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Focused Inbox keeps disappearing

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Andrew van Renen
Occasional Contributor

Hi - I gotten used to Focused Inbox and quite like it.  However, it keeps disappearing on me.

 

On first load in the morning, Outlook shows Focused Inbox.  After processing the first morning's set of emails, I switch focus to other apps.  When I switch back to Outlook, the Focus Inbox has disappeared.  In addition, the option in the View menu to turn it on also disappears.

 

If I close and restart Outlook, it comes back, but will again disappear after while. 

 

Has anyone else seen this behaviour?  I guess something is crashing, but I don't know how to trouble shoot this.

 

I am running Office Pro Plus Version 1810 (Build 11001.10060 Click-to-Run), 16.0.11001.20054.

44 Replies
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Hi Andrew

 

Kindly try to repair office. If it does not work try to uninstall and re install office. I would suggest try the steps given in the below thread :

 

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook_com/forum/all/my-focused-inbox-disappeared/cb867861-b592...

 

Thanks

 

Robin Nishad

Technical Consultant

 

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We've begun to see a number of problems with Focused Inbox lately too - including:
- It is no longer on by default
- Clutter users are not being prompted to switch
- A person who uses Focused Inbox gets a new PC, and Outlook doesn't honor the previous settings (does not start with FI = on)
- Nobody in Microsoft Support really understands how Focused Inbox is supposed to work
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Hi Robin

 

I have tried each of those suggestions, including uninstalling all Office components, rebooting and then reinstalling.

 

The behaviour where the Focused Inbox feature disappears altogether when switching away from Outlook is still very much there.

 

I noticed in the thread you linked me to that no one there had reported success with any of the recommended suggestions.  Would it be safe to conclude that there is no fix for this issue?

 

My symptom is a little different and a bit more specific than the other mentioned issues - have you seen my symptoms recorded on any of your internal discussion groups or knowledge bases?

 

Do I need to raise this with Microsoft Support?

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Hi Andrew

 

Quite frankly I have not seen the same issue so far.. not in our organization or in any discussions.. on TechNet or on Tech Community. I would suggest opening a case with MS for the same.

 

Thanks

 

Robin Nishad

---------------

Technical Consultant

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Thanks for the reply Robin.  Will do so.

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Andrew I'm having the exact same issues. I've reinstalled done everything you have and literally I'm having exactly the same symptoms that you are. Any progress?
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No progress yet -  have not had a chance to raise it with MS Support.

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The issue has gone away with the latest release of Office.  I am now on version 1810 (Build 11001.20108 Click-to-Run) (16.0.11001.20091) and have not seen the problem in the last 2 days.

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Andrew

 

You must be on the Monthly Channel. I am on the Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted). The prior build 1808 (Build 17030.20155) was fine but I got a update this week that caused the problem. I am currently on Build 17030.20205 and have the issue.

 

A Quick Repair causes the problem to go away for a while.

 

Those of us on the Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) will have to live with the issue (Or switch to the Monthly Channel) until Microsoft (hopefully) fixes it in the next update.

 

I have not heard of anyone on the Semi-Annual Channel having the issue so maybe they are fine.

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@Andrew van Renen - this problem just started happening for me over the last couple of weeks. Did you ever find a solution?

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i have not seen this problem for a long time. but this week it is start happening again, the Focused Inbox disappearing, a repair of the Office will bring back the function.

 

I am using version 16.0.11425.20242 (32 bit)

 

Any update ?

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I am also having this exact same issue with Office 365.  I'm on Version 1905, Build 11629.20246 Click-to-Run Monthly Channel 64-bit.  I verified that it is enabled on OWA and works fine there.  Its so weird that it works in the Outlook Desktop client for a bit then just disappears with no way to re-enable it.  I also tried to fully uninstall and re-install to no avail.

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@mirthrock @JensRubaek 

 

A few users in Our organization reported the issue ,, the common thing that I noticed is that the users who are on Windows version 1905, build 11629.20xxx are facing the issue.

 

To test I installed Office on a different PC with Windows version 1905 but a different build and the issue was fixed..

 

So the issue is not with Outlook the issue is with windows version 1905, build 11629.20xxx...

as the same version and build of office 365 is working on a different version/build of Windows.

 

Thanks

Robin Nishad

Sr Consultant

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@Robin Nishad

 

Thanks for this info.  Robin, can you clarify a little bit.  I think the latest version of Windows is 1903, not 1905.  The latest Office version is 1905 though.


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@mirthrock 

 

I have seen this issue on Windows 10 versions 180xx and 190xx so it is pretty hard to check however the latest one was 190xx.. as to narrow down the issue I installed the same version of office on a different version of Windows 10 and focused inbox is working fine on that one...

 

Thanks

 

Robin Nishad

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@Andrew van Renen 

 

I would recommend checking which release version you are on, if on the Monthly release channel then please switch to Semi-Annual channel as its more stable. Monthly channel in my experience tends to be glitchy sometimes and causes some occasional issues. 

 

Another recommendation would be to re-install office and make sure its has the most up-to-date patches for the semi-annual channel. 

 

-Ash

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@Andrew van Renen 

 

I would recommend checking which release version you are on, if on the Monthly release channel then please switch to Semi-Annual channel as its more stable. Monthly channel in my experience tends to be glitch sometimes and causes some occasional issues. 

 

Another recommendation would be to re-install office and make sure its has the most up-to-date patches for the semi-annual channel. 

 

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@Andrew van Renen 

 

I would recommend checking which release version you are on, if on the Monthly release channel then please switch to Semi-Annual channel as its more stable. Monthly channel in my experience tends to be glitch sometimes and causes some occasional issues. 

 

Another recommendation would be to re-install office and make sure its has the most up-to-date patches for the semi-annual channel. 

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@Ash365  Thanks for the info.  I know its not a real solutions, but I ended up wiping the computer and reinstalling everything. Seems to be fine now.

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@mirthrock 

 

okay, glad that worked out.

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@Ash365   I'm having the same issue using:

 

Outlook Version 1907 (Build 11901.20176 Click-to-Run)

Monthly Channel 

(Current)

 

Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.885)

Checking for updates now and will let you all know..

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Uninstall the Monthly channel Office and install the semi-annual channel of Office as its more stable.
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What do you mean by 'channel'?
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@Miles_10810 

 

One of the benefits of Office 365 ProPlus is that Microsoft can provide new features for Office apps on a regular basis, through monthly updates. However, as the admin who deploys Office 365 ProPlus to the users in your organization, you might want to have more control over how often your users get these new features. Microsoft provides you three options, called update channels, to control how often Office 365 ProPlus is updated with new features. Here's an overview of the three options.

 

Monthly Channel Provide users with the newest features of Office as soon as they're available.
 
Semi-Annual Channel - Provide users with new features of Office only a few times a year. Every six months, in January and July
 
Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) - Provide pilot users and application compatibility testers the opportunity to test the next Semi-Annual Channel. Every six months, in March and September.
 
Thanks
 
Robin Nishad
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I have this same issue and have had it for over a year now - I run a fix or an update and it works ok for a while then it starts happening again.  I am on Windows 1903, Outlook 1908.

Today I tried quick and full fix options, neither has worked.  I removed focussed inbox from tool bar and readded it, but it won't appear in the ribbon now.

clipboard_image_0.png

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@Andrew van Renen 

 

One possible solution: Try to add Focused Inbox back to the View ribbon

 

Open File > Options > Customize Ribbon

Under Choose commands from select All Tabs and under Customize the Ribbon select Main Tabs.

In the column on the right, select View.

From the column on the left search under View for Focused Inbox and if you see it, select it and click the Add >> button in the middle to add it to the View section on the right.

 

I hope this helps you.

 

Regards,

Akshay

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@Akshay_Mane 

I've just started experiencing the disappearance of the Focused inbox. I'm on version 1909 (Build 12026.20264) and Monthly Channel, on a machine with Windows 10 Version 1903 Build 18362.356.

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When I add the focused inbox back to the ribbon, it's greyed out and can't be selected.
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@Robin NishadI have tried all the steps that have been recommended.  I have the same issue.  I am running Windows 10 version 1903; Office version 16.0.11929.20300.  The Focused Inbox disappears when I change to a different folder and back to Inbox.  Shutting Outlook down and restarting it solves the problem, but only temporarily.  I've updated Windows and reinstalled Office.  Still having the problem.  Any solution yet?

 

focus.JPG

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Still happening at end of October 2019, outlook version 1909 build 12026.20344.  Been happening for about a month now.  Tried all the usual suspects outlined in this thread (quick repair, uninstall/reinstall, etc)

 

Here's the sequence that fixes/breaks focused inbox for me:

 

1. Launch Outlook. 

2.  Click Focused Inbox button in ribbon or in Quick Access toolbar.

3.  Restart Outlook

4.  Focused inbox will show up correctly at this point, and I can toggle it off/on with the button in the ribbon.

5.  As soon as I put the cursor in the "search" field, focused inbox goes away. I don't actually have to search anything, just clicking in the search box is enough.

6. Close Outlook

7. Go to step 1

 

Basically - the search feature breaks focused inbox, restarting outlook and turning it on brings it back.  Two restarts required.  As long as I don't have to search for anything (usually about a 3 minute time span) , it works great. 

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January 2020 and I'm having this issue.. Windows 1903.18362.535 and Outlook 1908.11929.20516 (CTR)

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I also have this problem. My company's IT department uninstalled and re-installed the entire Office suite on my desktop, but the problem persists and even when they tried to elevate the issue and contact Microsoft, they were told they needed an Admin on the phone in order to help, but that is not really feasible in this circumstance because the office admin is too busy to worry about my little preference issues.  Besides, every forum online seems to agree Microsoft does not have a fix for this. I am shocked that this known issue has not yet been addressed. So annoyed. @Andrew van Renen 

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@Marastar OK got mine fixed finally.  It took an uninstall/reinstall of Office 365 but I had to also completely remove my .OST files.  I had several OST files for various email accounts that I had built over the years so I moved all my .OST files for those accounts to an offline location.  They were all in the multi-gigabyte range in size.  I also deleted the Outlook mail profiles in control panel that were associated with those accounts.  Uninstalled/Reinstalled office 365, built a new mail profile and let it generate a new .OST file and been working fine ever since.  

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@deast 

Ugh. I have this problem too, but I hate the idea of losing access to .OST files. Very annoying problem. 

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@DPugh1000  I spoke too soon!  As of 2 days ago, focused inbox is broken again in the same exact way it was before.  I guess it was a recent update that broke it.  Still works fine on my mobile outlook though.  My last fix lasted for a couple of months.  I'll  attempt to repeat the process I used before and see if it works twice in a row.... 

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I had no old OST files to delete, as this computer had been recently wiped. IT dept in my office uninstalled and reinstalled Office suite, to try to fix the issue, but without luck. I can no longer get the Focued inbox to show up at all anymore (though the selection box in the "View" tab still appears, it does nothing) and am forced to implement many rules to keep the newsletters and the like out of the regular inbox. I am not happy about it, but it seems Microsoft has NO FIX for this issue.
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I have a similar issue where the Focused Inbox completely disappears on the very first launch of Outlook. If I close Outlook and re-launch it, presto it's back. Very annoying. I am on version 1808 Semi-annual channel.

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Opening a ticket with MS is not feasible for me, @Robin Nishad, as my company's IT providers tried to, but MS required an Admin present, but our Admins are too busy to bother with a tiny user preference issue like this that does not affect my workflow ( I have gotten good at implementing Rules to compensate for lack of "other" inbox).  I hope others will open tickets for this so that MS can become more aware of the issue and provide a fix available without having to call in the big wigs to deal with something that does not affect our ability to use Outlook, just makes it annoying.  

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@CmbOsi   The issue has resolved for me for the time being.  No instant disappearing after a mailbox search.  Has been stable for couple of weeks or so.

 

I'm now on:

 

Outlook Version 1912 (Build 12325.20344 Click-to-Run)

Monthly Channel

 

Windows 10 Version 1903 (OS Build 18362.592)

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@deast I ran thru my homemade fix for this again and it worked a second time.  I deleted my windows mail profile in control panel, backed up my OST files and deleted those too, then uninstalled/reinstalled Office365 from the cloud.  Focused inbox is working again for now.  Last time i ran thru this,  Focused inbox was solid for a couple of months.  We'll see if it holds true for this re-installation.   

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@deast , I have an end-user with this same problem.

 

I'm able to do a full uninstall using the Office Uninstall Tool and the problem is fixed for a month or so, but always returns.

 

In its most recent return, the end user shared some information with me.

 

She is using Adobe Acrobat Pro to send email using its built-in email icon.  She advised that when the focused inbox breaks, so does her ability to send email using this icon as well as her access to her "full access permissions" mailboxes.

 

I opened a ticket with Microsoft Gold Support but their solution was to do the uninstall/re-install after a PowerShell command, but it returned just like the last times.

 

My question to you, do you also use Adobe Acrobat Pro to send email using the built-in email icon?

 

(P.S., I'm currently updating her Office 365 to the monthly release version and her Windows 10 to 1903 as we speak)

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@arickard6 I can't speak for @deast, but I have this problem and do not use Acrobat to send emails.

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Nope no Acrobat Pro here either, although I do enable plugins for quite a few other apps.
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@DPugh1000 Same. I do not use Acrobat to send emails.

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