Outlook focused inbox disappeared

Outlook introduced the focused inbox feature quite a while ago. Since then, it seems like there are some users who can’t use this feature after software updates on their computer. This seems to be quite a common problem among long time Outlook users.

There are a few reasons for this and, therefore, a few solutions.

The most common and simplest solution is to head over to the “view” tab in Outlook and click on the “Show Focused Inbox” option in the ribbon. This should re-enable the focused inbox.

With this done, you should be able to make use of the focused inbox once again.

If you don’t see that option

Sometimes, that option is hidden. To find out if the option might be hidden, in the very top bar:

Go to File Options > Customize Ribbon > Customize the Ribbon: Main Tabs > ViewFocused Inbox to see if the “Show Focused Inbox” option listed there.

If you see the option in there and it is hidden, re-enable it. The option to “Show Focused Inbox” should now be available in the “view” tab.

If the option is not hidden and you still cannot use the focused inbox, there might be a deeper problem. In this case it would be best to contact your Microsoft 365 provider, or IT department for support. There might have been updates on the server end of things, or someone requested that the focused inbox feature be disabled.

Getting Support

If you realise that you need to contact your IT department, or your provider for help with this, it will save you some time if you include the following:

  • The version of Outlook you are using.
  • The date and time of the last Outlook or Windows update.
  • When you remember last using or seeing the feature.

Your support network should be able to solve this issue for you, or come up with a workaround until they can find the root cause and fix it. Sometimes there are bugs in software that support has no means to solve, as only Microsoft has access to the source code of the applications you are using through your Microsoft 365 subscription.