Focused Inboxes To Be Disabled by Default in Outlook and How to Enable

Microsoft 365 OutlookOne of the benefits of our move to the cloud in the Mailbox Migration project will be to provide easier configuration options for email clients, better security, and more mailbox storage capacity. To get there, we need to change some current configurations and security settings. Some of these, have already been completed, but come next Monday, January 23, 2023, we will set the Focus Inbox feature to off by default as another step in this project.

While most users’ Microsoft 365 mailboxes have Focus Inbox currently enabled, after Monday, it will be turned off. Not to fret; it is simple to turn it back on if desired.

Enabling Focus Inbox in Outlook

  1. Log in to Outlook 365.
  2. Click on Microsoft 365 settings iconSettings > View All Outlook Settings.
  3. Select Mail > Layout.
  4. Under Focused Inbox, check the radio button for “Sort messages into Focused and Other.
    Screenshot of focused inbox settings

Your mail will now appear focused in the Inbox.

Screenshot of MIcrosoft 365 Focused Inbox sorted

If you ever decide you want to disable the feature, just check the Don’t sort my messages in the Focused Inbox setting.

If you need assistance with the Focus Inbox feature or Outlook, please feel free to contact the IT Help Desk at 214-768-HELP (4357) or email

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Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is an Adobe Creative Educator and the Senior IT Communications Specialist & Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT). For over 25 years, he has helped the SMU community use technology and implement digital and web media through multiple roles with the Digital Commons, SMU STAR Program, and now OIT. Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family in his free time.