Office 365 - Turn Clutter On or Off

What is Clutter

Clutter is a feature within Office 365 that is turned on by default, and is intended to act as a filter, similar to an anti-spam filter, that moves less important email (based on your reading habits) into a "Clutter" folder where they can be viewed later or ignored.  While most of the mail going into the "Clutter" folder should be bulk mail (advertisements) and messages from mailing lists, there may be items of importance that could be filtered into your "Clutter" folder based on the content/score of the message.  Therefore, it is advisible to periodically check your "Clutter" folder for such items.

Individuals can choose to disable Clutter if desired. Please follow the instructions below (a 4-step process) on turning clutter on or off.

Turn Clutter on or off

You need to turn on Clutter in Outlook Web App, so that you can use it both in Outlook Web App and Outlook.

  1. Sign in to Outlook Web App. For help, see Sign in to Outlook Web App.
  2. At the top left corner of the page, select the App launcher 
    App Launcher icon

      icon, and then select Mail.

  1. On the top right corner of the page, go to Settings 
    Settings icon

     > Options > Mail > Automatic processing > Clutter.

  1. Choose Separate items identified as Clutter, then Save
    Save button icon


You can turn Clutter off anytime by selecting Don't separate items identified as Clutter.

Note   The Clutter folder remains in Outlook after you turn off the Clutter feature.


Help Clutter learn your preferences faster

It might take Clutter a few days to fully adapt to your preference, as the system records your choices and uses the information to identify similar messages in the future. But you can help Clutter learn your choices faster:

  • If you see a low priority email in your Inbox, right-click the message and choose Move to Clutter, or drag the email from your Inbox and drop it into the Clutter folder.

screenshot of moving to clutter
screenshot of moving to clutter in outlook
  • If you see a message that was sent to Clutter by mistake, right-click the message and choose Move to inbox, or drag the email from the Clutter folder and drop it in your Inbox.

Screenshot of moving to inbox in Web App
Screenshot of moving to inbox in outlook

Note   Moving an email in or out of the Clutter folder, from any of your devices, is enough to give the signal to the Clutter system that an item is Clutter or not. For example, if you move an email to the Clutter folder in Outlook desktop, or the Mail app on your phone, the action gets recorded in the Clutter system on all your mail apps. You don't have to do this individually in each app.


How Clutter filters messages

Clutter and junk email are both filtered out before they reach your Inbox. Junk email is evaluated and filtered first, then Outlook processes the rules (if you have set up any). Next, Clutter analyzes the remaining messages and filters out the types of messages that you usually ignore or don't respond to, based on your past behavior.

Messages from certain people will never be identified as clutter:

  • You
  • Anyone in your management chain
  • Your direct reports

Clutter looks at various aspects of messages to understand what you don’t typically read, for example:

  • The sender
  • Whether you’ve participated in the conversation
  • If you’re the only recipient
  • The importance

As your reading habits change, Clutter learns and adapts.

Manage the Clutter folder in Outlook

If you have Outlook 2016 for Windows, you can right-click the Clutter folder and choose Manage Clutter.

You'll be directed to Outlook Web App to manage your Clutter options.

Screenshot of manage clutter option