Error with the To-Do Bar's Task list

Last reviewed on December 30, 2013

We're seeing a rash of errors with the To-Do Bar lately. This following message appears at the bottom, where the Task List is:

"The operation failed. An object could not be found."

Also, in the To-Do List in the Tasks module, the error message is

"Cannot display the folder."

Depending on the cause, it may be easily fixed by closing Outlook and reopening it using the /resettodobar switch then restart Outlook.

When it's caused by a corrupted profile (often due to using Easy Transfer or copying and pasting a *.pst file over the current *.pst file), check for duplicate *.pst files in your profile and delete the extras. If this doesn't help, you'll need to make a new profile.

How to use the /resettodobar switch

Close Outlook. At the Start search field on Vista or Windows7 Start menu or in the Start menu, Run command (Windows key + R), type

outlook.exe /resettodobar

Then press Enter (or OK) to restart Outlook.

Note: Make sure there is a space between the words.

How to reset the To-Do Bar

Delete duplicate *.pst files

Close Outlook

Go to Control Panel, Mail, Data Files. This will open the Account settings dialog to the Data Files tab. (Search for Mail after opening the Control panel, if its not visible).

Remove duplicate pst files

Do you have 2 identical *.pst files listed? If so, select one of them and click Remove then re-open Outlook.

Tip: While this procedure will not delete your *.pst file from the hard drive, if you don't have a backup of your *.pst, now is a good time to make one. Before removing the duplicated listing, select the *.pst file and click the Open Folder Location button. This opens Windows Explorer to the location where the *.pst file is. Make a copy of the *.pst.

More Information

How to start Outlook in safe mode
Outlook’s Command Line Switches
Where Are My Files?

See Error Message: Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. if the error is "Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Unable to open the Outlook window"

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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