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Introducing 'Follow in inbox' and other improvements for managing group emails in Outlook

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Ravin Sachdeva
Microsoft

The latest set of updates for Groups in Outlook introduces new ways to manage the group emails you receive in your inbox. These updates are, in large part, based on customer feedback about the Groups subscription model. That model has now been replaced with Follow in inbox.

 

Read more on these feature improvements in our Outlook blog post.

 

We are rolling out these improvements in a phased manner. So, if you don’t see these improvements in your version of Outlook yet, please be patient. We’ll get these features to you soon!

 

Thank you for all the feedback. Let us know what you think of these latest updates.

28 Replies
Very interesting what it's being cooked not only around following Groups but also better controls to manage Groups from the UI...I'm seeing I have already some of the new features, but not others :-).
I read the article you shared. It was helpful and helped to clarify this but I still have some questions that I was wondering if you could clarify for me. In Groups if members are subscribed to a the Group will they receive Conversations in their Outlook inbox, or does this only apply to Outlook emails using the Group Name? (In my organization when a group is created it becomes part of the Email Global Directory ) Thanks for any clarification you can give!

@Jennifer Seitsinger - thanks for your feedback.

 

Can you please explain your question in detail?

 

From what I understood, you're asking if a group message created from the inbox would be delivered to member's inboxes who are following the group in inbox.

 

Answer is yes. Irrespective on how the email was sent to the group, whether from inbox or from the group shared space, the message would always be delivered to those member's inboxes who are following that group in their inbox.

 

Let me know if this does not clarify your question.

My wording was a little confusing...probably becuase I'm a little confused...LOL!  I am wondering if a messaged sent from within Groups (a conversation) can be recieved in an email inbox.  We have some within our organization who don't want to check Groups for messages...trying to find the best way to meet the needs of everyone! Thanks for your responce!

Hi Jennifer, if the members of the group are following group conversations in their Inbox, the will get everything sent to the group in their Inbox, regardless of from the group space, or from Inbox and composing a message to the group. During group creation time, the group owner also has this option to set this so that all members are following the group conversations in their Inbox from the beginning. Of course, they get the choice to change this setting anytime based on their needs.
Let us know if that clarifies. We can also get on a call if you have more questions.

Thank you...this info will help as we mover forward with Groups!

Is there a way using GUI in EAC Online or Powershell to set all users in a group to follow in inbox? This is a big problem as administrators create groups and add users but users don't get the emails because they haven't followed in inbox.

@Ravin Sachdeva  I have a strange issue and wonder if you could help!  I have an Office 365 Group where I have enabled the setting so that everyone in the group would receive emails directly to their inboxes.  Now when I click the icon below.  It doesn't work.  It goes back to 'Off' postion

s1.png

Same experience with this link (although it should be saying 'Following' considering the settings above):

s2.png

You will see nothing instead of a green tick 'Following'.  All other groups are working fine. I having issue with one particular group.


s3.png

 

Thanks

Hi Sohail, this looks like a bug. Can you please open a support ticket so we can get the details necessary to investigate this further?

Thanks,

Krish

I am having this exact issue.  I change the setting to 'Follow the Inbox' and it immediately goes back to 'Not Following'.  I am an owner of the group.

Hi Jared - we have recently made a change to set all members to follow a group in Inbox by default at create time. If you use Outlook Web, you should be able tp see this change when you try to create a group in Outlook. If you use Outlook on Windows, you would be able to see this change in the next couple of months.

For existing groups, you can use the Edit Group settings and then check the box which says "set all members to follow...". Checking this box will reset all the group members to Follow in Inbox as well as change the Group's default setting to Follow when a new members is added to the Group.

From a powershell cmdlet perspective, you can provision a new group using "Set-UnifiedGroup" with attribute -AutoSubscribeNewMembers for this on a per group.

Does that answer your question?
Hi Sohail, were you able to create a support ticket for this issue?
Mark, did this issue get resolved for you? It could have been an intermittent failure on the API.

If the issue still persists, can you confirm if anyone else in your group is facing the same? If so, can you create a support ticket?

Thanks!

Hi Ravin,

 

So, originally I was added as an owner of the group by the tenant administrator, through the Admin app.  This gave me the ability to manage the O365 Group, but for some reason I couldn't save the setting to Follow the inbox. I had him remove me as a member/owner, and had one of the other Owners add me through the group interface itself.  This allowed me to Follow the inbox properly.

 

Ultimately, I have the functionality I need, however, this seems to be a bug...?

 

Mark.

Yes, I had to create a support ticket to resolve this. After few weeks of investigation it was fixed. Apparently, there is a members list behind the scenes and Owner wasn't included in that list. It will need to be fixed by the Engineering team. Hope this helps.

We aren't seeing this functionality as yet can you advise?

 

We really need it to work around team emails being forwarded to group email address and reverse. Unless there's a better solution in the meantime?

Is there a powershell command to set all users of the group to "following"?  Or something in the admin portal where this can be set?

One of the downsides to these groups is the admin or owner of the group cannot configure it to force following vs giving the user the choice. In some uses cases, you don't want the users to unfollow the group to miss key emails. Without this ability you cannot truly replace distribution lists as intended. Is there a way via powershell or otherwise to turn this following feature off for a group?

The email footer in groups has now been removed. The problem my company is facing is, we need to allow members to turn off all messages and events for certain groups they are a part of. I saw this can be done in OWA. Unfortunately, we have disabled OWA. Is there any workaround in Outlook 2016 or Outlook for Windows that will allow members to un-follow a group or turn off all messages and events?

@Ravin Sachdeva you have mentioned "we have recently made a change to set all members to follow a group in Inbox by default at create time", where do you set this up? In our environment it is right now off and I don't know how to change behavior, I've been researching online but no luck, can you point out where is this default setting or powershell command that I need to execute?

 

Ivan

@Ravin Sachdeva 

I just got off the phone with MS Tech support and they told me the thing i want is not available yet. I hope you can clarify.

Recently a client of ours changed their "old skool" ditribution lists to the new office 365 groups, and they want to use them the same as a distribution list; people send mail to the Office365 group and the members recieve the email in their OWN Inbox.
I noticed someone else in this post asked you teh exact same question; is there a way in powershell to handle this. The only way i found was in the guy and is on a user level. I need to drive to the user / make a remote session to the user, open his/hers Outlook, fould out the groups pane and select the correct group. Than i need to tick an option were it says "Follow in Inbox" and after these manual acts the user will recieve the emails that are send to the Office365 group in their own Inbox.
U told someone earlier that we can manage this trough "Set-UnifiedGroup" with attribute -AutoSubscribeNewMembers, but this is not what we are looking for since this will only enable the following "Subscribed members get conversations and calendar events delivered to their inbox. Otherwise, they'll only see them in the group's inbox."
As you can see "Conversations and calendar events", no email messages.

So, is there a powershell command that works for the emails? Enabling "Follow in Inbox" on the users level?

A powershell script for receiving your own sent email back in inbox for Outlook Groups is NOT yet available. We are currently working on some higher priority items and do not have plans to build a powershell script for bulk management of sent emails. At this time, users would have to individually set their setting from OWA.
Hope that clarifies.

@Ravin Sachdeva 

 

It wasn't the response i was hoping for, but i now know what i can expect.
Thank you for the reply!

"Conversation" is email so so if user is subscribed to "conversations" they will receive emails to their inbox. In addition if you made change to "subscribe" users you can always automate 1 time task to read all members, remove all members and add all members, that way they will be added as "new" and subscribed.

Ravin, please we need Groups to work like Distribution lists. Why cause all this chaos at our office. Should I forward all the "Why don't I see my message in my inboxes" to you?

You want me to tell everyone "Oh now check two inboxes daily" .

"Check all the groups for a new number "

This is not how office workers work... INBOX INBOX INBOX.

Groups is a failure.

I ticked the "Subscribe new members" box but the user still wont recieve the emails send to the group in there personal Inbox, also removed members from the group and re-added them. So i need to tell a CEO of a company who is paying me big bucks to automate stuff for him that he needs to expand the group in his Outlook and needs to click a button to subscribe to the mailbox?
His first reaction was.. Hmm what's wrong with the old way.. And i can't blame him. So now i had to reconfigure al the groups that I "upgraded" (Ye Microsoft calls it an upgrade..) to a Office365 back to a distribution list.

Yep I agree... all these new features forgetting how 'old schoolers' work... Not good. I have a similar thread in another post...

Even if he subscribes it still won't include his 'own' messages!
I cant believe in my other post one guy found the solution for me..

Apparently you have to login to the 'WEB" version of Outlook office.com and click the gear settings on top right, then 'View all outlook settings' and then select Groups THEN and only then you get the crazy option "[ ] Send me a copy of email I sent to a group"

OMG...
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