The new issue of the day, “There was an error reading the rules from the server. The format of the server rules was not recognized.” It’s always something. Found a solution fairly quickly this time.
Many of the solutions in forums was to delete the rules and recreate them. Not happening for me, too many rules to even think about it. One solution was to delete just one rule and then recreate it to force a server side write to the rules, assuming that this would correct the issue. Although this worked for some, it didn’t for me.
This procedure imports them as properly formatted rules again.
Step 1 – Export Rules
Open Outlook and click on “File” in the upper left corner. Find the square button, “Rules and Alerts” and click to open it.
Select the account to export rules from next to “Apply changes to this folder:”
Click “Options” at the right side and “Export Rules”. Name the file and remember where you saved it so you can import it later.
NOTE: If you have more than one Exchange account you’ll want to export the rules associated with each account and name the files with the email address in the filename so you don’t mix them up.
Step 2 – Clean ALL Rules Out
THIS REMOVES THE MAIL RULES FOR EVERY ACCOUNT IN OUTLOOK. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO REMOVE ALL OF YOUR RULES, THEN ALTERNATIVELY, DELETE THEM ONE AT A TIME UNTIL YOU FIND THE ONE THAT IS CORRUPT AND SKIP THIS TUTORIAL.
Close Outlook if it is currently open still.
Open and run this from the command line by going through Windows Start / Windows System / Command Prompt.
( If you didn’t do step 1, STOP here and complete step 1 )
Paste this line and press the enter key. ( This assumes you’re running 64 bit Outlook )
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\OUTLOOK.EXE" /cleanrules
Step 3 – Import Rules
In Outlook, click on “File” in the upper left corner. Find the square button, “Rules and Alerts” and click to open it.
Select the account you want tp import into next to “Apply changes to this folder:”
Click “Options” at the right side and “Import Rules”.