Do you have a user that is unable to receive email? Update the mailbox rule below for the quick fix

In the past few months, our Help Desk has received numerous tickets regarding new emails not being received in a user’s mailbox. Messages sent out of their inbox continue to work, but anything sent to them does not appear in the inbox (this occurs in both Outlook and in OWA). Now, most technicians will begin to determine if it is an issue with the mailbox itself. It cannot be mail flow, as no other users are affected. It also cannot be an Outlook specific issue, as OWA is also showing the same results, as well as their phone. Luckily the solution is much simpler; it is a mailbox rule moving all received mail straight to the “Deleted Items” folder upon delivery.

The root cause has not been determined but could be that the account has been compromised, and someone creates the rule to cause havoc. It also could be a virus downloaded by a corrupted attachment, or link. Regardless, you will want to locate and remove this rule as soon as possible.

How to Remove a Rule in Outlook 2013/2016

  • On the Home tab click Rules
  • Click Manage Rules and Alerts
  • Locate the rule causing the issue, highlight it and click Delete

If you are unsure what each rule does, read the rule description at the bottom of the popup.

How to Remove a Rule in OWA

  • Log into your mailbox using the Office 365 portal. (
  • Click of the gear icon on the top right
  • Under Your app settings click Mail
  • On the left-hand pane under Automatic processing, click Inbox and sweep rules
  • Locate the rule causing the issue, highlight it and click Delete

After you have removed the rule, go into Deleted Items and manually move all mail you wish to keep back into your inbox. Please note, that if you do not do this, the mail in Deleted Items will be removed after 30 days, and then permanently deleted after another 14 days.

Once your mailbox has been set back to working order, it is highly recommended to reset the password on the account. Also, we recommend running an antivirus or malware scan with your respective software. If this happens multiple times to single account, please consider enabling multi-factor authentication on that account. Read more about that here.

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