MS Outlook Rules Not Working? Try These Fixes

Barclay Tcareva
Barclay Tcareva

Updated On - January 13, 2022

Microsoft Outlook Rules help you manage email messages more efficiently. Using rules, you can automatically move, flag, or respond to email messages, play sound, etc. Once set, they work automatically on emails in the way they are set, like, automatically moving the messages of a particular sender to a particular folder or messages with a particular subject to a particular folder, etc.

Sometimes these Outlook rules do not work automatically or do not work at all. In the present blog, we will help you understand the probable reasons for this issue and discuss the practical ways to fix them.

Common reasons for Outlook Rules not working

Reasons for the Outlook rules not working can be attributed to various factors viz.:

  • Rules surpass the limit set in the rules quota meant for the mailbox
  • Corruption in send/receive settings files
  • Rules are set to work on one computer only
  • Corruption in Outlook profile

How to fix the ‘Outlook rules not working’ issue?

In Outlook rules, the size of rules plays a vital role in their proper running. The allowed/available size limit of rules for Outlook Exchange 2010 & 2007 is 64KB and for 2003 is 32KB. You may not face this problem with many simple rules, but if rules are too many or are complicated, that may increase the size of Outlook rules and ultimately lead to non-working of rules in Outlook. Thus, reducing the size of the rules may prove helpful. Let us discuss how it can be done and what other measures we can take if that doesn’t work.

  1. Rename your Outlook rule
    Lengthy names may be responsible for the non-working of Outlook rules. Try to shorten them. That will reduce the size of the rules and may fix this issue.
  2. Dele unnecessary rules:
    Deleting unnecessary rules that are not in use will also decrease the size of rules and thus, may help in fixing this problem.
  3. Clear the ‘Client only’ or ‘For this machine only’ checkbox
    If you have set this rule, then the rule will work on only your computer on which it is set and no other device.
  4. Combine the similar rules
    If there are multiple similar rules, then combine them into one single rule. Delete the rest of the unwanted rules. This will reduce the size of your rules.
  5. Enable the rules:
    When the size of the rules is not the reason then, ensure that rules are enabled. When they are enabled, only then will they work.
  6. Check for rules meant for folders already deleted:
    If some rules are meant for the mailbox folder you have already deleted, this problem may occur. To check if any such rule exists w.r.t any such deleted mailbox folder or file, double click the rule in the dialog box of ‘rules and alerts.’ If it shows a reference to any such folder/file already deleted, you can remove that file/folder and replace it with another one that still exists.
  7. Convert ‘client-based rules’ to ‘server-based rules’
    Outlook rules are of two types – client-based rules and server-based rules. Client-based rules work while Outlook client is running. If the Outlook email client is not running, then client-based rule will not work on receiving emails. To make client-based rules work while Outlook client is not running, you may recreate the rules for that purpose. It is to be noted that when you have both the rules, i.e., client-based and server-based, the former will work first, and then the latter will follow.
  8. Delete corrupt/damaged rules and recreate them
    Outlook rules may not work if they get corrupt/ damaged. In such conditions, delete corrupt/ damaged rules and recreate them. If the reason for corrupt rules is bad sectors on the hard drive, malware or virus then, you need to delete the rules and recreate them.
  9. Rename or reset the SRS file in Outlook
    SRS file is, Send Receive Setting file, which consists of configuration found in the Send & Receive dialog box. Press Ctrl+Alt+S to see the details of the SRS file, and you can rename or reset the same.
  10. Reset your rules and fix the corruption in your profile
    Corruption may occur in your mailbox while using a POP3 or IMAP account. First, delete the rule which is not working and then run Inbox Repair Tool.
  11. Use Exchange account to fix corruption
    Connect to your email account and enable Exchange Cache Mode. A copy of your mailbox is saved to your computer, which helps you to have quick access to your email messages and other items. When you use an Exchange account, delete the rule, disable Cached Exchange Cache Mode, and create the rule. If this fixes your issue, then enable Exchange Cache Mode again.
  12. Repair the corrupt/damaged PST file
    When PST file is corrupt/ damaged then, rules will not work and Outlook may also not work. In this situation you need PST repair and recreating rules. To repair and recover PST items you need third party tool meant for Outlook repair. Sometimes you may not be able to decide which tool to use or sometime may act reluctant in buying any product for the same. For your satisfaction, you may search and try Free ‘PST Repair Tools for Outlook Users’ which is definitely going to help you come over your dilemma and decide which tool to go for.

You can try Recoveryfix for Outlook PST Repair for the same. It helps in data recovery, file conversion, and email migration. It helps you to repair corrupt/damaged PST files of any size and saves them to a new PST, MSG, EML, and DBX as per your wish. Besides this, you can recover all your mailbox items like emails, calendar, contacts, attachments, and emails even if they are deleted. It works as the best alternative tool to Scanpste.exe for repairing PST files.

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We reiterate, if nothing of the above proves helpful then you certainly need a third party tool. One of the best and efficient tools we recommend is Recovery for Outlook basically designed to repair and recover PST files Data.

In brief, Recovery for Outlook is software meant to deal specifically and effectively with problems encountered while handling Outlook data. Yet again in short, it helps in Data Recovery, File Conversion and Email Migration. Also, if you lose any folder in Outlook and you are looking for any method and trying to find how to find a missing folder in Outlook?, then also this tool is going to prove perfect help to you besides it helps you to repair corrupt/damaged PST files of any size and saving them to a new PST, MSG, EML and DBX as per your wish. Further, you can recover all your mailbox items like emails, calendar, contacts, attachments and emails even if been deleted and works as the best alternate tool to Scanpste.exe for repairing PST files. It carries the compatibility with MS Outlook and all versions of Windows Operating System.

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