How to delete old rules and create new in Outlook 2013

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Rupert Dragwater

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
O Diane Poremsky, here's my dilemma ... I'm using Outlook 2013 and the rules I had created are no longer behaving themselves. In other words, they are not working at all.
Is there such a thing as deleting the old rules and creating them anew. If so, would you or could you give me the proper instruction ... I'm a novice, so speak in words no bigger than two syllables!!! :)
I'll appreciate your help ............. or if another wants to jump in on this, please do. Thanks!
you can restart outlook with the /cleanrules switch or just delete them from the rules & alerts dialog. I'd export them first, just so you have a copy if you decide the problem wasn't with the rules.

How to use command line switches
Being a novice with Outlook, can you please explain how to do the / cleanrules thingy. Appreciate your reply. And please explain exporting the rules - I've exported my mail / folders to a pst. file on an external hard drive, but if the rules is a different thing, please advise. Thanks!
To export rules, you need to open the Rules and alerts dialog, click Options, then Export.

At the Start menu, Run command (or open the Run command by pressing Windows Key + R type:
Outlook /cleanrules
Yuppier - done gone and did that and it appears from the latest round of email(s) it didn't work ... or do I have to create them there rules all over again?
You'll need to either recreate them or import the rules you exported - if you import rules, you'll need to check any that move to a new folder = they may need to be repointed to the folder.
Diane, don't go anywhere. Let me work on this for a couple days and I'll let you know how things go. Appreciate your expertise!
LOL. I'm not going anywhere for 2 weeks. :)
Good! Let's forget the "couple days" for a bit - after doing the Outlook /cleanrules, are you saying I then create the rules anew? Now with that profound question, I have to stumble towards my place of rest. I look forward to your furthered advice. :)
Correct, cleanrules cleans out the rules and you need to recreate them (or import the backup you exported)
Thanks Diane for not going anywhere yet!?! When I export a file (pst) to an external hard drive, does this also include the rules? I know these profound questions have probably got you snapping pencils and scratching your head but remember, I'm less than a novice when it comes to this. Again, I'll appreciate your furthered explanations / helps / patience and all the other good stuff that goes with it! :)
Nah, the questions don't bother me - my kids taught me how to be patient. :) Plus it helps to give me ideas for new articles - after doing this for 10+ years, I often run out of ideas for articles. Plus, if one person asks, it's highly likely others have the same question.

Export, no. Copy the pst as backup, yes.

Exporting also doesn't include any custom views, custom forms published to the folders and a few other things that are hidden in the data file - exporting only exports Outlook items you can see in the folder.
Thanks for the reply. So you're saying, just go to the File Explorer, find the pst file and copy it to the external hard drive, correct? What I'm going to do again, is run the Outlook / Cleanrules and recreate the rules. Hopefully that will work. Should I keep a Fire Extinguisher close by this laptop perchance? :-}
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