Update on Focused Inbox rollout for Outlook 2016 for Windows users


Edited: Nov 10, 2017 with updated information. 


Focused Inbox is coming to an Outlook near you! Here is an update on our status for Outlook 2016 for Windows. If you want to see our latest for other platforms, see our blog post, as these details haven’t changed.


Note: we have provided admins the ability to control the rollout of Focused Inbox in their organizations. For more details, read our blog post on admin controls.


Rollout status

As a reminder, there is a client and service side component required for Focused Inbox to appear in Outlook. The user’s mailbox in Office 365 & Outlook.com must receive a service side update to be Focused Inbox enabled. Secondly, the user must have a build of Outlook that includes the client-side updates necessary for Focused Inbox to appear.


Service side status:

We deployed to 100% of Office 365 (Exchange Online) and Outlook.com mailboxes. This is no longer a factor in availabilty.  


Client side status:

There are a few client side requirements:

  • Requires build 16.0.7967.2xxx+.  
    • This build began rolling out on April 21, 2017 to the Monthly (formerly Current) Channel for Office 365 ProPlus as Version 1703.
    • Those using a Semi-Annual (formerly Deferred) Channel build will not have access to this feature right now, as those channels offer delayed access to builds. Semi-Annual Channel will get Focused Inbox in 2018. 
  • Currently, the feature requires Office 365 modern authentication be enabled.
  • Previous use of Clutter
    • To ensure a good experience for those who previously used Clutter, user may get Focused Inbox rolled out in a defaulted-off state. See the chart in the “Transition from Clutter” section of our blog post.


186 Replies
Sorry for the fourth grade table formatting. Editing the HTML attribute for cellpadding is doing nothing for some reason.

Many Thanks Allen for the updated info !

Thanks for this update, it's really appreciated.

Hi Allen, Any timeline on the future update which removes the need for modern authentication to be enabled? This is the only current blocker for me but a significant one. Is this on the Office 365 Roadmap? If not it should be! I must confess without your information I would have been frustrated in understanding why Focused Inbox wasn't enabled for me. A final point, and I have shared elsewhere, is the assumption around PowerShell skills. Smaller shops with less experienced admins NEED a UI. This really isn't an afterthought. Thanks for the update. Regards

Current Channel First Release with Focued Inbox enabled in OWA with Modern Auth. Outlook 16.0.7927.1020 tells me I'm all caught up on updates though. No Focused Inbox.

John Wayne - I don't have a date to share, but as soon as we do it will be up on the Office 365 Roadmap. And your point is understood about PowerShell skills. Our admin center has been improving day by day, but there is certainly more to do. Feedback taken.

Jaymz - Yep, that is right. Just need another update to your client, which should be rolling out as we speak. Just note that, as explained above, you also need Modern Auth.

Can you shed any light on why the perpetual version of office 2016 will not be getting Focused Inbox?

It's a very frustrating position for Microsoft to take and not at least explain why.

I'm a consultant with a variety of clients and some have a strong BYOD aspect.  I'm having trouble defending the idea to those BYOD clients that 'despite the fact that all their users have outlook 2016, the ones with perpetual licenses will not get Focused Inbox'.  Especially since it's working so well on Outlook for iOS and Android.

We have latest Outlook 2016 and the used PowerShell to make sure tenant had Focused Inbox as true and modern authentication, and yes, First Release and still no Focused Inbox.  What gives?  Thanks!

Are you on Outlook 2016 16.0.7967.2xxx? I believe that's the required version, it's still not available to our tenant despite FR Current Channel and Modern Auth.

I believe so as we are what shows as version 1704 (Build 8067.2032)

Hey Geoffrey, 


Sorry for any issues we are causing you. I'm happy to explain it, and glad you find it to be working well on other platforms. 


Customers have two options when they choose to buy Office. They can buy:

  • Office 2016 perpetual - this is the traditional, one-time upfront payment for a point in time version of Office. You can use the product forever. It never gets new feature updates. This is the same as Office 2007, 2010, 2013, etc. You buy that version. If you want new features, you buy the next version.
  • Office 365 subscription - you pay a monthly subscription and pay for the right to get an always up to date version of Office. You get new features every month. 

Every customers has that choice when they choose to buy office. Do I want to pay for the version that updates? Or do I want to buy the version that doesn't? 


A question for you - can you share more about why the users in the company are on different types of Office? Am I correct in I'm assuming that, despite our marketing/websites, your response is that they didn't read to understand the difference between the two? 

Hey Jeffrey - bizzare. Let me follow up a moment. 

@Allen Filush wrote:

Hey Jeffrey - bizzare. Let me follow up a moment. 

Thanks Allen!

I'm seeing some odd behavior here.  My home computer (Win10 1703 Enterprise, O2016 1703 7967.2139) has Focused Inbox enabled.


My office desktop and Surface have the same software config but they do not Focused Inbox. 


The only difference between the two setups are that the home computer is connected via AAD and the office machines are domain joined.  


Any ideas?

Thanks Allan,

That is actually a reasonable reply.  Though I have to admit that I don't recall ever seeing clear copy anywhere that made it quite as clear as that.  On the otherhand, I've been at this for 32 years and I don't read marketing things as closely as I once did.  I was not aware of difference between the two.  Can you point me to that language online so I can share it with my client?


The situation remains problematic but at least it's clear.  I would suggest updating that table though to make it clear that "like all feature updates, the perpetual license version of the software will not be getting Focused Inbox".  The way it read to me (in my ignorance) was that it was not being rolled out to Perpetual for some arbitrary reason.


To answer your question "can you share more about why the users in the company are on different types of Office?":  The issue for this specific client is that they have a large number of remote workers and the comany has minimal centralized IT.  These workers typically bring their own computer equipment (BYOD or Bring Your Own Device).  Because many of these workers already own the perpetual license, it's making people mad that the only way they can take advantage of the Focused inbox is to walk away from the perpetual license they may have only recently purchased (such as Office 2016) and start paying for that license all over again as a subscription.


Bottom line, This may be the first time in the last 10+ years where a feature has come out between major releases that I or any of my clients has cared enough about to pursue. It's frustrating that it will not be made available but it is what it is. 


I don't think there is a way for MS to thread this needle unless it was to modify the position to say that feature updates are not guaranteed outside of the current major version.  That would be a line that I could reasonably accept.






Thanks for the feedback and clarification Geoffrey.

An example of where this distinction is discussed, from Office.com. This page outlines the 3 options an everyday user would buy. These are what are available at BestBuy or other retailers, or from PC manufacturers like Dell or HP. It is hard to tell if in your BYOD scenario what versions they are buying. But my guess is if they are buying themselves this is what they are buying.

Note in the list of details, it says that the Office 365 plans include "Applications are always up to date".

As you say, customers have historically just got access to features once they buy the next version. That will also be true in this instance. Office 365 changed that 5 years ago. Now, customers get features immediately instead of having to wait.

The analogy of buying a car comes to mind. If you buy a car, you get that car. If Ford releases a new self-driving car feature, you don't get that in the car you bought. You have to buy a new car. But instead of buying, you can rent cars and always drive the latest. The only difference here is Office 365 is affordable, where renting a car every week would not be!
Luckily, it does not have anything to do with Windows, domain joining or AAD. Unfortunately, that doesn't help you troubleshoot. Let me follow up with you 1 to 1.

What am I missing here? Still no focused inbox on Outlook 2016 First Release Current Channel. Version 1703 Build 7967.2161 CTR.




Modern Auth enabled for Exchange Online.

I wanted to seek some clarification.  I am an office 365 home user and looking to utilize focused inbox.  I am a windows insider running Office 365 ver 1704.  But I dont see any focused inbox.  Since I use OWA/outlook.com as by backend email service, I thought using that with Outlook 2016 would enable focused inbox.  I obviously dont have the ability to change OWA and turn on modern authentication.  Is it just not available for us home users yet?