What to Do When MS Outlook Rules Not Working Automatically in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010

Written By Kumar Raj
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On August 26th, 2022
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

“Hello! I am using Outlook 2013 on a Windows 7 (32 bit) machine. I have several rules set up in MS Outlook however, Outlook 2013 rules not working properly automatically even Outlook is open on my PC. Rules are running fine when I am choosing “Run Rules Now…” manually. I have tried to re-create these rules and verified the spelling multiple times also, moved them to top of the list of rules. Yet, they are still not moving the appropriate messages to the requested folder. I have not done anything fancy with the rules as all they do is moving the emails to another folder. How can I fix issue when Microsoft Outlook rules not running automatically? Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. Thank you!”

There are several users who have faced the issue that Outlook profile rules not working automatically or manually. In that case, Outlook rules only make effects when users hit “Run rules now” button manually. This technical paper comprises some simple and cost-efficient techniques to deal with this issue.

MS Outlook provides many settings, functions, and operations to work with and Rules are one of the handiest functions among all. A rule is an action, which Outlook for Windows runs automatically on incoming/outgoing email messages. Microsoft Outlook rules are based on the default conditions or protocols that are set up by users. The Outlook rules are advantageous because they help in:

  • Stay Organized
  • Stay Up to Date
  • Start From a Blank Rule

However, what if these Microsoft Outlook rules not working automatically, even after they are created accurately? Basically, this condition indicates corruption either in the rules or within the mailbox. This could also imply corruption in send/receive settings file (srs-file) of Microsoft Outlook. Below are some techniques to fix Outlook Rules stopped working automatically issue.

#Method 1: Rename or Reset SRS File in MS Outlook

To fix Outlook rules not working automatically issue in Outlook, you have to rename/reset your send/receive settings (.srs) file.

Default location of .srs File – C: >> Users >> admin >> AppData >> Roaming >> Microsoft >> Outlook

#Method 2: Fix Corruption Issue via IMAP or POP3 Account

If you are using IMAP or POP account and the above techniques do not help you to resolve this issue “Microsoft Outlook rules not running automatically” then, follow the below-mentioned guidelines:

Note: Configuring IMAP or POP3 account in Microsoft Outlook (depending on the versions) creates PST file in backup in a default location. This Outlook rule not working automatically can also be resolved if you repair corrupted Outlook PST file using a reliable PST File Repair Application.

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Step 1: Delete Outlook Rules

In Outlook 2010 and 2013:

In case when you face Outlook 2010 and 2013 rules not working properly in the system, follow the steps given below:

  • Launch MS Outlook and click on File tab then, choose Manage Rules and Alerts option

In Outlook 2007 and earlier versions:

  • Open MS Outlook and click on Tools tab then, select Rules and Alerts

Step 2: Verify the Location of Outlook PST

In Outlook 2010 and 2013:

  • Launch MS Outlook and click on File tab then, choose Account Settings >> Account Settings

  • Now, select Data File tab and click on Open File Location option

outlook 2016 rules not working manually

In Outlook 2007 and earlier versions:

  • Open MS Outlook and click on File tab then, choose Data File Management
  • Next, click on Data File Management >> Data File then, click on Open File Location
  • Location of PST: C: >> Users >> admin >> Documents >> Outlook Files
  • Now, close MS Outlook and run Scanpst.exe (Inbox Repair Tool) to check the errors in PST file
  • After that, restart Microsoft Outlook to fix Outlook Rules stopped working automatically issue
    Then, create rule again
    Important Note: To force delete all Outlook rules at once, press “Windows + R” keys together and type

#Method 3: Fix Corruption using an Exchange account

If you are using the Exchange environment, you can check if it works after disabling the Cached Exchange Mode then, recreate the rule just like described above.
If it works then, navigates to the OST file for your mail profile. Then, rename it to .old and enable the Cached Exchange Mode again.

Quick Guide: – ‘Outlook rule not working manually’ issue occurs in case of Exchange configured Outlook account also. In such scenarios, convert your OST File into PST format. It will secure your data and avoid data loss.

Locate the OST file:

In MS Outlook 2007

  • File >> Data File Management

In Outlook 2010, 2013 and 2016

  • File >> Account Settings >> Account Settings >> Data Files

Enable/Disable Cached Exchange Mode

In Outlook 2007

  • Tools >> Account Settings >> Exchange Account

In Outlook 2010, 2013 and 2016

  • File >> Account Settings >> Account Settings >> Exchange account

Final Verdict

This article incorporates a complete solution for Outlook rules not working automatically issue. This helps users to resolve issues in MS Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003 versions. Here, we have discussed some easy manual techniques to fix this problematic situation when Microsoft Outlook 2016, 2013 rules not running automatically. As we know that the main cause of this issue is corruption in Outlook data files thus, we recommend users to use a trusted third-party tool to fix it i.e., SysTools Outlook Recovery Tool. This software easily repair damaged PST file without any data loss. It helps users to solve Outlook PST file issues effortlessly.

Some Commonly Asked Querries

Why New Outlook rules work manually, but not automatically ?

Sometimes Microsoft Outlook rules not working automatically even if they are created accurately. It happens when there is corruption either in the rules or within the mailbox.

How to make MS Outlook rules run automatically ?

Click the File tab > Click Manage Rules & Alerts >In Rules and Alerts dialogs button > Click New Rule on the E-mail Rules tab. Now setup Outlook email rules as per requirement and then press on Finish button.

How to fix Outlook rules not running automatically on Shared Mailbox ?

Not all methods of setting rules will be compatible on shared mailboxes in Outlook 2016, 2013, etc. To Set a rule in Outlook 2016 for a shared mailbox > File > Manage Rules & Alerts > In Email Rules tab > Apply changes to this folder: to shared mailbox account > New Rule… button and provide the suitable rule criteria.

How to reset SRS file to fix Outlook Rules not working ?

To fix Outlook rule nor working automatically or manually, one can rename or reset Outlook SRS files from its location. For that, go SRS file location and change its name.