don't want to use Focused Inbox, turn it off. If you want to use it, customize it for your needs.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook for Office 365, and Outlook.com.

Enable or Disable Focused Inbox in Outlook 2016 and Outlook for Office 365

Turn Focused Inbox on or off with a single selection.

  1. Select the Inbox folder.

  2. Go to the View tab.

    Screenshot of View tab with Show Focused Inbox selected
  3. Select Show Focused Inbox to turn Focused Inbox on or off.

Enable or Disable Focused Inbox in Outlook.com

To toggle Focused Inbox in Outlook Mail on the web:

  1. Select Settings (the gear icon ⚙️).

  2. Turn on or turn off the Focused Inbox toggle switch to enable or disable the Focused Inbox view.

    Screenshot of Outlook.com Quick Settings
  3. Close Quick Settings.

How Does Outlook Decide Which Emails to Put in the Focused Inbox?

Several factors determine which messages display in the Outlook Focused Inbox. These include:

  • Previous training from similar emails: If you move an email from a newsletter to Focused Inbox, future messages from the same newsletter appear in the Focused Inbox automatically.
  • People you have emailed in the past: If you send numerous messages to a client, messages from their email address automatically appear in the Focused Inbox.
  • People in your Outlook Contacts: If you add an email address to your address book, emails from these contacts appear in the Focused Inbox.
  • Known newsletters, mailing lists, transactional emails, and notifications: These spam and junk emails, along with updates about your social media accounts appear in the Other inbox.

How Can I Move Emails and Train Outlook Focused Inbox?

You can move an email to or from the Focused Inbox in Outlook or Outlook.com

  1. To move email from the Other inbox to the Focused Inbox, right-click a message in the Other inbox and select Move to Focus or Always Move to Focus.

    Screenshot of Move to Focused in Outlook
  2. To move email from the Focused Inbox to the Other inbox, right-click a message in the Focused Inbox and select Move to Other.

The Focused Inbox is enabled independently on Outlook and Outlook Mail on the web. If you turn off Focused Inbox at Outlook.com, your Outlook desktop app is not affected.