Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Outlook 2007 Rules Not Firing Automatically

I use rules extensively in Outlook at work to sort and filter emails as they arrive, so it was a bit frustrating that they stopped working a day or two back. They ran OK with the "Run Rules Now..." option, but wouldn't fire automatically. (By the way, we use Microsoft Exchange Server and I use Cached Exchange Mode to reduce the effect of connection problems.)

After a fair amount of searching I eventually found an article at TechRepublic that provided the solution. This suggested that the rules might be corrupt and recommended recreating them to fix the problem. The process is quite simple and, whether my rules were actually corrupt or not, it fixed the issue:

  • Select Tools then Rules and Alerts... to open the Rules and Alerts dialog.
  • Select Options.
  • Select Export Rules....
  • Navigate to an appropriate folder and choose a file name. Select Save.
  • Cancel the Options dialog.
  • Select all your rules, and click Delete. Select Yes to confirm.
  • You should now have no rules listed. Select OK.
  • Exit and then re-start Outlook.
  • Select Tools then Rules and Alerts... again.
  • Select Options.
  • Select Import Rules....
  • Navigate to and select the file you just exported, then click Open.
  • Cancel the Options dialog and select OK.

... and all should be fine!