I helped a friend install a new Office 365 account the other day, including Outlook desktop. Throughout the day as her mail was coming in she called me and complained: “Hey, some important mail I know that was just sent to me is not in my Inbox!”
I came back to visit and found that the Focused Inbox was turned on by default, and some important mail was in fact going into her Other tab—which she didn’t know she should be checking.
We talked and agreed that the Other tab was probably not good for her and that we should turn Focused Inbox off.
How to Turn It Off
Here is how to turn off the Focused Inbox in both your Windows Outlook desktop application, and in Outlook Online if you use that. And finally, I show how to turn it off in the Outlook phone app, if you use that.
And by the way, I have a video that shows this and a lot more about Focused Inbox and the Clutter folder in my Outlook Inbox Ninja video course. See video number 2.9. It discusses why you may or may not want to use these features—what advantages and disadvantages they have—so I encourage you to watch that.
But the short steps are here:
To Turn Off Focused Inbox in Outlook Desktop:
- Click on the View tab
- In the third section from the left find the Show Focused Inbox button and click it.
That’s it! The Focused and Other tabs at the top of your Inbox will disappear. Any mail that was in the Other tab will now be merged in with your single main Inbox.
To Turn Off Focused Inbox in Outlook Online
If you use Outlook Online, the Focused and Other tabs may be there too, and if you don’t like them, you have to turn them off there separately from the Outlook application. Here is how.
- Open Outlook Online for your account.
- Once the Outlook Online window is open, click the Gear icon in the upper right. A Settings panel appears on the right.
- Scroll far down in Setting panel and click Mail near the bottom. An Options panel opens on the left.
- Find the Mail section, it should be open. Find the Layout section in that, it too should be open. Then find the Focused Inbox entry and click it.
- If you want to turn off the Focused and Other tabs, click Don’t Sort Messages, and then click Save at top.
To Turn Off Focused Inbox in the Outlook phone app
If you have installed and use the optional Outlook phone app, the Focused and Other tabs may be there too, and if you don’t like them, you have to turn them off there separately from the other locations I just showed. Here is how (these steps work on the iPhone and should work on Android as well).
- Activate the menu in the upper left.
- Tap the Gear icon in the lower left
- Find the Focused Inbox setting and turn it off.
Study what these Features Do
Again, all this is assuming you simply want to turn these features off. But these features actually might be useful to you, and you may want to study them to see what they can do for you. If so, see video 2.9 in my Outlook Inbox Ninja video course.