Why do some Outlook rules simply not work?

Occasional Visitor

I just want a tidy mailbox :(


I have been having consistent problems with some Rules simply refusing to apply. I want to be able to run the rules once created on my whole mailbox to tidy up past mail.


Some of them seem to work absolutely fine but the simplest ones often don't with no explanation as to why they refuse to work.


For example, I actually disabled every single rules except one. All it is is "if mail comes from x@y.com,  move it to X folder". That's it. 


It doesn't work. 


I have gone through the troubleshooting rules here and none seem to apply. 


When I right-click on a message that should be targeted by the above rule and hit "Rules > Apply All" it does nothing.


When I select all my messages and select "Rules > Apply All" it has a window that pops up to grind through the 14,000 messages in my inbox but once concluded that message has not moved into the folder.


I'm at my wits ends. What is the point of Rules if they don't work? 


Outlook for Mac version 16.41

Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

1 Reply

Hi @francesca365,


there is a constraint not mentioned in the article which you unfortunately cannot change - the maximum size for all rules is 256 KB. However, this only applies for enabled rules and you should have received a warning if you were already near that limit.



Personally, I do not know if there are any differences in applying rules in Outlook for Mac or Outlook for Windows.