When rules lose track of "specified folder"

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Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Outlook.com (as MS Exchange)
I'm wondering if you might know why Outlook 2016 upon startup will very occasionally these days (once or twice a month, with C2R builds over the last several months) balk about a rules issue. It invariably turns out to be that it no longer knows where local mail folders are in a set of local rules that I have.

It's very strange, since the folders are exactly where they've always been. So when this happens, I have to dutifully edit the rules that use "specified folder" and point back to the given folders.

All the other details of the rules are just fine. And it's not as if the problem is precipitated by Outlook crashing or closing improperly, either. It seems completely random to me in that nothing special precipitates it.

Yeah... that doesn't make sense. What type of account is it - pop, imap, or exchange/outlook.com? If IMAP, i could guess its a sync issue and the folder isn't available, but that shouldn't happen with pop since it uses a pst.
Yes, it's PST. It has the feel of a bug, but with PSTs and Outlook, it's hard to say.
i think its a bug since its a pst. The only reason it wouldn't be a bug is if you are doing something - like moving a pst between two computers (or sharing it with a second computer)- this could confuse outlook.
It's always in the same spot and isn't shared.

Not sure it could tie in, but I've run scanpst against the pst, and whatever "internal errors" it finds it doesn't correct no matter how many times it's run (though it does cruelly say "Repair complete" each time). This predates the problem though, and I think it's par for the course with scanpst, which I've seen almost never actually work on any pst.

This is what the repair output looks like (I'm not showing dozens more "Failed to add" ones):

**Beginning NDB recovery

**Attempting to open database

**Attempting to validate header

**Attempting to validate AMap

!!AMap page <@912466944> has csFree of 5, but should have 255

**Attempting to validate BBT

**Attempting to validate NBT

**Attempting to validate BBT refcounts

**Attempting to validate header NID high-water marks

**Beginning PST/OST recovery

**Attempting to recover all top-level objects

**Store created by build: 15.4128

**Attempting to walk all folders

Failed to add row to the FLT, irow = 1825, RowID = 215C04
Failed to add row to the FLT, irow = 1621, RowID = 214284
Failed to add row to the FLT, irow = 1595, RowID = 213F44
Failed to add row to the FLT, irow = 1567, RowID = 213BC4
Failed to add row to the FLT, irow = 1556, RowID = 213A64
Failed to add row to the FLT, irow = 1546, RowID = 213924
Could be corruption in the pst. Have you tried emptying deleted and junk folders, then compacting before repairing?

Scanpst usually needs 3 passes to clear all errors, but once you do that, it may still find a few errors but not say they need fixed. That is normal... 3rd party apps that access the pst will cause corruption. Antivirus addins are a common cause, as are sync utilities but pretty much any addin can add errors- most of the time, they don't need fixed, or outlook will automatically fix them.
Junk is empty, and Deleted Items just has the last two months worth. I could empty it but I do like to keep those recent messages. I compact regularly.

The only 3rd-party add-in I have is Pocketknife (which I can disable if you think it wise). All the others are inactive or disabled except for MS VBA.

I have seen what you mean with needing multiple passes, just not with this one, where it will "Failed to add row to the FLT" what might be an infinite number of times.
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