Rules Ruled by Hal from "2001: A Space Odyssey"

Established Member

Having just received a message "promoting" me to the status of "Frequent Visitor", I consider that now is the time to stop being a peeping Tom and to start actively contributing to the numerous Microsoft Communities to which I belong. So, firstly, "Hi" to everybody. Allow me, too, to ask for a little patience if the content of this post has already been dealt with elsewhere.

Having been an Outlook user for more than 25 years, I have gradually developed a filing system in Outlook and have numerous folders. Together with those folders, it has been necessary to create an extensive system of rules to ensure that, as emails arrive, they go to the proper destination.

You can imagine my shock when, a few weeks ago, all my rules disappeared. I use, so I checked both in Outlook for desktop and on the web. Not that it mattered: they had disappeared from both. Having run through the gamut of emotions one might expect, I set about constructing a new set of rules.

This is where the subject heading to this post comes in. While Outlook seems to pay some little lip service to my rules, I cannot shake off the feeling that some electronic brain, a definite descendant of Arthur C Clarke's Hal, has decided to have fun with my rules. Every few days, Outlook appears to decide upon a new folder venue for all my emails. I shan't bore you with a history of the Rules Itinerary. At present, most of my emails go to a folder I created a long time ago called TED (for emails regarding new interesting TED talks). The one folder never chosen for this apparently malicious mindless meander is the Inbox. I have to find the new destination by looking for the folder with the most number of unread emails in it.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? More importantly, is there anything I can do to "disable Hal"? And finally, could Microsoft please add this issue to their list of "to dos"?

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