Fixed: The operation failed in Outlook when selecting Manage Rules & Alerts

Outlook Rules are generally set by the users to perform automatic actions like Move, Respond, Flag, etc. automatically to specific emails. The application allows users to create Rule, choose emails based on Subject, From, Sent to metadata and then perform actions such as display, notifications, move item to a folder, etc. to the specified emails automatically.

To use the Outlook Rules and reach the Rules and Alerts dialogue box, users need to navigate to File>Manage Rules & Alerts. In some strange scenario, users encounter an error as below when selecting Manage Rules & Alerts.

“The operation failed because of a registry or installation problem. Restart Outlook and try again. If the problem persists, reinstall.”
The operation failed because of a registry or installation problem

This error has no particular effect on the Outlook mailbox and items but restricts users to utilize the Outlook Rules feature to manage the mailbox emails.

So, now let us ponder over the main causes behind the error before leading to the solutions to fix it further.

Find here the reasons responsible for the error

  1. If the user has recently installed the following November Security Updates KB for the different Outlook versions:
    In Outlook 2016: https://support.microsoft.com/help/4461506
    In Outlook 2013: https://support.microsoft.com/help/4461486
    In Outlook 2010: https://support.microsoft.com/help/4461529
  2. User has installed November, 2018 subscription updates and later-on versions.
    Both the reasons are related to security and subscription updates but as the Microsoft itself does not recommend un-installing the security updates, the user should move to other alternatives first.

Use these solutions to fix the error

We are heading to discuss some relatable solutions to the error so that users can take benefit of the Outlook Rules feature and manage the emails accordingly.

  1. Restart Outlook application
  2. Re-install Outlook application
  3. Repair Microsoft Office Program
  4. Perform Office Updates
  5. Manage Rules in Outlook Web Access

A. Restart Outlook application – This looks like a simple step but as recommended in the error itself, we should try restarting the Outlook program and then check the results. Although, this process works rarely in such type of Outlook error.

B. Re-install Outlook application – This is another process suggested in the error but as it is the fact that the Outlook application is a part of Microsoft Office program Suite, first trying to repair the Microsoft Office program would be the right decision as may be it would resolve the issue. It repairing current Microsoft Office program didn’t work, then we can uninstall this program and install the latest package and work with the re-installed Outlook application.

Note: It is recommended to have a backup of the Outlook PST file before performing the re-installation of the Microsoft program.

C. Repair Microsoft Office Program – To repair the Microsoft Office Program, follow these instructions.

  1. Using Task Manager, close all the running Microsoft programs.
  2. Launch Control Panel of the system.
  3. Under the Programs section, click on Uninstall or Change a Program link.
  4. Select the installed Microsoft Office program from the list of programs. Click on Change option.
  5. On the next dialog box, under “How would you like to repair your Office programs?”, select Quick Repair out of the two provided options and then click on Repair.
  6. Confirm the procedure by clicking on Repair option one more time.
  7. Wait for the troubleshooting and scanning process under the repair.
  8. If there would be any issues, it will display which you can repair further.
  9. If no issues are available, head on for the Online Repair option, which is the second repair option for the Microsoft program.
  10. If all is well, then try re-installing the Microsoft Office program.

D. Perform Office Updates – Users should try to run the latest available updates by navigating to File>>Office Account>>Update Options>>Update Now if not already run.

For those users who have installed the Microsoft 365 C2R version is advised to download these Channel versions which are able to fix the issue.

  • Monthly Channel Version 1812 (Build 11126.20196) and higher updates
  • Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) Version 1808 (Build 10730.20264) and higher
  • Semi-Annual Channel Version 1808 (Build 10730.20264) and higher
  • Semi-Annual Channel Version 1803 (Build 9126.2351) and higher

E. Manage Rules in Outlook Web Access – If the Outlook user has not already utilized the Outlook for Web Access platform to Manage Rules & Alerts, then they can utilize its interface to manage the rules in their Outlook account emails easily as otherwise the chances of error recurring would be more. It is obviously can be taken as a temporary fix for the current scenario.

The Outlook error happened via security updates is not so troublesome and can be handled from the above tricks as explained in this blog.

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