Skip to main content

Microsoft could finally bring Focused Inbox to the Windows 10 Mail app

Microsoft brings Focused Inbox to the Windows 10 Mail app for some lucky users

Outlook’s Focused Inbox – Focus on the email that matters most.
Microsoft’s cross-platform strategy has been one of the more striking aspects of its recent transition from the Windows company to the “cloud-first, mobile-first” productivity solutions company. It’s no longer true that Microsoft only makes apps for Windows, and in fact, some of its apps work best on iOS and Android.

One example of this phenomenon is the Outlook Mobile app, which has offered features and functionality on iOS and Android that have been pulled over from Microsoft’s purchase of the popular Accompli email app, but that haven’t yet made their way to the Windows 10 Mail app. One of those features is the Focused Inbox, which was promised by Microsoft but not yet delivered — a situation that is to be rectified in February 2017, as Neowin reports.

Focused Inbox lets users more clearly and efficiently organize their email inboxes by putting important messages in their own folder. With Focused Inbox turned on, the inbox will have two tabs labeled “Focused” and “Other,” letting users quickly triage the messages that Outlook assumes are the most important. Fortunately, Focused Inbox can also be turned off, for users who find Outlook’s predictive powers to be less than accurate.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Microsoft indicated in October that the Focused Inbox feature would make its way to the Windows 10 Mail app on mobile devices and to Outlook 2016 in November, but that deadline obviously passed with no update in sight. However, Microsoft updated a recent blog post indicating that “All supported account(s) will be able to see Focused Inbox in the Mail app for Windows 10 starting in February 2017.”

Now, it appears that Microsoft is pushing the Focused Inbox to some Windows 10 users, with it showing up in the latest update to the Windows Mail app. There is no rhyme or reason to who is receiving the Focused Inbox at this point. Users on the production version of Windows 10 are receiving it and so Microsoft does not seem to be limiting it to Windows Insiders — or, at least, not to Windows Insiders builds.

If you are on the list, you will first get the following notification when you launch the Mail app after updating it.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Then, you will get another popup when you click over to your account in the app.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Focused Inbox works for accounts only at the moment, while the Outlook app on iOS and Android supports the feature for other email accounts as well. The Focused Inbox works just as described and as it works on the other platforms. Email that the app decides is particularly important will show up under the Focused tab, and everything else will show up under Other. The jury is still out on exactly how smart the system is in filtering messages.

It looks like Office 2016 still isn’t going to see the Focused Inbox feature anytime soon. There is no word yet on when everyone will get the Focused Inbox in The Windows 10 Mail app — perhaps that is a feature that will officially show up for everyone in the upcoming Creators Update expected in April. However, at least there is some movement in bringing the Windows 10 Mail app more in line with its iOS and Android counterparts.

Edited on 02-17-2017 by Mark Coppock: Microsoft has pushed the Focused Inbox to some users on Windows 10.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
Windows 11 might pull ahead of Windows 10 in one key way
Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating system logos are displayed on laptop screens.

Windows 11 has been around for nearly a year, but the debate on how it stands up against Windows 10 is still going strong. That's why custom computer builder Puget Systems revisited that very topic, with the results finding that Windows 11 might pull ahead of Windows 10 in one key area.

This one key area involves content creation, and Puget Systems detailed that in several tests,

Read more
The Windows 11 update rollout has finally ended
Person sitting and using a Windows Surface computer with Windows 11.

Windows 11 is now available for everyone, over seven months since the rollout began in October 2021. As of yesterday, Windows 11 has been designated for broad deployment, which means any PC that meets the minimum requirements can now acquire the operating system through Windows Update.

Until now, Microsoft has rolled out the option to upgrade to Windows 11 based on the device's hardware compatibility. Now anyone can get the update, as long as they still meet those minimum standards.

Read more
Windows 11 could get a mysterious new ‘Designer’ app
Two windows laptops sit on a wooden table.

Microsoft is working on a mysterious new web app for Windows dubbed "Designer," which might end up helping you create fancy graphics and other content for presentations or social media. This is coming from the noted leaker WalkingCat, who recently spotted a website for the potential new Microsoft service.

Details on the web app are scarce at the moment, but a series of images from the leaker shows how it might end up working. It looks as though "Designer" could be a lot like PowerPoint Designer, mixed with Microsoft Publisher, as well as Microsoft Sway.

Read more