How to Fix “Could not complete the operation. One or more parameter values are not valid” Error when Managing Rules in Outlook?

In this article, I analyze the “Could not complete the operation. One or more parameter values are not valid” error when trying to manage Outlook rules after a Windows system update. Then provide a solution for the problem.

Hardware/Software Configurations:

My computer has Windows 7(64bit) and Outlook 2010(64bit) installed. Both work perfectly without any problems. But things change after a Windows system update …

Note: I have set Windows system update to auto update mode.

Symptom:

Last night, Outlook continued working smoothly. When I shut down my computer, I see Windows update message “Please do not power off or unplug your machine. Installing update ## of ##”.

As Windows update frequently, I do not pay much attention to that. Just let it go.

However, this morning, when I try to start Outlook as usual, I see a warning message “Outlook is not the default email client”. I just check the option to reset Outlook as the default one and proceed.

Then, in my Outlook inbox, I see a lot of new incoming emails. Originally these emails should be filtered and put into the corresponding subfolders by rules automatically. I immediately notice that there may be something wrong with my Outlook rules. Therefore, I try to click “File” -> “Manage Rules and Alerts”, but “Rules and Alerts” dialog box does not appear. Instead, I get another error message “Could not complete the operation. One or more parameter values are not valid”.

Now all of my rules stop working. I have to pick up hundreds of emails manually. That is a nightmare, especially when I need to do that every day. Therefore, I must fix the problem as soon as possible.

Diagnosis:

At the beginning, I thought the problem is caused by the Windows update, since my Outlook is fine just before the update. And Windows update has a reputation of introducing new problems to an existing stable system.

I have made a backup of the whole system, before the problem occurs. Therefore, that is my last resort to solve the problem.

Before doing anything, I try to contact Microsoft support. And they provide the following solutions:

  1. Use the “Repair” function in Office installer to repair Office, including Outlook.

Result: I try the solution but after the repair process, nothing changes.

  1. Create a new profile. Then recreate all the accounts for the profile and add the existing PST file to it.

Result: I try to create a new profile, create a test account, and then add the existing PST file to the new profile. Then I restart Outlook. This time I can start the rule manager. But all rules disappear. I cannot understand that since in Outlook 2010, the rules are stored in the PST file. Therefore, what I need to do is recreate all the accounts and rules, which is time consuming. Therefore, I finally discard this solution.

  1. For Outlook 2010, the rules are stored in the PST file. Therefore, the support thinks my PST file is corrupt and suggest me to repair it with scanpst.

Result: I don’t think the problem is caused by PST file corruption. To confirm my idea, I try to restore my PST file to an old version before the problem occurs with DataNumen Backup, then restart Outlook. The problem still exists. So, the problem should not be caused by the PST file, but a system update which changes the Outlook executable or dll files.

Deep Diagnosis:

I guess the problem may be caused by a conflict of my existing rules in PST file and the new updated version of Outlook. Therefore, I try to follow this article to write a small VBA code to delete all the rules in my PST file. However, whenever the code steps to the following line:

Set objRules = objStore.GetRules

I will still get a “Could not complete the operation. One or more parameter values are not valid” error again. So the problem jus prevents me from access all the rules via either GUI method or VBA codes. I have to seek other ways to solve the problem.

Solution:

Now based on the above analysis, there are two solutions for my problem:

  1. Restore the whole system to the time point before the system update occurs.
  2. Recreate a new profile, and recreate all the account and rules again.

Solution 2 is time consuming. Therefore, finally I decide to choose the first one, as follows:

  1. Unplug the network cable and disable the wireless network in my computer. To prevent the system from being updated automatically.
  2. Make a backup of the PST file since it contains some new emails after the update.
  3. Restore the whole system to the time point before the update occurs.
  4. Overwrite the old PST file with the new one backed up in step 2.
  5. Start Outlook.
  6. Click “File” -> “Manage Rules & Alerts”, this time the “Rules and Alerts” dialog box will pop up without any problems. And all the rules appear in it.
  7. There may be some rules in the PST file that conflict with the new system update. Since I don’t know which one cause the conflict, I choose to remove all of them.
  8. Re-plug the network cable and re-enable the wireless network in my computer.
  9. Check and perform system update manually. During the update, I can see there is an update for Outlook.
  10. After the update, restart Outlook and re-access the rules via “File” -> “Manage Rules & Alerts”, this time I can still access the “Rules and Alerts” dialog box.
  11. Add all the rules back.
  12. Everything is OK now even with the latest update of Outlook.

Conclusion:

The system update causes a conflict of the existing rules with the new updated version of Outlook. It is better for Microsoft to find a fix for that, or provide an option to remove the conflict rules. However, if none of them are available in a timely manner, we can still solve it by utilizing an old backup.

4 Comments

  1. Comment by RMtechtrent:

    There are other easy way.
    This problem available after the latest 64 bit version Outlook update. In my case after the security update KB4461529 64-bit version of Outlook 2010.
    For resolve it you should download and install update KB4461585
    This update is also available for manual download and installation from the Microsoft Download Center.

  2. Comment by Bob:

    I did a system restore, worked. I updated 2 broken rules and the system auto updated overnight, outlook is broken again. Thanks microsoft.

    • Comment by RMtechtrent:

      There are other easy way.
      This problem available after the latest 64 bit version Outlook update. In my case after the security update KB4461529 64-bit version of Outlook 2010.
      For resolve it you should download and install update KB4461585
      This update is also available for manual download and installation from the Microsoft Download Center.
      After install KB4461585 my problem resolved and I have access to my Rules and Alerts

  3. Comment by TCE TUNISIE:

    Well done, very intersting!

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