Outlook Rules Not Running Automatically? – How to fix errors?

Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Amit Bansal

Outlook rules are not automatically run. Outlook rules create and filter incoming emails, while automation rules run automatically based on rules you set.

Rules, which are either conditional (when X is true) or unconditional (when X is not true), run either at the time an email arrives (if the conditions are met) or at the time the rule is created (if the conditions are met). Rules run automatically if enabled.

For example, you can create a rule to flag emails of specific subjects, set the action to automatically move the email to a different folder or file, or set the action to automatically forward the email to the contact.

Outlook rules are designed to bypass the default setting of Outlook, not all of it but users easily automate the rule’s actions performed on incoming email messages.

Categorizing your emails flowing into sections, the rule function comes into play. But it’s pointless if they’re not working correctly or not running automatically.

Note: The steps in this article can be used to set up Microsoft Outlook on versions 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, and 365.

Here in this article, we will discuss the causes and remedies of Outlook rules errors.

Understanding Outlook Rules

Outlook rules are a powerful tool that we can use to automatically perform specific actions on incoming email messages.

By creating rules, we can change the importance level of messages as they arrive, move them to different folders, or even delete them based on certain criteria.

This can help to streamline our inbox and improve our overall email management efficiency.

When setting up rules in Outlook, it is essential to ensure they are properly configured so that they run automatically.

Sometimes, issues may arise where the rules we’ve created don’t work as expected.

This can be due to a variety of factors such as existing rules taking precedence or our specific rule criteria not being met by incoming messages.

To create a rule in Outlook, we’ll start by accessing the “Rules” dialog box, which can be found under the “Tools” menu.

We can then select the account type for which we want to create a rule and follow the provided steps to set up specific actions and criteria for our rule.

Make sure to regularly update the rules, especially if there are changes in our folder structure.

It is important to note that rules only run on the inbox by default and do not apply to other folders.

Therefore, if we want to apply rules to subfolders or other locations within our email account, we need to ensure those folders are included in the scope of our rule settings.

In some cases, an issue with Outlook rules not running automatically could be due to the length of rule names, size of rule lists, or conflicts with other rules.

To address this, we can try renaming the rules with shorter names, delete old and unnecessary rules, or reorganize the rules so that they do not conflict with each other.

Remember that, for optimal performance and reliability, it’s a good practice to periodically review and update our Outlook rules.

This will ensure they continue to work efficiently and accurately in helping us manage our email communications more effectively.

Outlook rules not working automatically – What are the causes?

Multiple glitches have been detected in Outlook’s technical platform, many of which are under the control of users and can be fixed easily.

  • Rule function exceeds rule quota (merge similar rules together).
  • Reset or Rename SRS File.
  • Corruption Issue via IMAP or POP3 Account.
  • Delete the Rules (reset it).
  • Repair Your Outlook Data File.
  • The rule function is disabled.

Outlook rules not working – [How to fix?]

Some of the key issues Outlook users face in the rule function are curable, Let’s see how to fix errors in Outlook rules.

Reset send and receive settings (SRS) file in Outlook

Outlook rules not working automatically issue was fixed by resetting the SRS file. Here are the following steps:

  • Go to my computer copy this path and paste it into the address bar [C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook]
  • You can check the .srs file available on your screen and just rename it.
  • That’s it your open your Outlook and your SRS file is reset.

Delete the Rules (reset them)

It is sometimes necessary to delete the rule function and recreate it to get them working again. The following steps can be taken to delete Outlook rules:

  • Open Outlook >> Click File Tab >> Info >> Manage Rules and Alerts.
  • Select the Rule from the list.
  • Press the select button from the tab.
  • Click Yes, your existing rule is deleted.
  • Click on the New rule to set up the fresh rule.
How to fix errors in outlook rules

Corruption Issue via IMAP or POP3 Account

After trying the above methods, still facing issues – Microsoft Outlook rules not running automatically, you can reset your rules and test your mailbox for corruption follow this guideline.

  • You can directly command your system to delete all Outlook rules at once, press the “Windows + R” keys together, and type:
outlook.exe<space>/cleanrules
Corruption Issue via IMAP or POP3 Account

Now you can use the inbox repair tool (scanpst.exe), to reconnect the resolve the issues.

Rule function exceeds rule quota (merge similar rules together)

Rule functions with similar nature of outcomes must be merged to get better and clean results, not only that Outlook rules not working, but rule quota is also one of the reasons, it is better to delete some useless rules from the list or you can combine them.

The best example is social email, which users use to create separate rules for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to shift the mail into a social folder.

It is recommended to use the OR function and keep the input from all three social platforms and move the email notification into the social folder.

rule social media

it’s cool.

There are tons of repairing tools and recovery tools available in the market which are paid, I never recommend them, if you like, and issues are resolved please comment below any additional information will be added.

Outlook Rule Best Practices

As experts in managing Outlook rules, we want to share some essential best practices to help you get the best experience when using rules to automatically manage your emails.

Enabling and Disabling Rules

It’s crucial to ensure that your necessary rules are enabled, and any unnecessary ones are disabled.

To enable or disable a rule, simply select the Tools menu, click Rules, and in the left pane, find the account type for the rule you want to edit.

By enabling only, the required rules and disabling unnecessary ones, you’ll maintain an efficient and organized inbox.

Using the Checkbox and Order Features

In Outlook, the order in which your rules run matters. Taking advantage of the order and checkbox features will help you attain the desired outcome more efficiently.

To modify the order, select a rule and use the up or down arrows to change its position in the list.

This will ensure your rules run in the correct sequence and don’t conflict with each other.

Handling Old and Outdated Rules

Old and outdated rules can cause unexpected behavior and take up valuable space.

To maintain a clean and efficient rules system, periodically review your current rules and delete any that you no longer need.

Removing outdated rules will make room for new rules and help your inbox remain organized.

At times, a rule might not work as intended. In such cases, consider checking for potential issues with its settings or any default rules interfering with its operation.

If you still encounter problems, launching Outlook in safe mode can help you troubleshoot rule-related issues.

In conclusion, by following these best practices in enabling and disabling rules, using the checkbox and order features, and handling old or outdated rules, you can effectively improve your Outlook experience and keep your inbox well-organized.

Final Words

In conclusion, the Outlook Rules feature allows users to create automated responses for incoming emails. 

For example, you can set up a rule to automatically reply to emails you receive from certain addresses. Another rule can forward emails to a shared folder.

The solutions in this post can help you fix the Outlook rules not working issue.

However, if the rules are corrupted due to bad sectors on the hard drive or malware infection, the only option is to delete the rules and recreate them.

Questions and Answer (Q&A) Panel

How to create a rule in the Outlook app?

To create a rule for a specific email, click the right mouse button on the email message >> and select Rules >> Create Rule. Choose a condition and an action to take and select OK.

How to create a rule in the Outlook Web/PWA?

To create new rules in Outlook.com/PWA, go to Settings >> View all Outlook settings >> Mail >> Rules >> Add New Rule >> Enter and select the conditions >> Click Save.

How do I remove rules in Outlook Web?

To delete a rule in Outlook web/PWA, go to Settings >> View all Outlook settings>> Mail >> Rules >> Click on the delete button from the existing rule visible on the screen.

How do I remove rules in Outlook web

How do I remove rules in the Outlook App?

To delete a rule in the Outlook app, go to File tab >> Manage Rules & Alerts. In the dialog box that appears, select the rule you want to delete, and select Delete.

How do I remove rules in Outlook App

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Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of MailSmartly.com. Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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