Outlook 2000 Rule to Move txt msg Not Working if size >24KB

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BleakOutlook

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Outlook version
Older version
Email Account
POP3
Recently set up a virtual printer that sends a number of scheduled reports to an email address, where the text of the report is the body of the email message.

These messages are text in format (from the headers):
Content-Type: text/plain;
charset="ISO-8859-1"

I've set up a number of rules to manipulate these messages once they've arrived, based on the content of the message.

Two of these rules work just fine. One rule deletes those messages that contain a string of text in the body indicating that there were no records matching the print request. The second rule correctly forwards those messages that contain a matching string of text to another email address. These two examples share a commonality that the non-working examples do not -- the size of the individual emails as reported within the Outlook client is 24KB or less.

An example of one of the non-working rules is this:
Apply this rule after the message arrives
with VERIFICATION EXCEPTIONS in the body
move it to the verification exceptions folder
and stop processing more rules
The other non-working rules are exactly like the above, with the only difference being the text string to match within the body and the target folder to which the message should be moved.

Note that these non-working rules neither work automatically nor when run manually (Run Now). No errors are given.

Tests I've performed:
with & without the "and stop processing more rules"
replacing "in the body" condition with "in the subject or body"
adding additional known-working match conditions such as also matching a condition in the subject
modifying the size of the message by doing an Edit and deleting some amount of text before saving -- this is what finally caused the rule to work!

After cutting down the size of a message was found to work, I did a copy->paste of an original message and began a thorough test to determine the threshold. I deleted all the original body text of my test subject, then keyed in the text to match followed by blocks of randomly generated text to create a message ~30KB in size. Then performed a Run Now of the rule in question, followed by an Edit message to delete some of the random text -- rinse, repeat... until the message would finally move after the size drops below 25KB.

Why this is, is a mystery to me. I've completely exhausted my GoogleFu attempting to find a resolution or workaround. In my searches though, I've found many threads on many forums where the OP eventually gave up attempting to determine why some messages wouldn't move when they were supposed to, and have to wonder if they'd encountered the same without knowing.

About this Outlook install:
non-exchange
set to Internet Only
POP3
not bumping against any of the size nor count limits
 

Forum Admin

Senior Member
Interesting. I know rules can be problematic if you have a lot and/or if you receive a lot of messages in one go - messages will be skipped. Do they work with larger messages if you have few rules?

It sounds like your keyword was in the beginning of the message, so the rule didn't even begin to filter it.

Are you also using an antivirus or antispam scanner? The reason rules fail when you have a lot and/or get a lot of messages at once is because outlook can't process them as fast as it downloads them. Also scanning with an antivirus or 3rd party antispam addin could affect the amount of time outlook has to scan the messages and cause rules to fail.
 

BleakOutlook

New Member
Outlook version
Older version
Email Account
POP3
A head-scratcher, right?

Not many rules -- only twelve in toto, with two disabled.
Yes, I've experienced the "lot of messages in one go" issue in other situations, but I do not believe that is the issue here. For example, one of these reports fires at 2am on Saturday, the other at 7pm Mon-Fri -- where the machine and Outlook run 24/7. ...and because they also exhibit this behavior when directed to Run Now (even when only one rule at a time is selected).

Yep, the keyword for the test rounds was at the very beginning of the message. Lost me on "the rule didn't even begin to filter it".

AV yes, MSE. Yet I've even now tested with it disabled, with the same results. No antispam or other scanner installed.
 

BleakOutlook

New Member
Outlook version
Older version
Email Account
POP3
I've since duplicated the exact behavior on another machine with a similar if not exact Outlook 2000 install, by saving one of these "large" messages as .msg and drag-dropping onto the open client.

On this machine Outlook is no longer actively used, so I was able to easily blow out all the existing rules and just create the one rule that should move this message based on matching text within the body. Run Now(s) resulted in the same as previously experienced. >24KB will not move. <=24KB will.

I believe at this juncture I'm going to punt and create another virtual printer to drop these two reports to files rather than emails. I hate leaving a mystery unresolved, but such is life with M$ products.

I appreciate your having pondered this one with me for a bit.
 
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