This question may be related to Exchange mail rule triggering on a From address that is a public group but not's quite the same story.

I'm setting up mail rules in Outlook 2016. I only have access to the client, which is how I'm setting up mail rules. I don't have access to the Exchange servers. I believe the configuration is Office 365, meaning this is the cloud version of Outlook/Office.

I'm encountering an issue with the condition of from people or public group where the rule will not fire with anybody selected except myself. Let's say my name is John Smith. My email is johnsmith@example.com. I specify John Smith for this condition. The action is play Windows notification sound. Works like a charm.

Say I want to play the sound for emails sent by Jane Dane. I modify the earlier rule such that now the condition is from Jane Dane, instead of from John Smith. Simple, right. Well, it doesn't work. Nothing happens.

I can't find any documentation on how to enable debugging for mail rule tracing. I turned on Outlook logging but none of the files have any data pertaining to mail rules. If I could couple Outlook with VS somehow and break on whatever code handles mail rules, that'd be fantastic. Then I can analyze precisely what's happening. At the moment, I'm working with my eyes closed here.

Has anyone else encountered this issue before? Anyone have any ideas on how to output a detailed trace for mail rules?

Thank you.

  • Keep in mind Outlook rules are hierarchical when using @Perry's answer – JW0914 Jan 16 '20 at 14:29

Instead of modifying the earlier rule, what if we create a new one?

What’s the rule description? When creating rules, please also select the condition “stop processing more rules” to avoid rule conflicts.

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It could also indicate a corruption in the send/receive settings file (srs-file) of Outlook.

Resetting the send/receive settings can be achieved by renaming the srs-file of your profile to .old.

You can find the srs-file for your mail profile in: %AppData%\Microsoft\Outlook

If issue still persists, recreate .ost files to see the results.

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I tried modifying a rule. I tried creating a new rule. Makes no difference, unfortunately. I keep the rule simple for this test. Apply to message received from people or public group of Jane Smith and play sound if true. I added stop processing more rules, as well. Made no difference. I'll give the srs-file reset and the .ost file re-create a shot and let you know the outcome. Thank you for the help. Kind-of odd that mail rules cannot be debugged down to the code level. And if they can, I haven't found a way yet. – user3621633 Apr 12 '19 at 15:51
  • OK, so I renamed the srs-file and Outlook created a new one. I'm not 100% sure if it helped or it's a coincidence but I see now individual People are triggered in the from condition. Public Groups, however, are still an issue and it may be a misunderstanding on my part. Name is testsharedmailbox and e-mail is testsharedmailbox@example.com. I want the rule to fire on emails sent from that shared email address. Does from look up testsharedmailbox@example.com or the individuals in said group? If it's the latter, that'd would explain why the rule doesn't fire. Thoughts? Thank you. – user3621633 Apr 12 '19 at 17:21
  • I should also add the people and groups I reference are from the Global Address List, which I have no control over, with respect to adding, removing, modifying. I have no write permissions, basically. – user3621633 Apr 12 '19 at 18:02
  • add the addresses from Global Address List work? – Perry Apr 15 '19 at 5:05

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