Outlook Could Soon Be Getting Inbox Tabs

Posted on April 10, 2020 by Mehedi Hassan in Cloud, Outlook.com with 22 Comments

Microsoft seems to be working on a new feature for Outlook that will help users better organize their inbox. Leaked screenshots show off a new feature that will take the idea of the Focused Inbox a step further.

The screenshots, which were posted on Twitter, show off a feature called Inbox Tabs. The idea is pretty simple: it introduces different tabs for your inbox, instead of just being limited to the “Focused” and “Other” inboxes.

With the new feature, you will be able to have a Focused Inbox, as well as Promotions, Social, and Newsletters tabs. You can choose which inbox tabs you want to enable, and the Other inbox will continue to exist. It also seems like you will be able to reorganize the ordering of the tabs.

At the moment, Microsoft is yet to make this feature official. The feature also does not seem to be enabled by default as of yet, so it’s possible the feature is hidden from the general public for now, or it’s currently in limited testing.

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft implements this feature on Outlook’s mobile apps if it does end up becoming an official feature.

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Outlook Could Soon Be Getting Inbox Tabs”

  1. SvenJ

    Glad you can turn them off. Hopefully they don't all turn themselves on periodically with an update like Focused Inbox does. Can't stand that feature. I't like having two mail slots at your house, one that drops inside the front door and the other that goes to a cornet of your basement, and letting the postman (postal carrier) decide which piece of mail to stick where. The basement piles up and you still have to go through it to ensure you haven't missed something periodically. If you don't do that daily you are likely to miss something important. I find easier to get the full stack of mail and just chuck the chaff right then and there.

    P.S. I know how to establish rules...my rules, not some MS AI rules.

    • siv

      In reply to SvenJ:

      Wholeheartedly agree, who is it who thinks focused inbox is a good idea?

      If you run a business that relies on my email like I do, having the application start spiriting emails where it thinks fit is a recipe for disaster.

      I think the Outlook team should apply the KISS rules:





      I have got so sick of Outlook in Office/Microsoft 365 I have started using Em Client as it's much less annoying than Outlook. I also do NOT like the way Outlook's current versions hide the email settings so that when you try and create a new account in Outlook it tries to guess what the settings are and ALWAYS gets it wrong if you're not on Gmail or Outlook.com. So now you have to close Outlook and go to Control Panel to find he mail panel and do it from there. What a disaster.

      Luckily I only use Office on my Dev box and spend most time in Linux where there are still some decent email clients.


  2. ddoug23

    I've had it for a while now. In the version I have , you can customize it and add/remove whichever filter you want, just like you can with the focused inbox feature now. I'm a rule junkie too, so I turned them all off

  3. simont

    Where is this enabled in the settings if it is available?

  4. kawaidon

    I don't like these separations of my inbox at all - why would I want Microsoft to automatically parse out my emails when I can create specific rules to do it right! It's so easy to create my own folders within Outlook, and then make a quick rule based on an existing email I have received. I really don't want the software deciding what I want to see.

    But, well, for those people who just leave everything in their inboxes, maybe it would help them. I once helped someone sort out a broken Outlook inbox that had more than 100,000 email messages just sitting in there!!!

  5. RustyGates

    I'm surprised to see this article I've had this for a few weeks now. I always turn on new features and almost immediately disabled these as I was jumping from tab to tab. I keep an almost empty inbox. I can confirm messages appear in multiple tabs if the meet multiple criteria.

  6. IanYates82

    I hate conversation view in email, but quite like the focussed inbox.

    I could see myself using this once it's in Outlook desktop, or at least giving it a good go.

  7. RobCannon

    Oh boy! More places to look for my email. Thankfully, I can turn it off.

  8. will

    This looks very much like Google's options for sorting email. I like this idea but I am curious if this will be supported on the desktop apps or if it will only be web and mobile? There are several features on the web version of Outlook that I would like to see in the desktop versions.

  9. Elan Gabriel

    I don't understand the need for these filters. Just unsubscribe newsletters you don't read. This is not organized mailbox, it's just hiding the mess. I just hope we'll be able to turn it off, like focus inbox and conversations.

  10. jim.mcintosh

    It came today for me as well

  11. kevvan

    This would be amazing and so welcome. Focused inbox was a good step forward and if we could go one step further to build our own categories. Some do not want to fuss over this stuff but truth be told, email is simply abysmal but cannot be avoided and as such any tools to help further organize would be most appreciated.

  12. faustxd9

    I saw this as well in my O365 instance I am managing.

  13. jbinaz

    I'm already seeing it.

  14. ronh

    I would like tabs for different email accounts.


    I would like to be able to pin three different email address in Outlook.com as three different PWAs to my taskbar

  15. matthewitt

    Must be limited public testing. I have it enabled on my account. It’s of limited use as it doesn’t propagate in the Outlook app.

  16. 02nz

    So will this be like Focused Inbox, which doesn't work with Gmail on the desktop version of Outlook? Yet somehow it works on Outlook on iOS. (Which is so much better than the desktop version I couldn't believe Microsoft made it. And then I learned MS didn't make it, it started out as Accompli.)

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