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Outlook error: format of the server rules was not recognized

📅 2022-Nov-23 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 🏷️ error, outlook ⬩ 📚 Archive


Out of the blue, my Outlook Windows application threw this error dialog when I opened the application:

There was an error reading rules from the server. The format of the server rules was not recognized.

I tried closing and reopening the application and every time the error repeated. I started to check my rules on each restart and noticed that my rule list was getting corrupted from the end. The names of the rules at the end were being replaced with the string (client-only).

I checked Outlook on the web, and the rules there too were starting to look corrupted. Essentially, for some reason the rules on Microsoft Exchange had gotten corrupted and it was slowly destroying my rule list.


There are many solutions online and this is the only one that worked for me:

The rules on this computer do not match the rules on Microsoft Exchange. Only one set of rules can be kept. You will usually want to keep the rules on the server. Which rules do you want to keep?


© 2022 Ashwin Nanjappa • All writing under CC BY-SA license • 🐘📧