Knowledge Base

How to migrate Outlook rules

Problem:

You want to move Outlook rules (Inbox rules) from one account to another. 

Solution:

Outlook rules help you automate the handling of incoming and outgoing messages (e.g. move them to a specific folder, forward or flag them, etc.). Rules can be server-side or client-side, which means they are executed, respectively, either by Exchange server or only when Outlook is running and when the user who created that rule is logged in. The only natively supported way that allows migrating both types of rules is by using the Rules and Alerts settings window in Outlook (Fig. 1.) and the import/export functionality.

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Fig. 1. The Rules and Alerts settings window in Outlook.

Follow the links below to learn how to:

Important

The procedures described in this article apply to Microsoft Outlook 2010 and newer.

How to export Outlook rules

  1. Open the desktop version of Outlook.
  2. Go to File > Info and click Manage Rules & Alerts. The Rules and Alerts window will open (see Fig. 1.)
  3. (Optional) If you have multiple email accounts added in Outlook, you need to select the one from which you want to export Outlook rules from the Apply changes to this folder drop-down menu (Fig. 2.). 

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    Fig. 2. Selecting an email account whose rules you want to export.

  4. On the Email Rules tab, click Options.
  5. In the window that opens, click Export Rules (Fig. 3.). 

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    Fig. 3. Exporting rules in Outlook.

  6. Select a folder where you want the Outlook rules to be exported, provide the name in the File name box and click Save

Outlook rules will be exported to an RWZ file. 

How to import Outlook rules

  1. Open the desktop version of Outlook.
  2. Go to File > Info and click Manage Rules & Alerts. The Rules and Alerts window will open (see Fig. 1.)
  3. (Optional) If you have multiple email accounts added in Outlook, you need to select the one to which you want to import Outlook rules from the Apply changes to this folder drop-down menu (Fig. 4.).

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    Fig. 4. Selecting an email account to which you want to import Outlook rules.

  4. On the Email Rules tab, click Options.
  5. In the window that opens, click Import Rules (Fig. 5.).

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    Fig. 5. Importing rules in Outlook.

  6. Select the RWZ file with exported Outlook rules and click Open.

Important

Once all rules have been imported, some rule settings may need to be adjusted for the new email account. For example:

Account user1@company.com uses an Outlook rule that moves emails that contain word test in the subject to a subfolder Test in the Inbox folder. Once imported to user2@company.com, this rule will move emails that fulfill this condition to that same subfolder, located in the user1@company.com mailbox. To change that, in the Rules and Alerts window, select Change Rule > Edit Rule Settings (Fig. 6.) and point to the appropriate folder in the user2@company.com mailbox. 

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Fig. 6. Changing the rule settings.