Recover Outlook Rules and Alerts

Server-based rules vs client-only rules

There are two types of rules in Outlook: server-based and client-only. When you are using a Microsoft Exchange Server account, some rules are server-based rules. These rules are stored on your mailbox on the Exchange mail server. Client-only rules are stored within your pst/ost file or in .rwz files with the name of your profile.

Since Outlook 2003, client-only rules are stored in the pst/ost file, not rwz files. So if you make a backup of your pst-file, you automatically have a backup of your rules too. They will migrate with the PST file but only if you do the migration correctly.

Since Outlook 2010, rules are stored on a per mailbox basis. If you have configured multiple mailboxes in Outlook, you’ll need to export the rules for each mailbox. If you have multiple accounts configured and they all deliver the email to the same pst-file or Exchange mailbox, this will count as a single mailbox.

Export a set of rules

In order to recover Outlook rules and alerts from a pst/ost file, they must be first exported to a RWZ file.

1. Open the pst/ost file with Extensive scan option.

PST Walker

2. Select Inbox folder in All Folders tree and right click. Select MAPI properties....

PST Walker

3. In the Inbox properties window select Associated Contents tab and find Outlook Rules Organizer in left pane.

4. Select 0x68020102 property and right click. Select Save As....

PST Walker

5. In the File name box, type the path and file name (Outlook.rwz) for the set of rules you want to export.

6. Click Save.

Import a set of rules

When you import rules, they are added to the end of the list of rules. You can import only one set of rules at a time.

1. Open Rules and Alerts dialog.

  • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
    File-> Manage Rules & Alerts-> Options-> Export Rules…

  • Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
    Tools-> Rules and Alerts…-> Options-> Export Rules…

  • Previous versions of Outlook
    Tools-> Rules Wizard…-> Options…-> Export Rules…
PST Walker

2. If you have more than one e-mail account, in the Apply changes to this folder list, click the Inbox you want.

3. Click Options.

PST Walker

4. Click Import Rules.

5. In the File name box, type the path and file name (Outlook.rwz) for the set of rules you want to import.

6. If you want to import a file that contains rules other than Rules Wizard rules, such as rules that are compatible with previous versions of Microsoft Outlook, click the file type in the Files of type list.

7. Click Open.