How To Fix “Outlook Rules Not Working” Issue (2023)

Outlook is undoubtedly an excellent email client, but that doesn’t mean it’s free from flaws. Several users have been reporting about one crucial feature “Outlook Rules” which is not working properly.

What are Outlook Rules?

Rules in Outlook are handy automated actions that help users to streamline their inboxes and become more efficient. For instance, you can set an action to be performed on your incoming email messages. Set a rule to filter your emails from a specific sender and save them in a separate folder for reviewing later. Certainly, Outlook Rules make the email management process effortless, because they help in staying organized, up-to-date and enhance productivity. But at times, you may find Outlook Rules Not Working accurately, so why does this happen? Let’s find out!

Causes for Outlook Rules Not Working

There can be several reasons why your Outlook Rules may not run properly. Some common causes are listed below:

  • Rules exceeded the quota set for your mailbox. (If you’ve applied more than 100 rules)
  • Some settings might be preventing Outlook from carrying out rules.
  • If you’ve applied rules on the Outlook Client App, it will not work on Outlook Web Service.
  • If you’re using @ when applying the ‘specific words in sender’s address’ rule. It won’t work!
  • Your POP4 or IMAP account has turned corrupt.
  • The set rules are configured to run on different devices.
  • Rules have been disabled on your email account.
  • Outlook Rules do not work on shared mailboxes.

Whatever be the reason, keep reading this troubleshooting guide to restore your Outlook applications successfully and carry out all the automated actions ‘Outlook Rules’ properly.

You might want to read: How Do You Recall An Email In Outlook?

Before You Start Troubleshooting: Try This!

Here are a few steps you can implement before troubleshooting the “Outlook Rules Are Not Working” issue:

1. Ensure Rules Feature Is Enabled

To check follow the steps below:

  • Launch Outlook and navigate to the Files, followed by the Rules and Alerts section.
  • From the Rules and Alerts window, look for checkboxes against the set rules.
  • If they are not enabled, select the boxes and press the OK button followed by Apply to implement the changes!

Rules and alerts

2. Rules Don’t Refer to a Deleted Folder or File

In scenarios, when some set rules to the mailbox folder are deleted, you may face the issue ‘Outlook Rules are not working’. To check them, simply navigate to the Rules and Alerts dialog box and double-click on the rule > if there are any deleted folder/file, replace them with the existing one

3. Try Disable/Enable Cached Exchange Mode

Disabling the settings and re-enabling it will help you rule out any temporary glitch that might be responsible for causing “Outlook Rules are not working”. To do so, all you have to do is:

  • Launch Outlook and go to the File.
  • Click on Account Settings and select Exchange account under the Email tab & select “Change Account”.
  • From the new window, uncheck the box next to Use Cached Exchange Mode and check it again to re-enable the settings.
  • Hit the Next button to save the changes!

Change Account

Additionally, you can click on More Settings to explore other Cached Exchange Mode settings under the Advanced tab. If these basic changes didn’t help you, try out the following workarounds to get rid of the annoying “Outlook Rules are not working: issue.

Must-Read: How To Customize Navigation Pane In Outlook?

(Resolved): Outlook Rules Not Working On Windows

Try these tested methods to resolve this Outlook issue on your Windows 10 OS. If you need any other assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

1. Rename Rules

In case your rules have lengthy names, try shortening them to reduce the size of the existing ones. To edit an Outlook Rule, all you have to do is:

  • Launch Outlook.
  • Click on File and go to Manage Rules & Alerts.
  • If you find any message stating a broken rule, click the OK button.
  • Check the box next to the red link (broken rule).
  • Click the links under Rule description (refer to the screenshot below)
  • Edit them as per requirement and click on the OK button!

Rules and alerts

Must-Read: How To Send Encrypted Emails Using Gmail And Outlook?

2. Delete Old Outlook Rules

It’s certainly a great practice to eliminate rules you no longer use or require rarely. So, try decreasing the Rules file size and clean your Rule folder. Here’s a brief tutorial to delete old rules:

  • Launch Outlook.
  • Navigate to the File tab.
  • Head towards Manage Rules and Alerts.
  • Check the box (rule) you wish to delete.
  • Hit the Yes button to move further.
  • Hit the Apply button to save the changes!

Delete Old Outlook Rules

Once you have decluttered your Rule folder, it’s time to create one and hopefully, you are free from the ‘Outlook Rules are not working’ problem.

3. Merge Similar Outlook Rules

Well, to further reduce the size of the Rule folder, you can try merging multiple alike rules into one. After the combining process, you can delete the useless ones:

  • Launch Outlook.
  • Navigate to the File tab.
  • Head towards Manage Rules and Alerts.
  • From the new window, go to the Email Rules tab and select the rules you would like to edit.
  • Hit the Change Rules button.
  • Now, navigate to the Edit Rule Settings options and make alterations as required.
  • After you’ve combined similar Outlook Rules, delete the unwanted ones and hit the Apply button!

Merge Similar Outlook Rules

Must-Read: How To Schedule Email On Outlook?

4. Update Outlook To The Latest Build

Outlook keeps on updating the service with new features and patches to fix bugs. You may witness the “Outlook Rules are not working” issue if you are using an outdated version.

  • Launch Outlook.
  • Go to the File.
  • Select Office Account from the left-side panel.
  • Hit the Update Options.
  • From the new window that appears on your screen, hit the Update Now button and keep patience to let the Outlook update to the latest version.

Outlook update
Further, we recommend our users update Windows as well to ensure no new updates are left which may hamper your experience. Once done, restart your system and start using Outlook normally.

5. Try Resetting the SRS File

The SRS File includes all the settings you set for sending and receiving emails in Outlook. Try resetting the, to ensure no corruption exists:

  • Launch File Explorer.
  • Execute the path: C:\users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\
  • Hit the Enter button!
  • Now from the new window, look for the Outlook.srs file and right-click on it to select option Rename.

Resetting the SRS File

  • Rename the file to Outlook.srs.old

This will allow Outlook to recreate a file automatically as soon as you launch the Email client.

Must-Read: How to Automatically Forward Emails In Outlook And Gmail to Other Accounts?

6. Use An Outlook Repair Utility

Stellar Outlook PST is certainly one of the best tools available in the market to fix rules with high precision, recover Outlook mailbox data lost due to PST file corruption. The application further helps if you are receiving any of the Outlook errors.

Outlook Repair Utility

Outlook Repair Utility 1

7. Switch To Another Email Client

If you are super-tired of fixing Outlook Rules are not working issues or relevant issues, try switching to a better alternative. Use none other than eM Client, a feature-rich email service provider that comes with a built-in calendar, contacts, tasks manager, duplicate emails cleaner, and other functionalities to ease your workflow.

Switch To Another Email Client

What’s more? The email client comes with the ability to translate your emails into more than 30+ languages.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, this detailed guide helps to resolve the ‘Outlook Rules Not Running’ issue on Windows 10. If you have used any other method to troubleshoot the issue, mention them in the comments section below! Follow us on social media – FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

If you need any other further assistance with your Windows OS or Office apps, feel free to reach out to our customer support team at [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Do I Fix Outlook Rules?

Well, for starters we recommend users optimize the size of their Rules folder. The maximum rules quota is 256 KB by default. So, try renaming lengthy rules, delete unwanted ones, and combine similar rules into one file to save space.

Q2. How Many Outlook Rules Can I Have?

Although the limit is based on the total size of the Rules folder, usually you can have 20-30 rules.

Q3. Do Rules Slow Down Outlook?

Yes! Outlook email client has allocated a dedicated space of rules. If you add too many rules, it may not only hamper your email experience but also result in ‘Outlook rules not working’ properly!

Relevant Reads:
How to Fix Outlook Won’t Open In Windows 10?
Outlook Running Slow? 5 Ways to Speed up its Performance!
Windows 10 Error 0xc0000005 Causing Microsoft Outlook To Crash
How to Export your Outlook Address Book?
Best Email Recovery Software For Microsoft Outlook


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