Enable or Disable the Focused Inbox in Outlook (WEB)

The Focused Inbox feature was introduced in Outlook to separate user’s emails in Focused and other tabs. When enabled, this feature directs important emails to the Focused tab and the rest of the emails in the Others tab. But many people do not like the idea, as they themselves (not Microsoft) want to decide which emails are important and want to disable the Focused Inbox (for some of the users, when they disabled the feature, the setting reverted, and Focused Inbox was enabled).

How to Turn Off Focused Inbox

You can try the undermentioned methods to Turn off Focused Inbox in Outlook but before that, keep in mind if you want to disable Focused Inbox across the board (i.e., from Web, desktop, mobile clients, etc.). You should sign out of all the clients and disable Focused Inbox in Outlook web and then sign into the clients again one by one and turn off Focused Inbox in each client.

1. Disable Focused Inbox in Outlook Web

  1. Launch a web browser and steer to the Outlook website (or Office 365 website).
  2. Now click on Settings in the top right of the window and toggle off the slider to Remove Focused Inbox.
    Disable Focused Inbox in Outlook Web
  3. If the option is not there, then, in the same menu, open View All Outlook Settings, and in the resulting window (you should be in Mail > Layout tab), select Don’t Sort Messages (in the Focused Inbox section).
    Open View All Outlook Settings
  4. Now save your changes and check if the Focused Inbox is disabled for Outlook web.
    Disable Focused Inbox in Layout Tab of Outlook Web

If the Focused Inbox option is not shown, then make sure no web browser add-on (Classic IE is reported to cause the issue) is interfering with the operation of the website. Some Office 365 users may have to open Settings > Display Settings > Focused Inbox and select Don’t Sort Messages.

Disable Focused Inbox in Display Settings of Outlook Web

2. Turn off Focused Inbox in Windows 10 Mail App

  1. Launch the Windows 10 Mail app and in the left pane, click on the Settings/gear icon (near the bottom of the pane).
    Open Settings of Windows 10 Mail App
  2. Now, in the right pane shown, select Focused Inbox and toggle off the switch of Sort Messages into Focused and Other (make sure the proper account is selected).
    Open Focused Inbox in the Windows 10 Mail App Settings
  3. Then click on the back button (must or the setting might not save) and afterward, check if the Focused Inbox is turned off.
    Disable Focused Inbox in Windows 10 Mail App

Keep in mind, if the app crashes when applying the setting, then repeat the same after putting your system into the Tablet Mode.

3. Remove Focused Inbox in Outlook for Windows 10

  1. Launch the Outlook application and head to the View tab.
  2. Now click on Show Focused Inbox and relaunch the Outlook client to check if the Focused Inbox is disabled.
    Click on Show Focused Inbox in the View Tab of Outlook

If the Show Focused Inbox option is not in the View tab, then you may enable it in Customize Ribbon.

Add Focused Inbox Command to Outlook Ribbon

If the Focused Inbox option is greyed out in the View tab, then you first need to turn off Focused Inbox in Outlook Web and Windows 10 Mail app. Then relaunch Outlook and try again to disable the Focused Inbox feature in the Windows 10 Outlook client. If some of the emails are not shown in Inbox, check if disabling Show as Conversation in the View tab of Outlook solves the problem.

Disable Show as Conversation in the View Tab of Outlook

4. Disable Focused Inbox in Outlook for Macbook

  1. Launch Outlook and head to the Organize tab (make sure the Inbox of your user account is selected in the left pane, not All Accounts).
  2. Now click on Focused Inbox and check if the Focused Inbox is disabled (if not, then you may relaunch the Outlook client).
    Disable Focused Inbox in the Organize Tab of Outlook Mac

5. Turn Off Focused Inbox for the Outlook Android

  1. Launch the Outlook application and near the top left of the screen, tap on the Home (or your user icon).
  2. Now, in the menu shown, click on the Gear/Settings icon (near the bottom of the screen) and toggle off the switch of Focused Inbox (you may have to scroll a bit to find the option).
    Open Settings of Outlook Mobile
  3. Then hit the back button and check if the Focused Inbox is disabled (if not, then you may have to relaunch Outlook).
    Disable Focused Inbox in Settings of Outlook Mobile

If you are still not able to disable Focused Inbox and are part of an organization, then you may contact the IT administrator of your organization to turn off the Focused Inbox in Outlook (either for your account or for the whole organization) or give you the right to do so (once the permission is given, then you may try the methods discussed above to turn off Focused Inbox). As a workaround, you can mark all incoming emails as Focused (till the issue is resolved) and keep an eye on the Others tab (whenever an email is shown there, right-click on it and select Move to Focused). If that is not an option, then you may try another email client.

Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

Expert Tip

Enable or Disable the Focused Inbox in Outlook (WEB)

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