Managing Focused Inbox in Office 365 using PowerShell 4.67/5 (3) 8 min read

In the current article, we review how to manage the option of – Focused Inbox in Office 365 by using PowerShell.

Generally speaking, we can enable or disable the option Focused Inbox in “organization level” by using the PowerShell cmdlet – Get-OrganizationConfig or by managing single Exchange mailbox” by using the PowerShell cmdlet – Set-FocusedInbox

What is the purpose of the Focused Inbox feature?

Focused Inbox—focus on the emails that matter most

For many, the inbox is the command center for their day. It’s the way to keep track of what is going on and what needs to get done. Outlook’s Focused Inbox makes this process easier by helping you focus on the emails that matter most to you. It separates your inbox into two tabs—Focused and Other. Emails that matter most to you are in the Focused tab, while the rest remain easily accessible—but out of the way in the Other tab. You’ll be informed about email flowing to “Other”, and you can switch between tabs at any time to take a quick look.

For more about what makes Focused Inbox great, see Outlook helps you focus on what matters to you.

[Source of information – Managing Focused Inbox in Office 365 and Outlook]

Transition from Clutter to Focused Inbox in Office 365

Users can keep using the existing Clutter experience through the transition. However, after the transition period, Clutter will be completely replaced by Focused Inbox.

In the meantime, if a Clutter user chooses to opt-in to using Focused Inbox they will no longer receive less important email in the “Clutter” folder.

Instead, email will be split between the Focused and Other tabs in their inbox. Tenant admins will be proactively notified before Clutter is fully replaced.

[Source of information – Managing Focused Inbox in Office 365 and Outlook]

SECTION A: Enable “Focused Inbox” option

Enable Focused Inbox option | Organization level

When using the PowerShell cmdlet – Set-OrganizationConfig, the option of Focused Inbox will be applied (activated) for all existing Exchange mailboxes + to all NEW Exchange mailboxes that will be created in the Future.

In case that we want to Disable the option of Focused Inbox for a specific Exchange mailbox, we can use the PowerShell cmdlet – Set-FocusedInbox

PowerShell command Example

Enable Focused Inbox | Single Mailbox

PowerShell command syntax

PowerShell command Example

Enable Focused Inbox | All Exchange USER Mailboxes (Bulk)

PowerShell command Example

SECTION B: Disable “Focused Inbox” option

Disable Focused Inbox | Organization level

When using the PowerShell cmdlet – Set-OrganizationConfig, the option of Focused Inbox will be applied (activated) for all existing Exchange mailboxes + to all NEW Exchange mailboxes that will be created in the Future.

In case that we want to Enable the option of Focused Inbox for a specific Exchange mailbox, we can use the PowerShell cmdlet – Set-FocusedInbox

PowerShell command Example

Disable Focused Inbox | Single Mailbox

PowerShell command syntax

PowerShell command Example

Disable Focused Inbox | All Exchange USER Mailboxes (Bulk)

PowerShell command Example

Export + View (Display) “Focused Inbox” settings” option

View Focused Inbox settings | Organization level

PowerShell command Example

View Focused Inbox settings | Single Mailbox

PowerShell command syntax

PowerShell command Example

View (Display) information about All Exchange user mailboxes Focused Inbox (Enabled or Disabled)

PowerShell command Example

View (Display) information about All Exchange user mailboxes that their Focused Inbox option is Enabled

PowerShell command Example

View (Display) information about All Exchange user mailboxes that their Focused Inbox option is Disabled

PowerShell command Example

Export information about All Exchange user mailboxes Focused Inbox (Enabled or Disabled)

PowerShell command Example

SECTION D: Using Exchange Online rule to send specific E-mails Focused Inbox

When using the Focused Inbox option, the Exchange server who manages the user mailbox, “decide” according to an internal algorithm to “move” (or not to “move”) a specific E-mail message to the Focused Inbox view.

In some scenarios, the Focused Inbox algorithm, can decide not to classify E-mail messages as an E-mail that will be sent to the Focused Inbox view. In other words, the Focused Inbox algorithm, can decide that specific E-mail address is not important, and this E-mail will not “sent” to the Focused Inbox view.

To be able to override this decision and to be able to “inform” Exchange server that we would like to send a specific E-mail to the Focused view.

The Exchange rule is implemented by, defining the characters of these specific emails, and asks from Exchange to add a specific mail field to the E-mail message header.

This special mail field is named – X-MS-Exchange-Organization-BypassFocusedInbox.

We will need to add this mail field, and set the value of this mail field to “true

For example

X-MS-Exchange-Organization-BypassFocusedInbox = true

In case that Exchange server “locate” this mail field, he “understands” that he needs to bypass the Focused Inbox process.

The Exchange rule can be created manually or via PowerShell.

In the following section, we review two examples of such as Exchange rule that will bypass the Focused Inbox process for specific mail items.

Create an Exchange rule that bypasses the Focused Inbox process for E-mail that includes a specific text in the mail SUBJECT

PowerShell command syntax

PowerShell command Example

Create an Exchange rule that will bypass Focused Inbox process for E-mail that sent from a specific SENDER

PowerShell command syntax

PowerShell command Example

For your convenience, I have “Wrapped” all the PowerShell commands that were reviewed in the article,
in a “Menu Based” PowerShell Script.

You are welcome to download the PowerShell script and use it.
Download -o365info PowerShell Script

Managing Focused Inbox in Office 365 using PowerShell
In case you want to get more detailed information about how to use the o365info menu PowerShell script, you can read the following article

Enable or Disable Focused Inbox Using Exchange Online transport rule

Video links – Focused Inbox


Getting started with Office 365 PowerShell

PowerShell Naming Conventions & general information
Get more information about the Naming Conventions that are used in the PowerShell articles – Help and additional information – o365info.com PowerShell articles
Creating a remote PowerShell session to Exchange Online 
To get more information about the required remote PowerShell commands that you need to use for connecting to Exchange Online, read the following article:
Connect to Exchange Online by using Remote PowerShell
Creating a remote PowerShell session to Azure Active Directory
To get more information about the required software component + the remote PowerShell commands that you need to use for connecting Azure Active Directory, read the following article: Part 2: Connect to Office 365 by using Remote PowerShell
Basic introduction to PowerShell in Office 365 based environment
If you are new in the PowerShell world, you can read more information about how to start working with PowerShell in Office 365 based environment in the following article series:  Getting started with Office 365 PowerShell – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Running and using o365info PowerShell scripts
In case that you need more information about how to use the o365info PowerShell scripts that I add to the PowerShell articles, you can read the article – How to run and use o365info PowerShell menu script

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PowerShell command syntax – Office 365 | Article series index

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