Show Only Tasks in the To-Do List

Last reviewed on November 14, 2012

If you don’t care for the To-Do folder showing flagged messages and only want to see Tasks, you can create a custom view that hides everything except tasks.

You can use this method on the To-Do Bar’s Task list, however, only one view is supported so you can’t switch between views as you can in other folders. If you want to use different views you need to keep editing this filter or view the To-do list in the Task module, where you can create as many custom views as needed.

Note: You can’t delete the To-Do list folder or set the Tasks folder as default when opening the Tasks module unless you use VBA. See Always use Tasks, not Outlook’s To-Do List for a code sample.

You’ll use the Filter dialog’s Advanced tab, using Message Class, contains, task (or ipm.task) to show only task items.

To hide completed tasks, add Date Completed, does not exist. You can also add Flag Completed date, does not exist although this isn’t necessary since you are hiding all non-task items.

  1. Click on the row of field names
    Customize Menu
  2. Choose Custom… from the bottom of the menu
  3. Click the Filter button
  4. Switch to the Advanced tab
  5. Type Message class in the field, or select it from the Field drop down
  6. Leave ‘contains’ as the Condition
  7. Type task in the Value field. (Or IPM.Task)
    Create a filter
  8. To hide completed items, add Date Completed does not exist to the filter.
    Filter to filter out completed tasks
  9. Click Ok and return to Outlook

Date Filter

To create a filter by date, open the filter dialog and switch to the Advanced tab.

  1. Click the Field drop-down button and select from the Date/Time fields.
  2. Choose the Due date field.
  3. As the Condition, choose “on or before”.
  4. In the Value field, type “3 weeks from now” (without the quotes) or even “now + 3 weeks”

You can also use a formula such as NOW(3*WEEK(()), but many natural language phrases and simple formulas will work just as well and don’t require even basic knowledge of SQL.Filter

Create a filtered task view Video tutorial to show how to create a filter to show only tasks due within the next 30 days. (YouTube)

Filter the To-Do List Tutorial

More Information

  • You can use the same method on the To-Do Bar task list.
  • You can select Message class field from any of the ‘All [item type]‘ lists.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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