Microsoft Outlook for Mac and other issues

I am using Microsoft’s New Outlook for Mac and struggling with using some of its functions. The mail is divided into “focused” and “other”; have no idea how it is decided into which group it goes into. Since I only slid the toggle over to “New Outlook” and didn’t download or install a new program I am guessing it is only a Beta version and I need to purchase a new program? Is there any other program I could use instead of Outlook? It is not for work. I am president of a volunteer organization and use the mail, contacts and calendar primarily. Thanks!

Apple Mail (probably already installed on your Mac unless you deleted it) works fine, IMHO. Apple also provides Contacts and Calendar which also should suit.

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The “new” Outlook for Mac is a joke as far as I am concerned. Still, Outlook is my main mail app on my Macs, too (Apple Mail is crashing way too often and I do not like rebuilding the database every few weeks; another reason is that is just more easy when exchanging mail with persons that use Windows, long story). I keep using the old version (toggle disabled) of Outlook though. And I will keep doing so as long as I can.

I am not sure if the “new” Outlook really is the new Outlook. Because there indeed could be a “new” Outlook on the horizon that allegedly might be the same on all platforms. (Electron anybody? :wink: )

P.S. One more vote for Apple Calendar and Apple Contacts. If you are a MacOS and iOS user and if you do have the choice, the integration of the calendar and the contacts app within MacOS and iOS definitely is a reason to use the native apps.

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I look at these as Focused being your inbox and Other is Outhouse’s, err, I mean Outlook’s attempt at sorting less important email and second level spam detection.

The Junk Email folder is almost always junk, Other for me is typically newsletter/vendor emails, some Zoom recording links, etc… It’s adequate, but no more than 3/10 on the value scale.

Option + Shift + F will move a note and future notes from that sender to the Focused box and this helps. Or simply turn it off, Organize Tab → click inbox → click focused inbox icon in the ribbon.


I am using the “New Outlook” and don’t hate it. I prefer Apple Mail but it was very unstable and I have found using Outlook on my Mac, iPad, and iPhone syncs up better and allows me to separate my work email from my personal email easily.

I have turned off Focus inbox in Outlook on all my devices. On my Mac if you go to the menu bar Outlook>Reading> and Uncheck the “Focused Inbox” checkbox it will then be a normal Inbox like I prefer. I also turn off “conversations” as I found that I missed emails that got absorbed into a conversation.


The only thing I would add to the above suggestions is to make sure there are no Outlook plugins (i.e., add-in) you need. I prefer Mail as well, but use Outlook because there is an Outlook add-in for my firm’s case management system. If there were a similar Mail plugin, I’d drop Outlook in a heartbeat. I miss the ability to grab a URL to any Mail message and have it work on any platform. I’ve hacked a way to grab a link to Outlook messages, but the links open in the web app.

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Precisely the same as I have done!

I also don’t hate Outlook client but it does irk me that the Mac port is less feature-rich than the Windows one - understandable I guess.

Also, the keyboard shortcuts are pretty handy when you get them into muscle memory.

Thank you all so much! I will try all your suggestions. I am not a novice but I am not an advance Mac user either. I was an HP user prior to 2006, but purchased my first Mac in 2006 and a second in 2018. I won’t be returning to an HP anytime soon! What’s your thoughts on the new Mac M1?

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My post was not fair. I should have explained why I consider the “new” Outlook to be a joke. The dealbreaker is something that sounds silly, but it has been true since 2020 when the “new” version was launched: as far as I know there is no way to put your full name into your mail account (= into the "From: " field). And I really am not fine with that because every recipient who receives a mail from you is confronted with “” instead of “John Doe”. That alone is a reason for me not to use the “new” Outlook for Mac because emails sent by the new Outlook really do not look very professional. Yes, Mail clients might show the full name if you are a contact in their address book, but that is something you cannot rely on.

There are a lot of complaints about that and Microsoft’s answer always is the same: we are sorry, we are always improving Outlook and what not. And: just “switch to the classical version”. And that is after almost two years of rolling out the “new” Outlook.

A recent topic:

And there are many more.

The thing with the “new” Outlook is that it lacks too many features and that is a no-go because the classical Mac version already is missing out on a lot of features the Windows version has built in.

I never understood why Microsoft is taking so much time to fix simple things on the new Mac version. When I read about the new “One Outlook” (see above), it dawned on me that there could be a bigger change ahead. The “new” Outlook for Mac looks like an app that stalled in the midst of development or its rollout. I like the design, but there clearly is a lot left to be done. And I am not so sure if it is a priority as of now.

Fast, reliable, a battery saver, a game changer. A very big step forward for the Mac.

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I am not certain if I am using the “new” or “old” Outlook! I just bought MS Office through a sale offer, perpetual license for one Mac for $49, which was the right price for me. I bought it primarily because it is the email client of choice for both my day job and my wife’s and it just makes detailing with work email easier.

In the preferences, there is an option that turns off the focused mail feature, which I have done as I found having the two threads cumbersome and led to missing emails. That might help for you.

You can toggle back to the normal version - I’ve done that, as the new Outlook doesn’t support contact lists.

I did quite like the new version, but the contact list feature pulled me back.

Prior warning to all - Outlook has updated itself to the new version without any ability to now go back.

It still doesn’t support contact lists.

You can still go back. You can find the option to revert to the “legacy” version in the Help menu.


If the screenshot is not accurate: it is from a Microsoft support site. The German version looks different, but the option is available. It says: “Restoring the Outlook legacy version”.

And no, the “new” version still does not enable me to use my name instead of my email address occupying the non-editable “Full name” field. Weird developers. I am all for new and shiny stuff, but this is ridiculous.

I can get all my contacts with no problem. What I can’t do ( or haven’t figured out how) is to make a distribution email list of a group.

That’s the feature that’s not supported in the new Outlook yet.

Thanks; that is the function I really could use, darn! There seems to be very little that can be done in outlook. :cry:

Has anyone figured out a way to make the CC and BCC fields on a message shown by default, like you can do in almost every other email client on the market? I’ve had to create a keyboard action shortcut for each, which involves “click at found image.” Ridiculous. (happy to share the KM Macros, if it would help anyone else!)

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Have you tried this?

IF I revert to the “old” outlook I am afraid I will lose important emails. I have what appears to be the “old” outlook on my iPhone and all the folders I had in the older version is there; BUT none of my contacts. Same on my computer (if I put in safari Should I use that and just re-enter everything? What a pain that would be!

Christian - thanks! Unfortunately, that applies to the old version of Outlook, not the redesigned version.