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Outlook Email Rules Office365 Erratic Behaviour RRS feed

  • Question

  • We use email rules to process certain emails.

    In essence the rule applies to messages that are received that are sent to a distribution list (containing two recipients), moves the email to a specific folder, runs a script that files any email attachment to a specified network directory, marks the email as read and stops processing more rules.

    Over the past couple of years apart from having to modify the user's regedit to add an EnableUnsafeClientMailRules entry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Security.an entry to allow scripts to be run, the rules were executed reliably.

    Over the past few months the rules do not run, and when managing the rules, the rule is still listed and there are no errors, but when I try and run the rule manually the rule then doesn't show up in the Run Rules Now list.

    If I go back to the main manage rule display and just click on the script's name and click on okay, then when I go into the Run Rules Now display the rule is displayed and it will then allow me to run it manually.

    This will then allow the rule to be run automatically for new emails but the problem soon reoccurs.

    I am using Outlook running through a personal Office365 account and the email account that the rule is associated to is associated to a company Office365 Exchange server. This combination has worked reliably in the past.

    It seems to be an issue with the script. 

    In order for the rule to be listed in Run Rules Now.. list, I have to click on the script name of the rule, it then displays the scripts that are available with the correct one highlighted, and if I click okay, then it will appear in the Run Rules Now list and will, for a period of time, run automatically.

    (I have tried just clicking on the other rule variables to see if it is just a case of rewriting the rule but it is only when the script is highlighted and confirmed that the rule is then listed in the Run Rules Now list). 

    So the problem seems to be that Outlook is not running the rule because it can't find the script, but if I tell it to look for the script it finds it, in the right place. Once I have reestablished the connection the rule runs, until such time as it doesn't. 

    There is nothing unusual about the script, it is in an Outlook Developer Visual Basic Module.

    It does not appear to be a problem with the specific script as it happens with different scripts, although they are all defined in the same module.

    I use multiple laptops and the behaviour is consistent, but intermittent across both devices, so it would not seem to be related to a corrupted email account.

    The problem might relate to the other intermittent problem where when the rules are edited a message is sometimes displayed.

    "The rules on this computer do not match the rules on Microsoft Exchange. Only one set of rules can be kept. You will usually want to keep the rules on the server. Which rules do you want to keep?"

    This is a problem across a number of different machines and accounts.

    I understand that to be a known Microsoft problem that doesn't yet have a fix. 

    However when this error is displayed, and client selected, the rule will run manually without having to first click on the script name so that it is displayed in the run now list.

    Can anyone offer any insight in how to resolve this problem?

    Monday, January 13, 2020 11:32 PM

All replies

  • Hi Martin,

    Before going further, could you please collect the build number of your Outlook via File > Office Account > About Outlook?

    >> if I click okay, then it will appear in the Run Rules Now list and will, for a period of time, run automatically.
    Based on the description you shared above, it also seems to me that the issue is not with the scripts involved.

    >> Over the past few months the rules do not run.
    As this is a recently occurred problem, may I know if this issue started at a similar time as the error prompt problem("The rules on this computer do not match the rules on Microsoft Exchange…")?

    According to the current status for the error prompt known issue in this official documentation, an initial fix was released in version 12228.20332. So if possible, it is suggested to upgrade your Office 365 to 12228.20332 or above and see if there is any difference.

    Any update, please feel free to post back.

    Regards,

    Jeff Yang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnsf@microsoft.com.

    • Marked as answer by Martin C 007 Friday, January 17, 2020 10:59 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Martin C 007 Friday, January 17, 2020 4:51 PM
    Tuesday, January 14, 2020 10:46 AM
  • Hi Jeff 

    Thanks for the reply.

    I confirm that the build I was using was Office 365 MSO (16.0.1228.20100) 32-bit

    I have now updated to Office 365 MSO (16.0.12325.20280) 32-bit

    I have run a test and the rule worked, however, as I have previously reported the rule has worked, until it doesn't.

    It would be hard to confirm if the rules not running occurred at the same time as the rules not matching problem, I have a feeling it was before, but difficult to say.

    Hopefully the rules not matching problem has been fixed, I have however just updated one machine to the new version and did get the rules not matching displayed when I tried to run a rule, but when I tried it again I didn't get that so it might have needed resetting.

    I will run for a few days and come back to confirm if one or both problems have been properly resolved.

    Best regards

    Martin


    Tuesday, January 14, 2020 12:51 PM
  • Hi Martin,

    I'm very glad to see that your problem could have positive progress.

    If you have any update about this issue later, please feel free to post back.

    Hope your problem can be solved soon.

    Regards,

    Jeff Yang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnsf@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:16 AM
  • Just an update.

    I have been running for a few days now and the rules are running properly and the rules not matching problem also seems to have been resolved.

    Thanks for the guidance. 

    [NEWS FLASH]

    After running fine for a few days, the problem has come back today, i.e. the rules not matching client/server and the rules not being able to run manually without first confirming the script.

    See later post.


    • Edited by Martin C 007 Friday, January 17, 2020 4:51 PM Problem Reappeared
    Friday, January 17, 2020 10:59 AM
  • Ahh

    No sooner than I thought everything was back to normal, and I updated this thread to say that everything had been resolved by upgrading to the latest release I get the "not matching" problem again and the rules not appearing in the "run now" list until I have clicked on the script.

    I will edit my "Just an update" post to reflect that the problem hasn't been resolved. 

    I saw somewhere that the "not matching" problem was identified as being a problem caused only if the number of recipients was more that 21 (not sure how many exactly but it was a large number), the problem I am having is where the recipients are to two distribution lists and the total number of recipients is four.

    Any other suggestions as to how to resolve this problem would be appreciated.

    Martin


    Friday, January 17, 2020 4:49 PM
  • Hi Martin,

    I find that your Outlook version(16.0.12325.20280) is not up to date, please upgrade your Outlook to the latest version and test again.

    Besides, what specific operations did you do before this problem occurred? Did you update your windows or outlook version?
    To further confirm if your issue is related to the version of your Outlook client, please try to revert your outlook to the old version which you could use normally before.

    Hope this can be helpful.

    Regards,

    Jeff Yang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnsf@microsoft.com.





    Wednesday, January 22, 2020 9:53 AM
  • Hi Martin,

    Have you tried to revert your outlook to the old version?

    I'm writing to see if the reply above is helpful to you.

    If you have any update about this issue, please feel free to post back.

    Regards,

    Jeff Yang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnsf@microsoft.com.

    Friday, February 7, 2020 10:53 AM
  • Hi Jeff

    I haven't tried to revert back to the previous version, because the previous version had the same problem, it was updating to the later version that seemed to resolve the problem for a short time.

    It is also a common problem being experienced on multiple machines (at least five), all running the same version of Office365. 

    The problem with the message: 

    "The rules on this computer do not match the rules on Microsoft Exchange. Only one set of rules can be kept. You will usually want to keep the rules on the server. Which rules do you want to keep?"

    And the problem with the rule not running automatically and only being able to run manually by clicking of the script seem to be related, but the rule not running and the problem with running it manually is the most common problem, the client/server rule message is only displayed periodically. I originally thought they were two different problems, and they maybe, but something tells me that they are not. 

    At the moment I am just having to tediously run the rules manually, once I have run it manually it occasionally runs automatically for a bit and then stops.

    Best regards

    Martin

      

    Friday, February 7, 2020 11:20 AM
  • Hi Martin,

    >> "The rules on this computer do not match the rules on Microsoft Exchange. Only one set of rules can be kept. You will usually want to keep the rules on the server. Which rules do you want to keep?"

    I researched a lot and I'm afraid that your problem may indeed be related to this known issue just like I mentioned before. If there is any update about this issue released, I will post here.

    Regards,

    Jeff Yang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnsf@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, February 12, 2020 7:53 AM
  • "The rules on this computer do not match the rules on Microsoft Exchange. Only one set of rules can be kept. You will usually want to keep the rules on the server. Which rules do you want to keep?"

    I have seen a number of posts that suggest that this problem was resolved and found to be related to the number of recipients, but I am still experiencing the problem and the number of recipients are two email distribution lists that total a number of five actual recipients. 

    Multiple rules experience the problem and the only thing common between them is that they all use a script, which has to be confirmed before it will run (but not every time). I doubt what the script does is important but just in case it us the script looks for any email attachments and files them to a network directory.  

    Monday, February 17, 2020 11:39 AM
  • Hi Martin,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Sorry that the latest update to the official article shows that this issue is still under investigate, please wait for the results of follow-up updates.

    Thanks for your patience and understanding.

    Regards,

    Jeff Yang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnsf@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020 8:16 AM
  • I hope that I am not being premature, but it looks like this problem might have finally been fixed in Microsoft 365 MSO 16.0.12827.20200, I am running the 32-bit - so can't confirm that it is the same for the 64-bit version.

    Since upgrading, and for a number of days and on different machines, rules seem to be running as they should.  

    Now that it is fixed it highlights just how tortuous it has been working round the problem for the almost dozen months it has been a problem.  

     
    • Marked as answer by Martin C 007 Monday, June 15, 2020 6:42 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Martin C 007 Monday, June 15, 2020 8:56 AM
    Monday, June 15, 2020 6:42 AM
  • Ahh look at that, after days of everything working properly on two separate laptops, no sooner do I post the "it is fixed" post that both revert back to displaying the same problem.

    Maybe the next update?

    Monday, June 15, 2020 8:59 AM