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Managing server-based rules

When creating Outlook 2000 rules on an Exchange 5.5 SP2 environment, you can create them on the server. However, sometimes we receive the following error message: "There is not enough space on the Microsoft Exchange Server to store all of your rules. The rules that failed to upload have been deactivated."

I understand there is a 32 MB limit for server-based rules -- is this per user or combined? How can you see what rules are currently on the server? Is there some way to increase the limit for server-based rules?

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The total amount of space allowed for each is 32 kilobytes (KB), not 32 megabytes (MB), and this is a per-folder amount. According to MSKB 241325, Out of space error message when creating or importing rules, each rule is made up of seven parts. The rule properties consume 400-500 bytes (excluding recipients). Each recipient consumes on average 400-500 bytes, as well. In these calculations, distribution lists are considered a single recipient and therefore only consume 400-500 bytes. Finally, Out of Office e-mail messages are stored as rules, so they take up space as well.

Although you cannot increase the 32KB limit, Microsoft does suggest three workarounds:

  1. Create distribution lists to group recipients in rules, instead of using individual recipients.
  2. Keep the number of recipients small in rules.
  3. Keep the names of recipients as small as possible.

This was first published in March 2003

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