Rules in Windows Outlook 2003 Don't Work?
Dave, I recently upgraded from Outlook 2002 to Office 2003 and now my rules do not work. I have edited them, deleted them and re-entered the information but they just will not work. Any ideas?
This is a tough one, but here's how Microsoft explains what to do when Outlook rules aren't working:
After you upgrade to Outlook 2003 from Outlook 2000 IMO with multiple POP accounts, rules that are based on the through the specified account option might not work. To work around this problem, recreate the rules in Outlook 2003.
To create a rule for POP accounts in Outlook 2003
- On the Tools menu in Outlook 2003, click Rules and Alerts.
- Click New Rule.
- Click Start from a blank rule, and then click Next
- Under Which condition(s) do you want to check?, select the through the specified account check box, and then click the underlined value to enter the specified POP account.
- Click Next.
- Under What do you want to do with the message?, click Move it to the specified folder, and then click the underlined value to enter the specified folder.
- Click Next
- Click Next
- Click Finish
Not a very desirable solution, but that's not uncommon from Microsoft in my experience. These steps were listed on this page that had things to consider before upgrading. Apparently this is result of code change. Outlook has a 32K character limit per account for *all* rules. In Outlook 2003 they made the rules take unicode characters effectively sawing your rules limit in half since unice takes two bytes per char.
Thanks to Tommy Martin for his help
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Reader Comments To Date: 61
On the article above, what you have listed actually doesn't answer the question as it was asked. The person originating the question has already claimed to do what you've suggested he do, as have I. In the instance of NOT upgrading but in a new profile I have attempted to create new rules from scratch and they just simply do not work. I can't figure out why, other than in Outlook 2003 they just don't work if you aren't in the first original profile. I log into a Domain and I have multiple accounts. When I change out the server (DC, or beginning of the forest) and have to create a new profile, the new rules I create don't work as if they had not been created at all. What gives with this? I don't know but it's why I'm inclined to believe Microsoft has "crappy software".
I think that MS needs to create an easy way for people to manage their rules in Outlook 2003.
I have about 100 at the moment, more on the way.
It is so hard to find the right rule to edit if you want to change one of them.
I have a similar but different problem. I have about 20 client side rules that worked great in Outlook 2000. I upgraded the client to Outlook 2003 they still worked great.
Last night the server group upgraded and patched the exchange servers. Now the rules no longer work. However, if you go in and manually choose the rules to "run now" they will work.
Isn't Microsoft fantastic?
was reading your thread on Outlook 2003 rules, some of mine worked in Outlook 2000 XP and some did not (new ones that I created NEVER worked). I have tried over and over again to recreate the rules using your method of the POP server and that did not work either. Any help would be greatly appreciated - or I may just switch e-mail clients as it quite apparent that MS CANNOT write code if their life depended on it. Between all the whols in XP and now Office is it worht the hassle any more?? Does anyone wonder why EVERYTHING WORKS in the Unux/Linux world?? Heck I have Unix machines at NASA that have not been re-booted in over ten years
Any help would be appreciated or I am going to trash MS Office and go back to Word Perfect and find a another e-mail client
I have one rule, which is suppose to move mail from a particular email address to a folder.
Basically the rule says if sender contains "cae" then move to folder "cae mail"
This rule never works. I always have to "Run Rules Now" for the rule to actually do something.
MS did a horrible job implementing the rules. I can't even create code to run the rules because Outlook doesn't expose the rules in the object model. its very frustrating!
I too have random problems with rules in Microsoft email programs: my wife runs Entourage on the Mac and I have rules that if I "apply by hand" they work fine, but if I just leave them in the automatic rules list, never seem to be applied. Not exactly sure what to advise, however. Just buggy?
My problem is double e-mail. I use one rule to move most e-mail to an "In box" in my .pst and other rules to sort specific e-mails into other folders in that .pst. The "In box" rule is set to run last but I still get copies of the e-mails in both the In-box and the appropriate folders. I did not set the condition to "move a copy" but the rules act as if I did. A real pain since I have to delete the extra copies all the time.
Rules will also mysteriously stop working if you have another instance of Outlook running in the background (it tends to do this sometimes - you close Outlook but it stays in memory). You can check by making sure you have closed down all visible copies of Outlook and starting the task manager/task list (via CTRL-ALT-DEL on most versions of Windows) - if you see a process called OUTLOOK.EXE still running, that's your culprit - you can either end the process or (less brutal), restart Windows. When you get back into Outlook, remember to check whether any 'failed' rules have been disabled (unticked) before tearing your hair out again.
In my Outlook 2003 installation rules are not working even if I recreate them from scratch. They worked well in Outlook 2000. Can someone help?
I recently upgraded to Outlook 2003 (running on an Exchange Server). All but one of my 25 original rules failed to convert without errors, so I deleted them all and started from scratch. However, I was only able to get them to work by manually running the rules. I tried something different today to work around this. Instead of trying to move emails to folders within my .pst (personal folders), I created a new folder that sits in the server mailbox. My rules actually move emails to that folder without me having to manually run them every time. This is only suitable for those emails I want to delete. (The server automatically deletes emails remaining on it after 60 days.)
I deduced that there must be something wrong with the .pst itself. I tried to remove the .pst from my profile and add it back, but Outlook wouldn't allow this, so I deleted my entire email profile. I recreated my email profile, added my .pst to it, and then changed the rules to move emails into folders within the .pst again. This time they actually worked without manual intervention. I suppose deleting and recreating your email profile is the only solution if you upgraded to Outlook 2003.
Well, I thought that did it, but I got in this morning and my rules didn't work again. I couldn't even run them manually anymore. All I did between yesterday and today was log off the PC and then log back in. So, this time I created a brand new .pst in the new format and moved all my mail from the old .pst into it. I went back to using the folder I created on the server for sorting out the junk. At least that works.
Under outleook express it is possible to create rules using AND/OR operands. So A single rule can manage a message TO or FROM a contact. Inbound works automatically. Outbound needs to be manually run on the sent items folder.
I can't seem to find out how to create similar rules in Outlook 2003. And seems the only condition supported.
I may be being stupid, but any advice greatly appreciated
I am experiencing some problme with rules in Outlook 2003.
I have two rules in running all the time.
They meant to send out reply emails once the body contains certain words.
Two different rules with two different triggers and two different reply message.
However, if i use the same email account to send two emails that are meant to trigger off the two rules, only ONE would work.
ie the first email got replied however, not the second email.
WHY IS THAT??
Is there a way to create a rule, so that it:
1) looks at the sender of the incoming email
a) moves message to a folder corresponding to sender's name, if folder already exists; else
b) creates a personal folder with the sender's name and then move the message into the new folder.
Incoming email from Angel Spam.
Folder named "ANGEL SPAM" exists -> move message into this folder.
Incoming email from Angelo Spam.
Folder named "ANGELO SPAM" does not exist -> create folder named "ANGELO SPAM", move the new message into that folder.
I have been having strange problems with my Outlook rules as well - they have worked just fine through various upgrades, but suddenly they have stopped working. What's worse, if I create a new rule not only does it not work, I cannot subsequently edit the rule, deactivate it or delete it! These options are greyed out!
This forum offers no answers - needless to say, Microsoft is keeping silent. If MS had to pay a fine for each documented, unsolved user problem, they would go bankrupt overnight!
I also had been facing the 'double email' problem as reported by 'John Bowers'. At least this can be sorted out. There is an option in 'action -items' while generating/ editing the rules. 'Stop processing more rules' Please enable this option for the rules at the top in the order. This will solve the problem of duplicate copy created when a rule move mail to a different folder
Yogi, THANK YOU! I had come to the conclusion a while back that I just had to live with the 'duplicate email' problem. I figured the "move to folder" actualy just COPIED to folder until all the rules were executed, THEN deleted the original. That 'Stop processing more rules' was EXACTLY what I was missing. Again, thank you so much!
I can't find help with my particular problem with 2003 rules. I create the rule to move messages from one account to a specific folder. We'll call it "account2." But when I select APPLY, the rule changes to move e-mail from "account1." I thought the link above would help, but I could not find "rules" when I ran MFCMAPI. Thanks.
I found I could fix the move problem which creates duplicates by checking 'then Delete' on the page where you also have "move to specified folder' selected. It made me nervous so I tested it out. Works great on my machine. If the email is moved to a folder when it comes THROUGH AN ACCOUNT I don't have this problem. I only have the doubled message issue when I am moving messages from that account subfolder AGAIN. I'm guessing the 'stop processing more rules' might work, but it makes me leary. I use over 20 different rules to sort my mail. I need ALL OF THEM TO RUN. I can't stop after the first one.. If this isnt' the way the 'stop processing more rules' actually works, please let me know. If it Doesn't work that way, its an awfully confusing name.
Heres a similar yet different problem. Im on a 2003-sbs enviornment with exchange. All use winxp-pro boxes and current updates. Out of the blue every machine stopped auo-running rules when outlook 2003 opens. Each user can manually run rules 10-20 with no issues. All rules are local. No server based rules in play. Any thoughts?
This post above solved my problem. I have Outlook running on two computers and killing them both fixed the issue. I had tried that before, but MS programs have an excruciatingly obnoxious tendency to remain running in the background and I did not realize Outlook did this as well. Killing it with a CTRL-ALT-DEL was necessary.
"Rules will also mysteriously stop working if you have another instance of Outlook running in the background (it tends to do this sometimes - you close Outlook but it stays in memory). You can check by making sure you have closed down all visible copies of Outlook and starting the task manager/task list (via CTRL-ALT-DEL on most versions of Windows) - if you see a process called OUTLOOK.EXE still running, that's your culprit - you can either end the process or (less brutal), restart Windows. When you get back into Outlook, remember to check whether any 'failed' rules have been disabled (unticked) before tearing your hair out again."
I am using Auto-Mate to get around the rule limitation of 32K.
My folders and sub folders only expand with new email when using the rules in outlook.
Do you have any idea what triggers the auto expanding folders when they recieve new emails?
Here's my two cents: I have several rules set up as well, they have all been working fine, even through upgrades. I am using 2003 now and have for a long time. For some reason, NONE of my rules work anymore. They used to ALL work up until about a couple days ago. Now I too have to manually put a check mark in each and every rules box to manually "Run Rules Now". I spoke with our Exchange admin and there have not been any changes made on the network. So why did they stop, and how the he** do I get them running on their own again!!??
I have a outlook 2003 open to a mailbox in exchange 2003. I have have created couple rules to move undeliverable message to a subfolder.
If I manually run the rules, it work. But rule will not work automatically unless manually run them. Please help.
I found out my problem: In Outlook 03 there is a limit on how many rules you can have. I apparently reached and exceeded my limit, therefor NONE of them would work until I deleted some, which was ok because some were very old.
I may have found a work around for the rules not running in MS Office Outlook 2007. I turned off Cached Exchange Mode and they have started working. Search Outlook Help for Cached Exchange Mode and you should fine the help page of how to get there. Steps are:
1. On the Tools menu, click Account Settings.
2. On the E-mail tab, select the Exchange Server e-mail account then click Change.
3. Click More Settings, then click the Advanced tab.
4. Uncheck the Cached Exchange Mode
It's been working for the past hour so we'll see if it keeps working tomorrow morning after a full reboot.
I fixed this very problem.
So there is a workaround or a solution.
1/ Workaround: Disable Cached Mode..
2/ Solution: Follow these steps..
Disable Cached Mode
Open Mail in Control Panel
Disable Offline Folders
Close Mail Applet
Open Mail Applet Again
Change the location of the Offline Folder to a new
location - somewhere it doesn't reside currently
somewhere in "my documents" or somewhere
Enable Cached Mode
Close Mail Applet
Re-Open outlook, it will rebuild the OST file from
After doing all of this, my rules worked a treat!!
Arrgh! Nigel, thank you so much.
I tried EVERYTHING, never once occurred to me there might be a background outlook process running. Killed both instances, restarted a new one, and hey presto! my rules are working again.
I using outlook 2003 when i set rules it shows it is deactivated because no space in server.when creating rules in my machine ..do the need ful...
My exchange server 2003 works but ever so often i cannot send or recieve e-mails. I will have to do a reboot for it to work again.
Any ideas why this is so?
I am running WIndows 2003 Enterprise Edition on DELL PE 2950 - 4 GB RAM
I had a variation of this same problem with Outlook: Rules would work when I first started up Outlook, but if I left Outlook running, the rules would begin failing within a day or so.
Turns out the problem was iTunes! iTunes is using the Outlook COM interface (a special software connection to Outlook) to retrieve my calendar when it syncs my iPod. Apparently, Apple has a bug in their code and it causes this rules failure in Outlook.
The solution is to disable this COM connection. Here's how:
1. In iTunes, click on your iPod, then go to the Contacts page and clear the checkboxes for syncing contacts and calendars from Microsoft Outlook.
2. In Outlook, go to Tools -> Options -> Other -> Advanced Options -> COM Add-Ins, then clear the checkbox next to the iTunes Outlook Addin. Click OK several times to get back out, then restart Outlook.
You will lose the ability to look at your calendar on your iPod, but at least Outlook will work properly again.
(And obviously, if iTunes can screw up the Outlook rules, so could anything else that uses the COM Add-in interface.)
My rules stopped working in Outlook. Ultimately I found this to be the resolution:
* Rules live in your .PST (or .OST) file
* If the data file becomes corrupt, it will fail
* Run SCANPST.EXE/SCANOST.EXE (C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033)
* This will correct the problems in the file
* Rules work now
This corrected my problem. The program asks you to close Outlook. I did but something was still running. I had to terminate the OUTLOOK.EXE process. All went well after the repairs.
I'm receiving multiple copies of same email using outlook express 2003, is there any solution for this problem.
IF y get multiple copies of the same mail due to ruels, add "stop proccessing more ruels".
Ahhh thanks Nigel Life saver, closed outlook 2003 and saw the other outlook.exe running in memory, killed it opened up outlook again, hey presto!
Came across this site while searching for outlook and problems :)
My problem is slightly weird (is there any other kind?): For one domain, and one domain only, when I ever I send an email to an address @ that domain, outlook (2003) NEVER uses the default account and uses the LAST account listed in the email accounts list.
Not sure if someone had seen this behaviour before. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
I have multiple rules defined to save email into folders based on account. No rules for sending are defined.
I used to use my iPod for appointments etc. from my outlook calenders. Immediately after an automatic update to iTunes 7... my calender won't work in my iPod anymore. Any suggestions?
The Calender folder on my iPod has no files in it at all.
In outlook, the iTunes addin checkbox is checked.
I'm using Microsoft Outlook 2003 and facing strange problem like in past I was receiving
email from "muni " and afterwards
now hv been receiving "mkjha <email@example.com" here the email address remains same but user details
When I sort my emails in INBOX there mails comes seperately few mails under muni subfolder and few under mkjha folder.
is there any way where I can I put both subfolders's mails together with other old mails too.
Quite different problem, my Outlook rules work and not the way I want it to. I can see that working perfectly ok if I run it with Run Now option manually. That is one reason why I may not dig deep into my conditions of each rule. I may have to live with it as I do not have the option to switch to other email client. Thanks MS for this problem.
i am getting duplicat emails in outlook 2003 and 2007.what is the solution for this.
My problen is similar, Outlook copies mails instead of moving them to a certain folder. Besides somes rules doesn't work at all. I used to work with outlook express, and i really miss its simplicity.
My pc crashed and i had to install windows... I have imported my pst file but i can't find the location where my outlook rules are stored. How can i get my rulez back
I have tried processing the stop rule for duplicate email moves but it doesn't work any suggestions?
I had a rule that is supposed to move the email from 1 specific sender to a specific folder. What it did was copy the email to the specific folder. To fix this I had to set the rule to delete as the last option.
I have the same problem with one of my user.
(Outlook 2003, Exchange) - "Run Rules Now" works, but automatic doesn't.
I found in Junk e-mail Options - Blocked senders a lot of blocked needed senders.
If address is there - automatic rule don’t work.
Maybe this helps someone
Regarding rules that are not running automatically, I had this exact same problem after I reformated my computer and recopied my backed-up.PST files to the default location (%userprofile%\local settings\application data\microsoft\outlook) and imported my old rules via the rules wizard. I fixed the problem by goign through each rule and selecting "on this machine only." For some reason, Outlook thought the newly imported rules should not apply to this computer because reformatting tricked it into thinking that it was now on a new computer.
Regarding the duplicate e-mails, the situation may occur when your Outlook is configured as following:
a) you use multiple .PST files, i.e. any amount that exceeds the default
b) you propagated these .PST files via rules
c) you are using a manually-created "Inbox" folder you as your in the default .PST e-mail delivery folder, and you set a rule to move e-mails from the default Inbox to your manually-created Inbox.
There are two possible solutions to this problem:
1) Just use the default inbox in the .PST where e-mail is delivered, running rules as they arrive to this location, while deleting the rule you created to move e-mails to an inbox that you manually created for specific use with the .PST where e-mail is delivered.
2)Create an "intermediary" .PST file (recommended) whose purpose is strictly to function as the default delivery .PST where rules are processed. This is also a good configuration for security but that is a whole other issue.
I hope this helps solve all or at least part of the problems described above.
I have set up several rules for messages sent to me by sites just like this one. The rule generally looks at the From: or Subject: line and moves the email to a personal folder used to store them until I get around to reading it. However, for the past year or so, I have found that an increasing number of emails are being moved without the body of the email. The To:/From:/Subject: data seems to be intact, but no message body. All rules worked in the beginning and some still work ... sometimes. Any thoughts on this revolting development?
hi there, i'm facing a weired rule problem. I've a blackberry and i want to recv a copy of my office id(exchange) in my blackberry. i configured that from the server but it goes directly to blackberry. later on i set a rule in outlook.But tech persons in 3G telphone company told me it will only work for POP3 acct.So i've created a rule to forward it to his gmail id set the rule to forward mail to gmail. Now the problem is the rule is not working. if i set any other office id in the rule, it works fine. but not to gmail or yahoo. Is this bcoz any security settings? Pls advise.
While the Outlook rules don't work as usual with Zimbra... You can post macros/scripts that run off of the Outlook Application "Application_NewMailEx" event
If you are handy with VBA you can mimic the rules and still get the old versatility of Outlook...and then some
Is it possible to setup an outlook rule to move folders? I have a list of folders that are created each day and then moved offline. Is it possible to setup a rule to auto copy sub folders moved to a top level folder to a second folder?
e.g. The inbox has several sub folders Mon/Tue/Wed etc. When a new folder is copied to Mon it can be moved offline but is it possible to do this automatically or on a timer?
For the last couple of weeks I am being told that when someone receives and email from me they are getting multiple copies of it. Some has had 103 of the same email. What has changed on my outlook to cause this.
I had problems with the outlook 2007 not running automatically. I tried almost everthing...yet the only fix turned out to be removing/deleting the current profile created on the workstation and adding a new one. This forced the outlook client to rebuild and re-establish connection with the mail server (exchange) etc...
I have a rules bug I can't figure out:
I manage an Catholic Apologetics web site at:
I receive e-mail from a list server: a list of people who receive the same question.
I've set up an E-mail Rule to redirect e-mails I receive with the following in the subject line: "I have a Catholic question" to my unanswered questions folder.
The problem: When I reply to the e-mail (IN THE unanswered folder), it is NOT sent but comes back into the folder for which I created the rule?
What's going on? You can e-mail me at:
Thank you TomB for informing us of the PST fix, this has fixed my rules for auto-responding.
* Run SCANPST.EXE/SCANOST.EXE (C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033) to scan & repairs errors in your PST file.
My outlook 2003 rules & alerts are not working if I use outlook in offline, it works fine if you work online. I don't what happened? is there any setup problem. Please advice
I get a mail Sub "WARN Thread usage for EndurTradeSub VEST is 40 Percent ". I want to set a rule in outlook 2003 inorder to move this mail to a folder name "issues" only if the percentage is less than 50. IF the percent is more than 50 I dont want to move this mail to the folder. Please advise.
i finally got gmail to work with outlook 2003. i use a Motorola Gateway router, i had to add a new firewall policy to my gateway and bingo, gmail now works with outlook.
Regarding the "two copies" problem when creating a rule to move emails to a folder (and the fix - checking "stop processing more rules".)
It does work, and I now understand why (at least in my case) it was needed.
I have several email accounts coming into outlook. I had one rule saying that if it comes in addressed to this account, put it in that folder. Then when I created the second rule, saying if it comes in from this sender, put it in that folder.
Outlook saw the email meeting both rules, so it put a copy of it in each folder.
my problem is:
i have two email accounts in outlook; one of them is pop3 one of them is exchange server. i put a rule for pop3 email account. but even if i try to send my emails from pop3 account, outlook sends emails from the exchange account. i couldn't fix it maybe you may help.
thanks in advance
I have many rules to delete "un-wanted" spam mails. However I have to execute the rule manually. What I am looking for is to have the rule DELETE the incoming spam-mail or junk-mail
Would anyone be able to assist?
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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