Can’t add new mail rules? Another reason Hotmail can suck it!

This morning, I was going through my Live Mail accounts when I came across a new spat of phishing scams (up about 10% from last week). Since “Mark as Phishing scam” never seems to reduce the onslaught of virtually identical emails (I.E. it’s pointless), I thought I’d add a few new filters to delete them right away.

Imagine my frustration when all of my Live Mail accounts won’t allow new rules to be added… all of them. I can still edit or delete the existing rules which means Microsoft added a breaking change, once again, without testing. There was no way I’m going to go through their support forum again after the last time I had to deal with their nonsense so here’s how to get around this.

To add a new sort rule, just go into your options first.

Options > More options

And in your options, select Rules for new messages.

Rules for sorting new messages

MY RULES! THE BUTTON DOES NOTHING!!

On this rules page, when you click on “New”, nothing happens. So now comes the fun part.

Right click on this page and select “View Source”. I’m on IE, but you should see something similar on almost all browsers. Each account will have a different url for this, so just search (Ctrl + F) for “EditRule”.

You should see something like this…

Edit rule link

I blacked out the numbers in the end because, as I said earlier, this is different for each account. But you need to copy all of EditRule.aspx?n=blahblah. You can now close the view source window, but keep the mail rules window open. Your current URL should end in ManageRule.aspx?n=blahblah. Replace this with the copied EditRule link from before so it reads similar to the following…

I would now copy this whole thing into Notepad or something in case you need to keep going back to add new rules.

You should now be able to visit the new rules page.

If anyone from the Hotmail team who introduced this change comes across this post, please feel free to follow the same advice I gave to Dell a little while back.

…Go choke on something.

– eksith

Update 7/26 for FireFox users

I should have made clear that the Hotmail page is actually based on frames. So if you’re on FireFox, you’ll need to right-click and select “This Frame” > “View Frame Source” near the “New” button. Sorry if this oversight caused you any problems. This was only brought to my attention when I was emailed the link to a support question on the FireFox forums.

61 thoughts on “Can’t add new mail rules? Another reason Hotmail can suck it!

  1. Thanks!!!! Have been looking for this for the last 2 hours!!! Microsoft fails again. I swear my next computer is a mac.

  2. Hi

    I tried this and it got me to the new rule screen but I still can’t create new rules.

    When I select save I get the following error message:

    “Unfortunately, rules don’t work with your language.”

    My language settings are set to English. Not sure what the hell is going on here. Does anyone have any suggestions? I tried googling for this error but came up with nothing.

    I have all my hotmail emails sent to my phone and really need to be able to filter messages or my phone inbox will be crowded with unimportant emails.

    Thanks

    • Hi edmondo,

      Were you browsing on your phone when you tried this? If not, then try deleting your web history and cookies and signing in again.

      I’ve had repeated problems with the Hotmail interface on my Android phone, so if you were browsing on your phone this may have something to do with the mobile version of their web interface not working again.

      I usually disable the mobile version and use the full version of the site on my phone. The link for this should be on the very bottom of the page when you first sign in.

  3. My hero!!

    Thank you so much! It works!! I also learned something new about browsers.

    Now, can you fix the “show message source” issue? This also had suddenly disappeared within the last few days. Now hotmail encourages you to OPEN an email to view it’s source and decide whether it’s a threat/spam/friend. I liked it before when you didn’t have to open it and not potentially confirm your email by return receipt or similar.

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

    Carol

    • Thanks, Anonymous

      I found this incredibly annoying too until I found that Microsoft decided to quietly add the source option in a right-click menu.

      So you’ll need to right-click on the email you want to checkout and select “View message source”.

      I love it how they “improve” the user experience by hiding things.

      • Well that’s how it used to work until a few days ago.

        Now the right-click menu does not give the option to “view message source” any longer. I can “view info” or “view page source” but not message source. I’m using chrome so may be something changed within that? I’ll keep searching.

        Thanks again for your help.

        Carol

      • I answered my own question. Sorry for hijacking this thread. It IS only in chrome that I can’t right-click to obtain “view message source” in hotmail. Now I have to figure out how to fix it because I dislike IE.

        Carol

      • Hi Carol (Sorry, I missed your sig on the count of being up for 28 hours :P)

        I’m not surprised that it isn’t working correctly on Chrome since MS still seems intent on designing their web pages with only IE in mind.

        Have you tried it on Firefox? If both are broken then Hotmail is pretty much confirmed to be more than half broken all browsers other than IE.

  4. Thanks so much for this post… and here I thought Microsoft had secretly relegated this feature to their “paid” product.

    One comment, however. For those using the Firefox browser (I’m on version 5.0), the source code shown with the “View page source” option does not resemble the source code in your example. I had to switch temporarily to Internet Explorer to get your workaround to function properly.

  5. Thank you so much!! I think if they really want to stop spam they are really able, the problem is they don’t want to. I wonder why? Blocking the option so users can’t block mails containing “viagra” and “enlargement” seems suspicious too.

    Thanks again!

  6. You’ve got no idea how thankful I am. My grandma send me about 20 chain emails per day and it was so hard to find other new messages. Now, when I have the time to answer them I can just go onto the folder instead of having to personally drag each e-mail onto it. Thanks again!

    By the way, I found out (or at least it worked for me) that just be typing “EditRule” instead of “ManageRules” in the URL, it works just fine and you didn’t have to go to the view source and all that.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Anonymous,

      I’m glad it worked out. The only reason I didn’t do the ManageRule-EditRule swap directly was because the numbers after each were different when I viewed the source. But if this works then that’s even easier!

  7. Is there a way to do this with new rules. I just signed up with live a few days ago due the name I was needing was taken everywhere else. I hate a cluttered mailbox and I wanted to get my filters made.

  8. Thanks a lot, why does Microsoft have to make everything so difficult?
    This worked perfectly. To explain a bit better, only EditRule.aspx?n=10 digit number is what needs to be copied, not the whole thing.

  9. Dude, thank you for this. I’m definitely too much of a noob to go messing around like this without some proper guidance. I was getting so frustrated while trying to clean up my inbox and create more rules, only to get stuck endlessly pressing ‘new’.

    +100

    – Madvillan

  10. thank u sooo much …have been lookin this since many days…Microsoft should consider these loop holes …. i havent tried it as yet…hope this works! :)

  11. I’m using FF, I notice all I need to do is replace

    ManageRules.aspx

    with

    EditRule.aspx

    in the url (i.e., the ?=blah stuff does not really matter and I don’t need to view source to get that stuff)

    in fact you can leave out blah just do

    mail.live.com/default.aspx#!/mail/EditRule.aspx?n=

    • Ah! Thanks for the link Anon.

      At least someone was prodding them hard enough to finally take notice weeks later. Now let’s all hold our breath while they fix it. ;)

  12. thanks so much for posting this, i thought i was going crazy when the button wasn’t working! it works a treat now, thanks for your help x

  13. awesome! thank you so much! I’ve been trying to get this to work for weeks! (fyi, I recommend doing this through I.E. because I couldn’t figure it out in firefox or chrome)

    thanks!

    • Hi all,

      I just tried on a Firefox but when I change the link into “EditRule”, I got below message:

      Windows Live Hotmail wasn’t able to complete this request. Microsoft may contact you about any issues you report.

      And I don’t want to try it on a IE either, I hate it so much. Please let me know if someone find how to do this properly using Firefox.

      • I’m pretty sure this issue was resolved back at the end of August, according to the Hotmail team. So I’m not sure why you can’t just click the “New” button to create a new rule now?

      • Hi Anon, that definitely sounds like a temporary glitch.

        I get those a lot and I think it’s be because I’m on a fairly unreliable internet connection at the moment. (Also happens when MS servers get flooded with traffic.)

        Try again and see if there’s any difference. Like Kristina said, I think the problem is resolved now.

  14. Thanks much! The workaround works fine in Chrome: right click on the button, then select “View frame source”. A new tabbed browser window opens with the code. Then just Control+F, enter “editrule”, copy and paste the segment as instructed above. (Chrome requires the full string with the 10 digit number).

    But after only two rules i get the error message “You have reached the forwarding rule limit. To add a new forwarding rule, please delete an existing one” (!!!!) Is that correct for everyone else? Is the rule limit now down to two??!? Got the same result in Chrome and IE 8.

    Oh- after applying the workaround in IE, going back to Inbox, then back to options>Create Rule, now the button works! Go figure. But I am still limited to only two!

    Any ideas?

    • Hi teddy v,

      I think this is, unfortunately, one more side-effect of Hotmail being stupid.
      This may be because they’re working on fixing it right now, but I wouldn’t expect them to finish any time soon.

      Sadly, it looks like we’re stuck to 2 rules at a time now :(

  15. Hi

    I have tried to follow the instructions. I am however a bit stuck as I cannot view the webpage source. A window appears and then dissappears within 2 seconds.

    Is the source protected?

    I have also tried to save the page as a HTML file. No luck as I am told the system was not able to save the file. Again, possibly the file is protected?

    Advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    Andrew

    • Hi Andrew,

      Unfortunately, this is a bug in IE that I too have had to deal with for quite some time.
      The View Source window is still there, but it’s behind the page you’re viewing (a bit like those pop-up under ads). Just look down at the start bar on the bottom of the screen and it should be there.

      I hope MS will fix that soon too, but I ain’t countin’ on it :(

  16. not working for me! Maybe it only works if you already had an existing rule, and now you want to add a new one. anybody else having the same issue?

  17. i use firefox but i have IE too .. so i did what you’ve said and paste it on firefox and it works anyway! its easier this method instead of ViewFrame thing.. i really dont get it but its okai!
    what matters is that it works ! so thank you very much! it helped me a lot !! =)

  18. THANK YOU!!!

    After days of trying to figure out why that “new rule” button does nothing anymore, I gave up and decided to google for it and came upon this post.

    It works. Thank You.

    and Microsoft: go choke on something. ;P

    Cheers

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