Focused Inbox, no more Clutter

Published Mar 28 2019 06:00 AM 21.4K Views
Established Member

It’s been just over a year since our last post about Focused Inbox and our plans for Clutter. We’re posting again to remind you that Clutter will not be available after January 31, 2020.


Focused Inbox is now available to all Office 365 customers using the Monthly Channel of Office 365 ProPlus, in Office 2019 for Windows and Mac, and in Outlook for iOS and Android.


Focused Inbox helps you focus on the emails that matter most to you. It separates your inbox into two tabs—Focused and Other. Emails you need to act on right away are in the Focused tab, while the rest wait for you in Other. You can switch between tabs at any time to take a quick look.


We’ve had a lot of feedback since we launched Focused Inbox and we’ve used it to improve the quality and accuracy of the technology that powers it.


We want to you to really enjoy the switch to Focused Inbox – and here are answers to some of the common questions we hear:


So what happens after January 31, 2020?

After January 31, 2020 we will no longer move any messages to the Clutter folder in the mailbox, and we will convert the existing Clutter folder to a regular user folder. We also won’t do anything to the messages in the Clutter folder, or remove the folder. We will stop sending digest notifications, and we will remove the options in OWA, the API’s and the admin tools.


Can I keep using Clutter instead of Focused Inbox?

You can keep using the existing Clutter experience until January 31, 2020. However, after that date, Clutter will be completely replaced by Focused Inbox.


So what do I have to do to enable Focused Inbox?

You can find information about how to enable Focused Inbox for each supported client here.


What happens if I’m not using Outlook mobile, or OWA, or one of the supported clients?

If you are not using one of the supported clients then emails that would previously have been moved to the Clutter folder will remain in your Inbox. As a workaround you can create rules to move mails from your Inbox to another folder, but of course the experience will be much simpler if you use Outlook. Want to see how it works in Outlook mobile? Check out this short video.


I’m the admin for my tenant – how can I switch my users from Clutter to Focused Inbox?

Office 365 admins can manage the rollout of Focused Inbox for their users with tenant and mailbox level controls using PowerShell. To learn more, see “Configure Focused Inbox for everyone in your organization


I’m the admin for my tenant – how can I make sure important company emails land in the Focused tab?

Tenant admins have controls to ensure certain business critical communications, like HR, Payroll, etc., always land in the user’s Focused tab of the Inbox. These whitelists can be set up using mail flow rules from the Admin center or via PowerShell cmdlets. After these are set up successfully, all future messages that satisfy these mail flow rules would be delivered in the Focused tab of the Inbox on Outlook clients that support Focused Inbox.


Why don’t I see Focused Inbox in my Outlook client?

It might be because you aren’t using a supported version of Outlook. Make sure you are using a supported version and it should be available.


We really have put a lot of work in to Focused Inbox to make using Outlook more productive for as many users as we can, we hope you’ll try it, and we look forward to hearing your feedback.


The Outlook Team

Super Contributor

Oh, i have to setup a mail flow rule for every occurrence of crappy filtering. The problem is that i only can set it up after a user is annoyed with missing an important message, because sometimes it is from an internal system, but sometimes it's a completely random filtering of a legitimate message to the Other folder. So i have a call or support request, i have to spend time to investigate why a user haven't received a message or sees it in a regular mobile mail app, but not in Outlook, then i have to instruct the user how to deal with Focused inbox or disable it (yeah, i have sent instructions twice or three times now), then i have to setup a mail flow rule. Or i can just disable Focused for good and don't have to deal with that "machine learning" PR bias.

Occasional Visitor

Where did Focused Inbox go?  It was working great on outlook 365 but now it's gone.  It works on ios and web just not on PC.  Tried to update outlook.  please help

Occasional Visitor

not sure where to post this but.... how can I set up a rule in Outlook 2016 mail so that if an incoming or outgoing mail has a certain word in the Subject line, the message is copied to a specified folder?  I am tired of writing 2 rules...there must be an easier way- Thanks!



Occasional Visitor

Although I like the change from clutter folder to a tab in the inbox in my desktop client, it is extremely annoying on my mobile phone (Blackberry Key2). Inbox is the only folder I sync to my phone, so I did not see clutter emails until the change. Now all those emails are sent to my phone. Is there something I can configure to change this behavior? If not, I will have to unsubscribe all the clutter sources as the clutter now on my phone renders the phone almost useless!

Super Contributor

What is bothering you exactly? In mobile Outlook you can set notifications to trigger only for Focused inbox, so you shouldn't be bothered by the clutter emails. Although I haven't used Focused on mobile myself, so not sure if this is completely silent.


Honestly though, if you are ok with unsubscribing from these sources, I would just do that and unsubscribe :)

Occasional Visitor

My desktop Outlook (Office 365) has the Clutter folder which I can't get rid of. If I delete it, it gets recreated. However the Outlook web application does not have that folder, but I think it is just hidden. If I place an email in the Clutter folder in the desktop client and then search for it in the web app, it gets found.


I would like to get rid of the Clutter folder altogether. Is there a way to do that?


By the same token, can I do the same with the RSS folder? 

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‎Mar 27 2019 05:59 PM
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