Outlook Rules Not Working? Try These 11 Fixes

Outlook rules let you filter emails automatically in a folder and help you manage incoming emails which will save up a lot of your time. Many people tend to rely on this feature to stay updated, so having trouble with this feature can get a bit alarming. 

One of the most common reasons for this to happen is when the rules quota exceeds 256 KB. Deleting old unnecessary rules and renaming them should fix your problem. However, this might not work for everyone. 

Read this article to figure out the causes of your Outlook Rules problem and follow the fixes accordingly. 

Causes for Outlook Rules to Not Work

There are several causes for your outlook rules to stop working. We have listed a few of them down below. 

  • Corrupt OST and PST Files
  • Disabled Rules Feature
  • Outdated Microsoft 365 Version
  • Malware or Virus
  • Corrupt send/receive settings file
  • Unsynchronized Mail
  • Large Cache files
  • Excess folders under rules
  • Damaged SRS File

Fixes For Outlook Rules Feature Not Working 

You can try multiple methods to fix the rules feature on outlook if it suddenly stops working. In this article, we have listed some of the most effective ways to solve this issue in your outlook. 

Enable the Rule Feature

Before you get hasty, ensure the rule is enabled for the folder; otherwise, it might not appear on your outlook tab. 

  1. Go to File and click on the Manage Rules and Alerts option
  2. Select the folder to apply the rule feature
  3. Click on the OK button

If you can’t see any folders under the rule, follow the next step to create a new rule. 

Change the Order of Rules

Changing the order of rules gives you easy access to old rules. If your rules are not working, try moving them either upwards or downwards and check if they are back to functioning like normal or not. 

  1. Open Outlook on the web and click on the Settings icon
  2. Select View All Settings Option and go to Mail
  3. Click on Rules and search for the rules that isn’t working
  4. Tap on either an upward arrow or downward arrow to move the rule up or downusing-the-arrows

Doing this will change the order of the rules and move the old rules to the front. 

Create a New Rule

Creating a new rule might not be something you’d want to do, but rather than going through a long troubleshooting process, creating a new one with the same emails on your folder similar to the previous can be alot easier.

Before you create a new folder, make sure to delete the previous one.

  1. Right-click on the faulty rules folder
  2. Select the Delete Folder option
  3. A confirmation box appears. Click on OK

Subsequently, after deleting, follow these steps to create a new folder under the rules to solve this issue.

  1. Tap on one of the mail you want under the rules folder
  2. Right-click on it and select the Rules option
  3. Tap on Create Rulecreate-rules
  4. Click on Select Folder… beside Move the Item to Folderselect-folder
  5. Click on New under the Rules and Alert tabs
  6. Name your rules folder and select where you want to place this folder
  7. Click on the OK button on all the tabs

After following these steps, check if the rule appears on your outlook mail or not. If this doesn’t work, use the following approach to create a new Rules folder.

  1. Select the mail, and under the Home tab, select Rules under the Move category 
  2. Click on Manage Rules and Alerts option
  3. Click on New Rules… Under Email Rules
  4. Under step 2, click on the Move It to Specified Folder
  5. Click on the New button and name the folder
  6. Select the place you want this folder to be and click on OK

We won’t deny that it can be time-consuming if you have set new rules for different senders, but is it one of the options you could try if the previous rules are not working. This method is best suited for arranging folders received from the same or a few numbers of users. 

Update Microsoft 365 

Updating your office gives you access to the latest version and will likely fix all the glitches and bugs on your outlook, including the error in your rules feature.

  1. Open Outlook and tap on File
  2. Click on Office Account and tap on Update Options
  3. Select the Update Now optionupdate-outlook

After following these steps, the update will replace the older version of MS Office with the new one and likely solve all the problems. 

Repair OST and PST File

Repairing the Personal Storage Table helps you figure out and fix the corrupt file stored in this table. It restores your outlook data and keeps your files sturdy. Similarly, OST is an offline outlook data file that lets you work offline and synchronizes as soon as it connects with the internet

  1. Click on the Search icon in your Taskbar
  2. Type File Explorer and press the Enter key
  3. Tap on the location bar and type in your Outlook path C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office Version
  4. Tap on the Browse option and select the file you want to scan
  5. Click on Start and choose the Repair option

This should fix the error with the faulty file, which might have been the cause for your rules not working. 

Disable Stop Processing More Rules

“Stop Processing more rules” option on your outlook prevents you from processing more rules on your device. If this is enabled in your Outlook, you might not be able to use it. Follow these steps to disable this option.

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Click on the Settings icon and tap on View All Outlook Settings
  3. Select Mail and tap on Rules
  4. Click on the Edit Rule icon on your rules
  5. Scroll down and unselect Stop Processing More Rules
  6. Click on the Save button

Doing this will allow your outlook to process more than one rule. Make sure to turn it off as it is enabled by default. 

Rename SRS File 

When your Send and Receive Settings file has been full or corrupted, the rule feature on your outlook might stop working. In such cases, you can replace the older folder with a new one by changing its name. Before you follow these steps, close your MS Outlook tab. 

  1. Tap on the Search icon on your Taskbar
  2. Go to Local Disk C and click on Users
  3. Click on your device name and go to Appdata
  4. Click on Roaming and then Microsoft 
  5. Click on Outlook and press the Enter key
  6. Tap on the Outlook.srs folder and right-click it
  7. Select the Rename option and name it as something that would make certain that it’s the old corrupt outlook sender/receiver settings file.

Doing this will make your outlook create a new srs folder for the upcoming email information, which will likely make your rules folder work back to normal.

Recreate Rules With OWA 

The other reason for your rules not working could be Outlook application failure. If you are in a hurry, you can search for an outlook on the web to check your important emails

Here’s how you can ensure if your rules are working in outlook web

  1. Search for Outlook on the web browser and log in
  2. Tap on the Settings icon and click on View All Outlook Settings option
  3. Under mail, tap on the Rules option
  4. The list of your rules should appear here. If not, click on the +New Rules option and create a new rule

You can also Check out the “If your rules aren’t working, generate a report messageat the end of the tab. This will send you an email with the diagnostic report for your rules not working issue.

Change Settings to Keep Mail Offline

When there is no internet connection, the rules folder might not open if offline access is not enabled. In such a case, you can turn on the offline mail for an interval of time, starting from 1 month to eternity. 

  1. Go to Outlook and click on File
  2. Tap on Account Settings under Infoaccount-setting
  3. Tap on the Account Settings… option 
  4. Select your email and click on the Change… option
  5. Under Mail Settings, scroll the Keep the Mail Offline slider all the way to the right
  6. Tap on the Next button and press Done

This will allow you to view the rules folder offline and enable this feature on your outlook to work properly.

Remove Old Rules Folders

If you’ve used the rules feature for a long time, the space for new folders will likely be less. In such cases, you can remove old folders that you no longer need to free up some space for upcoming emails.

  1. Open Outlook and tap on the Rules folder
  2. Right-click on it and tap on Delete Folder

This will make some space after deleting the folder under the rules. 

Create a New Outlook Profile 

If none of these options work, you can always create a new account and start fresh. You might have to use a different email for this. 

  1. Under Info, click on Account Settings
  2. Select the Manage Profile option and click on the Show Profiles… option under Profiles 
  3. Click on Add then type in your Profile Name
  4. Click on the OK button

Create a new account and make new rules as mentioned in the steps above Open Outlook and click on Files.

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