How To Fix Outlook Error Reading The Rules From The Server

Are you facing the error saying “There was an error reading the rules from the server. The format of the server rules was not recognized” when you open the Outlook app and try to check the mailbox? Then this error is mostly because of the problematic rules created in Outlook. To resolve this error you might need to reset the rules, delete and re-add them or delete the problematic rule. Sometimes even the corrupted files can cause this issue so running the scanpst.exe tool and repairing the errors if found would help. In this article, let us see in detail the different methods to solve the error reading of the rules from the server issue. Let us start!

Method 1 – Reset The Rule Engine

 

Step 1 – Open the Microsoft Outlook app

Step 2 – Click on the file tab at the top left corner

 

file 5

 

Step 3 – In the info tab on the right side click on manage rules & alerts

 

manage rules

 

Step 4 – On the rules and alerts window, click on the options 

 

options 4



 

Step 5 – Click on the export rules button

 

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Step 6 – Browse and select a folder on your computer where you want to save local files and assign a name

Step 7 – Then click on save. Now you have a local backup of all the rules

Note: In case if you have multiple Exchange accounts then you must export the rules that are created for each account and name them appropriately to avoid any confusions.

Step 8 – Once the backup is completed, close the Outlook and its traces. Also make sure it is not running in the background processes

Step 9 – Open the run prompt using Windows + R keys together

Step 10 – Copy the below command and paste it in the run prompt. Hold Ctrl + Shift keys together and hit enter so that the commands will run using admin access

Note: If you have the Outlook.exe file in different location then modify the path accordingly in the command

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\OUTLOOK.EXE" /cleanrules

 

cleanrules

 

Step 11 – If you want to be specific then you can use below keywords

/cleanrules -  This command will reset the entire rule engine
/cleanclientrules - This command will only remove the client side rules

 

clientrules

 

/cleanserverrules - This command will only remove the server side rules

 

serverrules

 

Step 12 – A user account control window will appear, click on yes and the command will be executed. Then check if the error is resolved.

 

Method 2 – Delete And Re-add The Created Outlook Rules

 

Step 1 – Open the Microsoft Outlook app

Step 2 – Click on the file tab at the top left corner

 

file 5

 

Step 3 – In the info tab on the right side click on manage rules & alerts

 

manage rules

 

Step 4 – On the rules and alerts window, click on the options 

 

options 4

 

Step 5 – Click on the export rules button

 

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Step 6 – Browse and select a folder on your computer where you want to save local files and assign a name

Step 7 Then click on save. Now you have a local backup of all the rules.

Step 8 – Now select all the rules from the rules and alerts window and click on delete. Restart the Outlook app

 

delete 1



 

Step 9 – Click on the file tab at the top left corner

 

file 5

 

Step 10 – In the info tab on the right side click on manage rules & alerts

 

manage rules

 

Step 11 – On the rules and alerts window, click on the options 

 

options 4

 

Step 12 – Click on the import rules button

 

import

 

Step 13 – Browse the location on your computer where you have saved the backup [ in step 7]

Step 14 – Select it and click on open button

Step 15 – Once it is imported restart the Outlook app and then check if the issue is resolved.

 

Method 3 – Delete The Latest Created Rule From The Outlook.com

 

Step 1 – Open the Outlook.com by going to its website

Step 2 – Login to the account with your appropriate email and password

Step 3 – Click on settings (gear icon) that is at the top right corner of the window

 

settings 2

 

Step 4 – In the search bar of the settings list, type rules and click on inbox rules

 

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Step 5 – From the appeared window, you will see the number of rules created. Now identify the rule that was added at last and since then on you are facing the issue

Step 6 – Click on delete rule (bin icon) which is at the right of that particular created rule

 

delete rule

 

Step 7 – Once the rule is deleted restart the Outlook app and then check if the issue is solved.

 

Method 4 – Reset The Outlook.srs File

 

Step 1 – Close the Outlook app and all its traces

Step 2 – Open the Windows explorer (File explorer) using Windows + E keys together

Step 3 – Copy and paste the below command in the address bar of the file explorer and hit enter

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

 

outlook

 

Step 4 – In the Outlook folder find Outlook.srs file and right click on it

Step 5 – From the appeared list, click on rename

 

rename 2

 



Step 6 – Now rename the file as Outlook.srs.old so that when you launch the Outlook app it should ignore this particular file

 

srs file

 

Step 7 – Launch the Outlook app and then check if the error does not appear.

 

Method 5 – Run The SCANPST.EXE Tool

 

Step 1 – Close the Outlook app and all its traces

Step 2 – Open the Windows explorer (File explorer) using Windows + E keys together

Step 3 – Navigate to the following path in the File explorer

Note: The below path might vary according to your OS version. So navigate to the appropriate path where there is scanpst.exe file. You can search it manually using find option as well

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

Step 4 – Double click on SCANPST.EXE file

 

scanpst 1

 

Step 5 Click on browse and specify the path of pst file

Note: The default pst file might be located in different paths based on the version. You can also manually search them using find option

For Outlook 2013 version onwards the path might be

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

For Outlook 2010 version onwards the path might be

Documents\Outlook Files

Step 6 – Once the location is specified click on start to perform a scan

 

start

 

Step 7 – If there are any inconsistencies they will be listed

Step 8 – Click on the checkbox beside Create a backup of the scanned file (a tick mark should be present). This creates a backup, incase if the process goes wrong you can restore the backup

Step 9 – Click on repair. Wait till the process is completed. Once done check if the problem is resolved.

 

That’s it! I hope the above provided information is helpful and easy to follow. Let us know which method did you apply and got the issue resolved. Thank you!!