Categories
Uncategorized

De-Clutter Office 365

Email is a mess most of the time. Junk, spam, solicitations, and phishing make up a majority of the email each is us receive on any given day. Email vendors each provide solutions to manage this. Microsoft, for example, tried one solution named Clutter with mixed results and now it’s time to de-clutter Office 365 with Focused Inbox.

Email is a mess most of the time. Junk, spam, solicitations, and phishing make up a majority of the email each is us receive on any given day. Email vendors each provide solutions to manage this. Microsoft, for example, tried one solution named Clutter with mixed results and now it’s time to de-clutter Office 365 with Focused Inbox.

What is Clutter?

Essentially, Clutter is a tool in Office 365 that sorts low priority email into a separate folder automatically. The idea is to remove emails you are unlikely to read to help keep your Inbox from becoming cluttered. While well intentioned, this ended up creating some confusion for some users including the impression that emails were being lost.

The Future of Clutter

Microsoft has iterated on the solution and introduced the Focused Inbox in July 2016. It works similarly to Clutter in principle without moving (removing) the emails from the inbox. The user’s inbox will have two tabs. One for the prioritized messages (“Focused”) and one for everything else (“Other”). This feature was announced in July 2016 as an eventual replacement for Clutter.

Microsoft announced the retirement of Clutter in December 2017. From that time on new accounts have Clutter disabled by default. The retirement was originally scheduled for January 31, 2020, but as of December 2019 it has been postponed indefinitely. https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Outlook-Blog/Update-on-Focused-Inbox-and-our-plans-for-Clutter/ba-p/136448

This means that, for the moment, we get to decide when to transition our remaining users from Clutter to Focused Inbox. This article will show you the PowerShell commands to manage Clutter for when you decide to transition your remaining users.

How to Disable Clutter

Here’s how you can disable Clutter for your users.

What You Will Need

In order to complete these processes you will need the following on your Windows device:

  1. WinRM Service Running.
  2. Exchange Online PowerShell v2.
  3. Exchange Administrator access to Office 365.
  4. PowerShell.

Start WinRM Service

Do this if the WinRM service is not running.

  1. Open PowerShell as Administrator.
  2. Run the following command:
Start-Service winrm

Install Exchange Online PowerShell v2

Do this if you have not installed the Exchange Online PowerShell v2 module yet.

  1. Open PowerShell as Administrator. (if not already opened)
  2. Run the following commands:
Install-Module PowershellGet -Force
Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
Install-Module -Name ExchangeOnlineManagement

Connect to Exchange

First, we will need to connect to Exchange Online.

  1. Open PowerShell as Administrator, if not already opened.
  2. Run one of the following commands to authenticate:

Without Multi-Factor Authentication

$UserCredential = Get-Credential
Connect-ExchangeOnline -Credential $UserCredential -ShowProgress $true

With Multi-Factor Authentication

$UserCredential = Get-Credential
Connect-ExchangeOnline -UserPrincipalName 'username@domain.com' -ShowProgress $true

Get List of Users with Clutter Enabled

First, let’s get a list of users who still have Clutter enabled.

  1. Open PowerShell as Administrator. (if not already opened)
  2. Run the following commands.
# Initialize variables
$clutterUsers = @()
# Get Clutter Users
Get-EXOMailbox -RecipientTypeDetails UserMailbox | foreach {
    $hasClutter = Get-Clutter -Identity "$($_.UserPrincipalName)"
    if ($hasClutter.IsEnabled) {
        $clutterUsers += $_
    }
}
# List Clutter Users
Write-Output "Listing Clutter-enabled Users"
Write-Output $clutterUsers.UserPrincipalName

Before completing the next steps, be sure to inform your users that you will be disabling Clutter on their account.

Disable Clutter For Users

If you are go into disable one user at a time, then you can use the following command.

Set-Clutter -Identity "username@domain.com" -Enable $false

Otherwise, you can run the following command to disable Clutter on all accounts that have it enabled. This uses the array we just populated.

# Disable Clutter
foreach ($user in $clutterUsers) {
    #Set-Clutter -Identity "$($_.UserPrincipalName)" -Enable $false
}

The Complete PowerShell Script

Clear-Host
# Connect to Exchange Online
# https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/exchange/exchange-online/exchange-online-powershell-v2/exchange-online-powershell-v2?view=exchange-ps
# Without MFA
#$UserCredential = Get-Credential
#Connect-ExchangeOnline -Credential $UserCredential -ShowProgress $true
# With MFA
Connect-ExchangeOnline -UserPrincipalName 'username@domain.com' -ShowProgress $true
# Initialize variables
$clutterUsers = @()
# Get Clutter Users
Get-EXOMailbox -RecipientTypeDetails UserMailbox | foreach {
    $hasClutter = Get-Clutter -Identity "$($_.UserPrincipalName)"
    Write-Progress -Activity "Searching for Users with Clutter Enabled" -Status ($_.UserPrincipalName + ": " + $hasClutter.IsEnabled)
    if ($hasClutter.IsEnabled) {
        $clutterUsers += $_
    }
}
# List Clutter Users
Write-Output "Listing Clutter-enabled Users"
Write-Output $clutterUsers.UserPrincipalName
# Disable Clutter
foreach ($user in $clutterUsers) {
    Set-Clutter -Identity $user.UserPrincipalName -Enable $false
}

Is it Time to De-Clutter Office 365?

Microsoft may be extending the life of Clutter in Office 365, but you can still retire it as initially planned in January, 2020. Will you be doing that?