How to Fix Outlook Rules Not Working on Windows 10 and Windows 11

How to Fix Outlook Rules Not Working on Windows

Last updated on August 28th, 2023 at 11:08 am


Microsoft Outlook, with its array of features and organizational tools, has long been a preferred choice for managing our email correspondence. One of the most powerful features of Outlook is its rule system, which allows users to automate email management and boost productivity.

However, what happens when these rules suddenly stop working? It can be frustrating and time-consuming to sort through a flood of incoming messages manually. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we will explore the reasons Outlook rules are not working on Windows and provide practical solutions to get them up and running again.

How to Fix Outlook Rules Not Working on Windows 11 and Windows 10?

Whether you’re a seasoned Outlook user or a newcomer to the platform, troubleshooting rule-related issues can be a challenging task. But fear not! We will break down the common culprits that can cause rules to malfunction, and we’ll walk you through step-by-step instructions to resolve these issues on your Windows system.

Solution 1: Configure Outlook Settings

One of the first things you should check when encountering issues with Outlook rules not working is whether the rules themselves are enabled. They might have been inadvertently disabled, causing them to be ineffective. 

To verify and enable your Outlook rules, follow these simple steps:

Open the Outlook application on your Windows computer.

Look for the “File” menu located in the top left corner of the Outlook window and click on it.

Within the “File” menu, navigate to the “Info” tab, and you’ll find a section labeled “Manage Rules & Alerts.” Click on this option.

Configure Outlook Settings

After clicking on “Manage Rules & Alerts,” a new window will appear. In this window, you’ll see several tabs. Look for the tab labeled “Email Rules” and select it. Make sure all the boxes are checked under this section. 

Also Read: Here’s How to Stop Receiving Spam Emails (Top 4 Tips)

Solution 2: Delete Unwanted Outlook Rules

If you’re encountering problems with Outlook rules not working, there might be conflicting or outdated rules in your system. Deleting unwanted rules can help streamline your rule management and potentially resolve any issues. 

Follow these steps to delete unwanted Outlook rules:

  1. Open the Outlook app and go to the “File” menu.
  2. From there, select “Info” and choose “Manage Rules & Alerts.”
  3. Press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard while selecting the rules that you want to remove.
Delete Unwanted Outlook Rules
  1. At the top of the window, click on the “Delete” option.
  2. When prompted, confirm the deletion by selecting “Yes.”

By following these instructions, you’ll be able to navigate to the rule management section in Outlook, select the unnecessary rules using the Ctrl key, and delete them efficiently.

Solution 3: Reset the Outlook SRS File

To resolve issues with Outlook rules not working, you may need to reset the Outlook SRS (Send and Receive Settings) file, which contains crucial account configurations. If this file becomes corrupted, it can cause problems with your Outlook rules. 

To fix this, you can force Outlook to recreate the SRS file by following these steps:

  1. Press the Win + R keys on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
  2. In the Open field of the Run dialog box, type %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook and then press Enter.
  3. A File Explorer window will open, displaying the Outlook folder in your AppData directory.
  4. Within this folder, locate the file named Outlook.srs.
Reset the Outlook SRS File
  1. Select the Outlook.srs file by clicking on it.
  2. Press the F2 key on your keyboard to initiate the file renaming process.
  3. Rename the file to Outlook.srs.old, indicating that it is the previous version of the SRS file.

By performing these steps, you are effectively resetting the Outlook SRS file, allowing Outlook to create a new and functional version of the file. This can help resolve any issues related to corrupted SRS files that may be impacting your Outlook rules.

Solution 4: Disable the Stop Processing More Rules Option

If your Outlook rules aren’t working properly, it could be due to the “Stop Processing More Rules” option being enabled. To fix this:

  1. Open Outlook and go to File > Info > Manage Rules & Alerts.
  2. Navigate to the Email Rules tab.
  3. Select the problematic rule.
  4. Click on “Change Rule” and choose “Edit Rule Settings.”
  5. Disable the “Stop Processing More Rules” option.
Disable the Stop Processing More Rules Option
  1. Save the changes.

By disabling this option, Outlook will continue applying subsequent rules, ensuring that all desired actions are executed correctly.

Also Read: How To Archive Your Emails For Free

Solution 5: Enable Cached Exchange Mode

If Outlook rules are still not working properly, activating Cached Exchange Mode can help resolve the issue. Cached Exchange Mode allows Outlook to store a local copy of your mailbox, enabling quicker access to emails and improved rule processing. Follow these steps to activate Cached Exchange Mode:

To fix Outlook rules not working, enable Cached Exchange Mode:

  1. Open Outlook and go to File > Account Settings.
  2. Select the email account and click on “Change.”
Enable Cached Exchange Mode
  1. Check “Use Cached Exchange Mode.”
  2. Adjust cache settings if needed.
  3. Click “Finish” to save the changes.

Enabling Cached Exchange Mode improves performance and enhances rule processing in Outlook, ensuring your rules function properly.

Solution 6: Run the Outlook Inbox Repair Tool

If you’re still facing issues with Outlook rules not working, running the Outlook Inbox Repair Tool can help resolve any potential problems with your Outlook data files. Follow these steps to run the tool:

  1. Close Outlook to ensure it’s not running in the background.
  2. Open the Windows File Explorer and locate “SCANPST.EXE.
Run the Outlook Inbox Repair Tool to fix outlook rules not working
  1. Launch the Inbox Repair Tool.
  2. Browse and select your Outlook data file.
  3. Click “Start” to initiate the repair process.
  4. Once complete, reopen Outlook and test your rules.

Running the Outlook Inbox Repair Tool can help resolve issues with corrupted data files that may affect your rules.

Solution 7: Update the Outlook App

If you’re encountering issues with Outlook rules not working, it’s important to ensure that you have the latest version of the Outlook app installed. Updates often include bug fixes and improvements that can address rule-related problems. Follow these steps to update your Outlook app:

  1. Launch Outlook and click on the File menu located in the top-left corner.
  2. In the left column, select the Office Account tab.
Update the Outlook App
  1. Click on Update Options, then choose Update Now.

By following these instructions, you can easily access the update options in Outlook and initiate the update process to ensure you have the latest version installed.

Solution 8: Reset All Rules

If none of the previous solutions have resolved the issue, you may consider resetting all rules to start fresh. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Win + R keys on your keyboard.
Reset All Rules to fix outlook rules not working
  1. Type “Outlook.exe /cleanrules” in the text box and Press the Enter key.

Executing these instructions will initiate a command that removes all Outlook rules at once. This action can be useful if you want to start fresh with your rules or if you’re experiencing issues that require a clean slate.


In conclusion, resolving Outlook rules not working on Windows is essential for efficient email management. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, you can regain control of email organization.

Whether it involves enabling Cached Exchange Mode, running the Inbox Repair Tool, or updating the Outlook app, these solutions can help ensure that Outlook rules function seamlessly, allowing users to maximize productivity and streamline their workflow.

Author Bio:

Dinesh Lakhwani

Dinesh Lakhwani, the entrepreneurial brain behind “TechCommuters,” achieved big things in the tech world. He started the company to make smart and user-friendly tech solutions. Thanks to his sharp thinking, focus on quality and the motto of never giving up, TechCommuters became a top player in the industry. His commitment to excellence has propelled the company to a leading position in the industry.

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