I just changed my email from using pop to using imap. Per the advice from my ISP (which matches the advice here), I removed my pop account and then added an imap account. I now find that the mail-processing rules I'd spent years building up seem to be missing. When I go to File>Info>Manage Rules & Alerts, the only rule listed is "Clear categories on mail (recommended)".

How can I recover the rules that presumably used to be associated with my pop account? I should have backups of all Outlook-related files, so getting at the data itself should not be a problem.


The rules are stored in the PST file. When you removed your existing POP account (while making the IMAP account) you may have also removed the associated PST (which had all your rules in it).

Restore your PST from backup, create a(nother) new Outlook account (perhaps in a different profile). Import that PST and hope your rules show up. If so, export the rules and import them into the account you want them applied to.

  • The pst file is 9GB. Are there tools for extracting the rules inside the file? – KnowItAllWannabe Jul 28 '15 at 17:31
  • No idea -- but Outlook let's you open the PST without actually importing it, so you can pick bits out: Open, change, or close Outlook data files Maybe that'll suffice.. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jul 28 '15 at 17:39
  • The file is already listed in the Navigation Pane ("Outlook Data File"), so presumably it's already open. The problem seems to be that even though rules are stored in a pst file, they seem to be associated with an account. Right clicking on email in the pst file I've been using for years and bringing up the Rules and Alerts dialog shows only the one rule I mentioned in my original post. – KnowItAllWannabe Jul 28 '15 at 18:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.