What is Clutter? (And why is it hiding my emails?)

Outlook 365: What is Clutter? (And why is it hiding my emails?)

Microsoft Outlook is hiding messages from you – and here’s how to find them.

Clutter is a new feature in Outlook 365. Emails that are detected as being low priority are automatically filtered into this new folder.

Over time, Outlook learns your behaviour and the emails that you read and don’t read – and the emails from recipients that you tend not to read are then automatically filtered.

Why use Clutter?

The Clutter folder has caused lots of controversy in the Happy offices over the past few weeks – it’s become a real ‘love it or hate it’ feature.

One member of staff comes into the office on Monday mornings with hundreds of unread emails, and finds the Clutter folder a real timesaver. Once they have gone through their main inbox, they then check their Clutter folder. They then may find 10 emails that they want to keep, and then delete the rest. Clutter has really learnt their preferences, and it has helped to keep their email inbox tidy.

You can train Clutter to learn your preferences quicker, by right-clicking on emails in your inbox and telling Outlook to move these to Clutter – and vice versa, if you spot any emails in Clutter that you want to see in your inbox, you can right click and change these preferences too.

But what if Clutter isn’t for you? How do you turn it off?

I, on the other hand, find the Clutter folder a real annoyance. I was missing lots of important emails each week that I needed, and had noticed that many of my own emails were being lost in this way.

According to my Clutter settings, it would have filtered 13 emails over the past week, saving me approximately just 2.6 minutes – if I hadn’t turned it off, that is.

So how do you turn it off?

To turn off Clutter, you need to log in to Office 365 in your browser and then go to Outlook – click here to log in.

Next, click on the ‘Settings’ cog on the top right corner (along the black navigation bar) and click on Options.

How to turn off Clutter in your Outlook settings

This brings up all of the various Options – next go to Mail -> Automatic Processing -> Clutter, and untick the box for ‘Separate items identified as Clutter’.

And that’s it! (There’s no need to press ‘Save’.)

What do you think of Clutter? Do you think it is a help or a hindrance? Let us know in the comments below or join the discussion on Twitter – @happyltd!

2 responses to “Outlook 365: What is Clutter? (And why is it hiding my emails?)”

  1. Thank you! A very well written article – this has clarified my understanding of the Clutter feature and the reasons why it could be helpful, or unhelpful in managing my mailbox. It could be helpful to me, as long as I remember to check the Clutter folder regularly so I don’t miss any important emails. At least I now know how to switch off Clutter!

    1. Hi Linda, thank you for your comment – really glad you found it useful. Clutter can certainly be a useful tool if you receive lots of email, as long as you’re willing to take the time to ‘train it’ to learn your preferences – and as long as you remember to check it regularly for anything you may have missed!

      Best wishes

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