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Junk vs. Clutter vs. Focused Inbox? Please explain.

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Brian Hoyt
Occasional Contributor

It seems now in Outlook (both desktop Outlook 2016 and web based Office 365 Outlook) there at least 3 methods for dealing with unwanted (less wanted items). There is the old school Junk folder, the newer but now old Clutter folder and the latest Focused Inbox view. Is there a document somewhere describing which of these is available in which clients and what is supported / deprecated now? It doesn't seem to work the same accross all methods to look at mail such as Outlook 2016 Desktop, Windows 10 Mail app, web Outloook, mobile apps?

8 Replies

Hadn't seen that thanks. Via https://outlook.office.com/owa/ I am seeing Focused but via Office 365 C2R 1702 (7870.2031) I am not. I guess that is much my issue is you see it differently depending on how you look.

Ok so Focus kills Clutter (eventually) but what about Junk does it live on and is it only a feature of some clients or server based? This should not be this confusing.

In short: Junk is what you don't want to see and that you should have never received; Other is what perhaps you will want to see when you will have the time; Focused is what you want to see immediately. ;)

I get what Junk is for I remember when it was first introduced in early versions of Outlook. I just wasn't sure if it is only client based or server based as well at this point. Thanks.

One of the great advantages of clutter is that unread clutter doesn't affect the inbox unread messages count.  The whole point of clutter (and focused inbox) is to segregate messages that need immediate attention and those that you get to when you have time.  Consequently, items in clutter may remain there for a long period of time and be read in bulk.  I personally read my clutter once per week.

 

With focused inbox, it appears that it is doing nothing more than grouping incoming email; however, all the email is still in the inbox.  As a result, a user who reads focused inbox email like clutter, will always show unread messages in the inbox until all emails in clutter are also read.

 

This seems like a step backwards. 

 

Any solutions in the works?

You are correct, this is how it works at the moment.

Focused and Other are only two different views of the Inbox folder, while Clutter was a completely separate folder.

In Outlook desktop, the "unread messages count" near the folder name shows the unread messages in that folder, hence in the case of the Inbox folder it shows the total number of unread messages, i.e. the sum of Focused and Other.

I don't think there are plans to change this behavior...

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