Unable to transfer rules from one Outlook computer to another

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danno

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
I have 1 computer (my primary desktop) running Outlook 2010 with the default PST file associated with a POP3 acct and another IMAP mailbox. I have migrated a copy of all my POP3 emails to my IMAP account (in pieces, so Outlook won't hang during such a large transfer to an IMAP server). I have modified my rules so the destination folder ('specified folder' when creating/modifying rules) is inside the IMAP folder tree. I routinely copy the default Outlook.pst file from my primary desktop to my laptop.

When I open Outlook on the laptop (the laptop has the same POP3 and IMAP acct info as the desktop), all the mailboxes are OK, but the rules are missing. If I try to export the rules from my primary desktop via Rules/Options/Export and import them to the laptop, the rules now appear, but if I click ok or apply, then an popup message box appears "One or more rules contain errors, delete or modify these rules" and the destination folder has been wiped out in the rule definition.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
I would avoid the routine copy - if you constantly update the calendar and contacts, get a sync utility such as from code two - links to it and others are here: Synchronizing Outlook on Two Machines - Slipstick Systems - Several of the apps are free for two computers and a limited number of folders.

Rules are stored in the local pst and are linked to the account that created them - moving the pst messages that up. The rules have errors after import because you need to repoint them to the folders - rules store the full pst path as well as the file and folder name.
 

danno

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
I assume the full version of the CodeTwo software (I looked into that) would properly sync all aspects of the PST file (emails, rules, etc.)? Never mind. I just checked with CodeTwo and their software Outlook Sync (even the full version) only syncs folder info, not rules. So no solution for migrating the rules?

So even if the account info on both computers is identical and path to the default PST file is the same on both computers (c:\users\<user name>\documents\outlook files\outlook.pst), the rules will still be corrupted?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Nothing will sync rules, sorry. you need to export / import or just recreate on machine #2.

Yes, even if you use the same username, the rules will be problematic as it also uses the machine GUID as an identifier. They do not make it easy...
 

danno

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
As I had stated originally, I had already tried export/import of rules, but that didn't work and I suspect it's due to multiple accounts setup in my profile in Outlook and 1 of them being POP3 and the others IMAP. It seems like a horrible defect in Outlook that a user can't simply transfer rules from one Outlook installation to another.

I had read somewhere that creating a new Outlook profile may be a solution (but I doubt that Outlook profiles can be 'transferred' from one computer to another). Is this something that has a chance or is this a waste of time?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Profiles do not transfer well - there are keys that point to the current machine and it tends to corrupt the profile if you try moving it. If both systems uses the same windows user name, there is a better chance it will work though.

The profile is in the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem if you want to try.
 
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