User Cannot Set an Out of Office in Exchange 2010/2013 or EventID 3004 Appears in your Event Log

exchange 2007, Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013

Recently had an issue where a user was setting an out of office in their Outlook client, but when a different user emailed them, no Out of Office was sent.  We did the traditional troubleshooting steps, check rules on the far side, check junk box, check OWA to ensure the Out of Office was set.  Everything looked good.  Strange enough, if an internal user went to email the person going on vacation, they would receive a MailTip to that effect:

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But, went you sent the email to Paul Ponzeka, you would not get an Out of Office back.  So what gives?

One of the steps we took was to check if Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Assistants service was running.  It was, we restarted it, but still same effect.  One of the responsibilities of the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Assistants service is to handle enabling the Out of Office.  In this case, it didn’t resolve anything.

The next step we took was to try disabling, and re-enabling the Out of Office message, and then checking the event log on the Mailbox server.  Low and behold, we found our answer:

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The above is EventID 3004 from the MsExchangeMailboxAssistants.  As you can see, there is an error stating the rules quota of the mailbox has been reached and the automatic reply rules can’t be enabled or updated.

Well, we found our issue, how do we fix it?  There are two ways.

The first the user can go through their Outlook rules and edit or delete existing rules.  Keep in mind that the length of both the rule actions, as well as the NAMES of the rules themselves will affect the size of the rule

The second is, the Exchange admin can increase the size of the rules quota.  By default, all mailboxes have a 64 KB quota, think of this as mailbox limits for Outlook rules.  We can increase this up to 256 KB on Exchange 2007 and later.  Exchange 2003 we cannot increase the rule size unfortunately, but that’s okay, because you should be off Exchange 2003 by now!

So, how do we increase the quota?  Easy.  Open Exchange Management Shell.  We can check the existing quota of the user pponzeka by running the command:

Get-Mailbox –Identity pponzeka | select RulesQuota

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As we can see, its set to 64 KB.  To increase it, we run:

Set-Mailbox –Identity pponzeka –RulesQuota 256KB

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And there we go, we can check by running the same Get-Mailbox as above to confirm:

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Now, you cannot go past 256KB, this is the error you get, in this example I tried to set it to 512KB:

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