If Outlook 365 Rules are not working automatically on your Windows PC, this article will guide you on how to solve the issue successfully. The error happens when a user sets the rules but cannot run them automatically. However, when the same user manually runs the rules, they work properly. This is strange and needs to be resolved quickly.
Outlook Rules are the best way to stay organized on the email client. These rules help you direct certain messages to specific folders so that you can group them and access them with ease. So when the feature is not working, you might have all sorts of emails in one folder, which becomes a huge task to categorize.
Why don’t my Outlook 365 Rules work automatically?
There are several reasons why rules might not work on Outlook. The main cause of this issue is that Rules exceeded the mailbox quote set in Outlook; this is a memory issue. Other causes are Outlook settings being wrongly configured, account or app corruption, or sending or receiving files being broken. Also, if rules are not enabled, POP4 or IMAP account issues, or rules set on a different device that haven’t synced, they can trigger Outlook Rules not to work properly.
Fix Outlook 365 Rules not working automatically
If Outlook 365 rules are not working automatically after setting them but work perfectly when run manually, we recommend trying the following solutions to fix the issue successfully:
- Check if Rules are enabled
- Optimize the file size
- Check for Outlook updates
- Delete and make new rules
- Check your email download settings
- Repair Outlook data by clearing .OST file
- Make a new Outlook profile
Let us look at these solutions in detail.
1] Check if Rules are enabled
If the Outlook Rules are not enabled, they will not work either on the Outlook app or Outlook Web. Check if they are enabled by following the steps below:
- Open your Outlook app and go to File.
- On the right side, you will see Account Information. Locate and click on Manage Rules & Alerts.
- Rules and Alerts wizard will appear; check if all the boxes are checked under Email Rules. If not, check them to enable rules in all the accounts.
2] Optimize the file size
The size of the files for rules matters a lot because if they exceeds the stated quota, the rules might not work. By default, the maximum file size for rules is 256 KB, but you can customize it to at least 64 KB. As you can see, even a text matters in size. To optimize the file size for Outlook Rules, do the following:
- Rename and reduce rule-name characters. Try to keep the name as short as possible. A longer name will only eat up memory for the final file size. You can use Abbreviations to name Outlook Rules.
- Combine rules that seem similar. If you have rules that result in the same outcome, remove some or combine them into one. This will create space to create new rules.
- Delete outdated rules. If you no longer need some of the rules, you can remove them. This will create more space to add new ones or make the current work properly. It will also declutter the rule folder and make it more organized.
3] Check for Outlook updates
An outdated Outlook app can cause rules to not work automatically. To fix this, you need to ensure that you have the most recent version. Update Outlook manually by following the steps below:
- Open the Windows Outlook app and click File.
- Next, select Office Account, and you will see the Office Updates option. Click on the Update Options, and you will see a drop-down list; select Update Now.
- Follow any other on-screen directions and allow your system to download and install the latest version of the Outlook app.
4] Delete and make new rules
There could be a problem with how you created the Outlook Rules, and remaking them will resolve the issue. You can use the Run dialog to clear all rules for all accounts on your device. Open the dialog by pressing the Windows key + R, typing outlook.exe /cleanrules, and then pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter. This helps you run the utility as an administrator. Once the process is over, launch Outlook and remake the rules.
5] Check your email download settings
If your email settings prevent email messages from syncing while offline, client-side rules may not work. To fix this, tweak your email download settings using the steps below:
- Open your Outlook app and click the File option.
- On the left side, you will see the Account Information section.
- Locate and click Account Settings, and then select Account Settings on the drop-down list.
- Under the Email option, look for the account rules that are not working, and then select Change.
- A new Change Account wizard will appear. Go to the Offline Settings and drag the pointer to the maximum length until it indicates All.
- Select Next, then OK.
- Finally, restart your Outlook app and check if the rules are now working.
6] Repair Outlook data by clearing .OST file
The .OST file is the default store for Outlook data on your PC. The rules will now work automatically if the .OST file is corrupted or damaged. The best way to fix this is to delete the entire folder and restart Outlook. Follow the steps below:
- First, close the Outlook app, and then open the Control Panel.
- Change the View by to Category and then click User Accounts.
- Next, choose Mail (Microsoft Outlook) to open the Mail Setup – Outlook wizard.
- Go to the Setup email account and directions option and click Email Accounts.
- Select the Data Files and click the email account associated with the Outlook Rules.
- Next, select Open File Location from the toolbar above the email account.
- Now, locate the .ost file and delete it.
- Finally, relaunch Outlook and see if the rules are now working.
7] Make a new Outlook profile
This is a last-resort solution if there is no other fix Outlook 365 rules are not supported for your account. There could be an issue with your current account, and you may want to contact Microsoft to look into it. Meanwhile, create a new one and see if the issue is resolved. Go to User Accounts > Mail (Microsoft Outlook) > Show Profiles > Add in Windows Control Panel, and create a new Outlook profile. Create new rules and see if they are working automatically with the new account. If so, your previous account has an issue.
We hope you find something valuable here.
How do I set Outlook rules to run automatically?
If you want to set Outlook to run automatically, select the message or email you want to act on, right-click it, and go to Rules > Create Rule. Select by ticking the actions and conditions you want, and click OK. On Outlook Web, go to Settings > View all Outlook Settings > Mail > Rules, and then select Add New Rule.