How-To Geek

Make To-Do Bar in Outlook 2007 Show Only Today’s Tasks

One of the best new features in Outlook 2007 is the To-Do bar, where you have quick access to your calendar as well as your task list. Unfortunately, the default setting of showing all of your tasks regardless of date can be overwhelming for anybody that has a lot of tasks, and just isn’t all that helpful.

One of the first things I did when I started using Outlook 2007 was to change the filter to only show the tasks for the current day, or if you want, you can also show tasks that are overdue as well.

To change this setting, just right-click on the “Arranged By” column and then choose Custom from the menu.


Note: You could just click the Filter button and then change the Time drop-down on the Tasks menu to “due” and the second drop-down to “today”. The only problem with this is that it won’t show overdue tasks, so we’ll do it a different way.

In this step, we’ll click on the Filter button, then click the Advanced tab, then click the Field drop-down button. Choose Date/Time fields and then Due Date from the menu.


Now change Condition to “on or before” and type in today into the Value box.


Now we’ll see Today’s tasks as well as the overdue ones.


But you’d never forget to do something, would you? =)

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/2/07

Comments (85)

  1. Ed

    If I click on 7/3, will it show me the tasks that are due on 7/3? I don’t understand why this is so hard for Microsoft to do, in both outlook AND their PPC products.

  2. David

    I was able to do this with great success. There is one residual problem that stumps me however. Every task on my To-Do List is shown twice. Kind of makes me tired, thinking I have twice the work to do than I thought. Any ideas of how to eliminate this anomaly? Thanks for your time.

  3. Compounding

    I wish I could have it show for the week, or perhaps tasks that are up to the next day or two. It is great to limit the list, but sometimes having a little look into the future is good too, in the event that you have to shuffle things… and just to be prepared.

  4. A. Allison

    ‘Flagged’ email used to show up in my ‘to do bar’ but for some reason, it does not any more. Can anyone help me on this? Thank you.

  5. Marty

    Outlook 2007 Tasks. changed from 2003 to 2007 and server exchange. Old 2003 tasks did not transfer well. field categories were altertered…user ID fields.. disappeared. Must I only select the list from All task list for my fields or can I use others. The old field I had listed as categories.. no longer has my list of categories.. now it has become a choice of color assignments….also when I create in user field list named Category.. it will let me type in the field…

    Please advise re: which fields can be used, can I put in user fields and have the be typable…How can I recover the fields I previously had in 2003 before the transfer…

    many thanks..meb

  6. Salman Chaudhry

    Hi, as to the comments above – your To do List shows up Twice resolution:

    Outlook replicates each To do List item for each MAIN OUTLOOK PST FILE, if you have copied your main outlook data file and renamed it in the same folder as the rest of the PST files. If you click on To do Bar, and then on current view, and then outlook data files, you will see that the To do task Item has been duplicated with 2 outlook data files, hence showing twice, You need to remove the copy of the main outlook data file you wish ( there will be a copy of the main data file) and then the task will not show up twice. Your PST files are in C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook usually….


  7. Salman Chaudhry

    Sorry if i wasnt clear above!, You need to go into your folder that holds all your PST files, the path is given above. Then check which PST files are duplicates of your Main outlook PST file. Your main outlook PST file will be called Outlook.pst. If you copy this and paste in same folder, then rename the copy, it will cause you to get duplicate Task entries when you enter in “To-Do-list”.

    1. Go to outlook, tools, options and then email accounts. then click data files and remove the copy of the main outlook.pst (you may have renamed this) Then try to do a Task – it will not duplicate!!! (but you still need that other mailbox in your account….) so…

    2. If you want to have multiple mailboxes in your folder list, you would have to copy and paste a pst file. So dont copy the Main outlook.pst, copy another pst file (off a mate maybe) and paste in same folder – then rename. That way you will have the other mailbox as well as the main mailbos in your folder list.

    THATS IT!!!

  8. Erika

    Thanks, this worked like a charm!

  9. Pete

    This is very helpful–thanks! Once in a while the View used in the To-Do Bar will change for some reason and I can’t find where I can choose the View. How do I change the view used in the To-Do Bar?

  10. Galal madkour

    the only option i have for follow up is flag message any body know what happend to the other options or how to get back?

  11. Matt

    Everytime I exit outlook by to do bar settings don’t save? What can I do?

  12. James

    Oh, I wish I could set it to show me tasks that are “Due Date” “on or before” “two weeks in the future”. Not the current month. That’s a bit weird (so always at the end of the month your task list gets slimmer?!?)

    Also I want to show tasks that actually don’t have a due date set for whatever reason….

  13. Ann Marie

    MS Office Outlook 2007

    RE: To-Do Bar: Arranged By: Categories

    I noticed a scrolling orange line just above the verbage of Arranged By: Categories. This scrolling line was inside the box. I have seen this only one time and I was not able to recreate it.

    I need to know what is the cause of this scrolling orange line and how can I recreate it.

  14. Salman Chaudhry

    @ Pete Above:

    You can change your view in Outlook To Do Bar (thats the bar to the right of the main window) by clicking on “Arranged By”… It might say “Arranged by: Due Date” for example now, but click that, then you can customise the view… Hope that helped!

  15. Ann Marie

    I noticed a “”scrolling orange line”” just above the verbage of Arranged By: Categories.

    Where can I send a PDF image of this graphic?

  16. Ann Marie

    I do not need to change any verbage.

    I need an explanation for the graphic which is a SCROLLING, GRADIATED ORANGE, STRAIGHT LINE that sits and moves just above the verbage. Possibly a reminder?

  17. Salman Chaudhry

    Ann, I have never seen this in my life!! It could possible be a reminder for something… I checked out other forums, cannot find anything related to an orange straight line in the To Do bar….. If its constantly on, you may have something causing it to do that, but if its a software issue, try uninstalling Outlook and installing it again….?

  18. Matt Dargavel

    > Oh, I wish I could set it to show me tasks that are “Due Date” “on or before” “two weeks in the future”.

    In case anyones still wondering, it looks like you can do this (in 2007 at least) by entering ‘2 weeks’ in the value box. ’14 days’ also works.

  19. Angela

    I have my task list sorted by date but the items that have no due date show up at the top of the list. I still would like to see those but is it possible to relocate that below those items with due dates?

  20. David

    How can I also just show my completed tasks just for today?

  21. Matt Dargavel

    I think adding

    Field: Date Completed Condition: Today
    Field: Flag Completed Date Condition: Today

    to the advanced list described above should do the trick.

  22. Elliot

    How can I customize the Outlook Today view to show only tasks due on or before today, but hide completed tasks? The option to hide completed tasks doesn’t show in the “customize” dialog box.

    Also, can I hide the “messages” pane, since I don’t use Outlook for e-mail?

  23. Sabrina Shea

    I have an answer for Compounding’s question with regard to how to show not only tasks for today but to show two days into the future. I would like to show a screen shot for this but it does not seem to want to take it here. Can you tell me? Or I could just email it to you and you could submit it for me?

    Great site by the way. I am an instructor about to teach the new features in Outlook 2007 and this is helping me tremendously. Thank you.

  24. Elaine

    I would like to show my completed tasks with strikethrough until the end of the day rather than have them drop from the to do list – is there a way to do that in Outlook 2007?

  25. Sabrina Shea

    Hello Elaine. I would love to give you a screen shot but this system does not take it so here goes. You just have to customize the view through the Filter option and add the field called Date Completed and then the condition Today. Then sort your list by that column and all the completed today items are sorted. If they end up at the top of the list just click again and it will reverse the sort.

    Oh and Compounding in this same place just add the field Due Date and then the condition Tomorrow and you can at least get tomorrow’s tasks. You can further customize this with specific dates but you don’t want to have to do that daily. Hope these comments help.

  26. Rich

    I would like to remove the bracketed [username] at the beginning of each entry by default, without opening each entry in the to do list individually. Anyone know if there is a way to do this?

  27. Norm

    Wonderful! Thank you. I always used to do this in the old version of Tasks by doing and Advanced Find and printing it off. It’s really handy to have it on the ‘puter. Thanks

  28. DBC

    I have all the e-mails flagged with task lists in the to-do list, but when I move them to my personal folders, I don’t see them anymore in the to-do list. How can Outlook check also in my .pst file? Thanks,

  29. ssalexan

    I cannot get tasks to show up in the To-Do Bar. There is a message in the area where the tasks would go that says, “A resource is busy or you lack sufficient permissions”. Please tell me how to remove this message so that the tasks will show in the To-Do Bar.


  30. Ian

    I have the scrolling orange bar above ‘Arranged By: Due Date’ too. It is incredibly annoying and distracting, and I can’t figure out what it means (does it mean Outlook is working on something, downloading something, indexing something? Or does it mean I have an urgent reminder of some kind?). There is nothing about it in Office Help. There is no context menu or way of finding out what it is, or more importantly, how to turn it off. Any ideas…?

  31. James

    Euhm Ian, could you e-mail me a screenshot at james_temporary _AT_ or even post it online if possible?

    I think if I see what you mean, I may be able to advise on how to switch it off (and perhaps what Microsoft’s intent was with that thing ^^)


  32. Ian

    Hi James, thanks for the response, I have emailed you a screenshot!

  33. JamesR404

    Hi Ian!

    From the screenshot I figure the filter maybe a bit bugged in some way that Outlook keeps in a processing loop. I suggested the following per mail to see if it can fix the situation:

    Can you try the following and let me know if it works?

    1) On the “Arrange By:” right click and select “custom…”, click on “Reset current view” and then “OK”.
    2) On the “Arrange By:” right click and select “custom…”, click on “Group by” and then specify “due date” again, and press OKs ofcourse.
    3) Restart Outlook and see if you don’t get the orange bar anymore.

    Good luck!

  34. Michael

    In previous versions of Outloook there was a view that showed Active Tasks for Selected Days. I can’t find it in 2007, nor how to re-create it.

    I want to use the To-Do Bar and be able to highlight several days in the date-picker calendar, then to see any tasks with a Start or Due date falling in the selected period of time.

    Any ideas on how I create this? Thanks for help.

  35. linda sentell

    Hi, My office just upgraded from 2003 to 2007. I could see most all of my meeting, appts, etc in 2003. Everything was transferred to 2007, but
    the 31 day view seems to show smaller blocks. Only one items is showing up and then everything else needs to be viewed using the pull down arrow.
    Can I do anything to make more items show up in the block?

  36. michael

    does anyone know how to link the to-bar and the calendar? I want the appointments I create in the calendar and are due tomorrow to be colored red…I can do this by creating a rule with high importance ….it colors it on the calendar but does not link them on the to-do bar… the to-bar task for tomorrow is not colored….thanks mike

  37. Matt Born

    I’d like to try and link my To-Do Bar tasks to a sub-folder in my .pst rather than my main folder that is stored on the email server (my tasks take up too much space and I’d rather sort them on a .pst on my computer so it doesn’t eat up all of my server space). How do I do this? Thank you!

  38. Steve

    Thanks for this thread!

    Does anyone know how to show only today’s tasks in Outlook 2002 or Outlook 2003?


  39. Pamela

    At work we changed from office 2003-2007. I have figured out how to narrow my tasks in calendar so that when I view a single day it shows me only the tasks due for the day. However, if I click forward one day – the tasks don’t change so I cannot see what’s on my plate for tomorrow.

    I tried the advance filter and used various values – no luck.

    any ideas

  40. Trupti

    Thanks for this idea. But my requiremetns are not fulfilled completey.

    I want to add Appointment/Task in Calendar. On mouseover on that task, I want the show all the notes written in that task/appointment.

    By adding task in to-Do, I can see the notes (by adding notes field) on mouseover but not full notes. I tried a lot to change the number of chars visible, but can’t change it.

    Also, once I close the Outlook & start again the comtimize settings (of adding notes in To-Do task) is also gone. How can I make it forever.

    Kindly help me. If I can see the Notes in calendar only, that would be great. But for now atleast I want to see full notes in the ToDo task mouse over event.

    Looking forward for your help.


  41. Burhan

    I’m using Outlook 2007. I can’t view my To do List or Tasks. It says ” The operation Failed. An object could not be found.” Please help.
    Burhan Sartaj.


    All I want to do is to order my tasks as seen in Outlook Today by subject. I have daily reports to be done by a specified time…thus my subject line always starts with hospital time (0800, 1530, etc). I have yet to find a successful way to do this though the idea is relatively simple one would think.


  43. Greg

    In Outlook 2003 I had my tasks in the TaskPad set to only show Active Tasks on Active Days, so that if I clicked to next Tuesday, I only saw next Tuesday’s tasks, and not the ones from today. Can that still be set in 2007?

  44. Muhummed

    How about only showing tasks that are due on a selected day/s on the To-Do bar? The problem with the “Today’s Task” set up is I can’t select a day in the future to see what tasks are due on that particular day (which is a pretty important feature for me). It was possible on Outlook 2003 by clicking on View > Taskpad view > Active task for selected days. Any idea for 2007?

  45. Julie

    Thank you so much for this article! I just spent the last hour on the Outlook Help page trying all kinds of things that didn’t work and pulling out my hair. It was really a simple thing and you made it very easy to follow.
    Thank you! I will use this site more often, and skip the Outlook “help” next time.


  46. Greg

    Did anyone have a solution to mine and Muhummed’s question above? This is driving me crazy…it was so simple to do in 2003!

  47. Marco

    I share the same concern that Greg and Muhummed stated above: I would like to see the tasks that are due on a certain date, as I was easily able to do with Outlook 2003. That helped me to clearly visualize what was coming on and how to distribute new tasks and appointments..

  48. Greg

    Apparently this question has stumped the How To Geek…

  49. PeterRabbit

    Hi DBC, Matt Born,

    I am also looking for same solution as you guys query. I found the solution somewhere (credit to: and it works. Try. Thanks

    1. In the Navigation Pane, right-click on the personal folder containing the tasks.

    2. Select Properties.

    3. Check the Display reminders and tasks from this folder in the To-Do Bar checkbox.

    4. Click OK.

  50. Linda

    How can you create a task report for all of your tasks.


  51. Linda

    How to create task reports using Microsoft Outlook.


  52. Polly

    I would like to be able to prioritize tasks finer than just high, normal as well as be abe to prioritize within each priority level. Is there a way to accomplish this?

  53. Ronny

    How do you add the to do bar if you accedently X it out???

  54. Larry

    Just installed Outlook 2007. My to-do bar in the view pull down is greyed out. I cant seem to activate it. Any ideas?

  55. mitch13

    In Outlook 2003 I had my tasks in the TaskPad set to only show Active Tasks on Active Days, so that if I clicked to next Tuesday, I only saw next Tuesday’s tasks, and not the ones from today. Can that still be set in 2007?

    This is a copy of a question asked by Greg ans Muhummed but have not seen a definitive solution as yet.

  56. Claire

    Same questions as Greg and Muhammed – Active Tasks for Selected Days in 2007 – is there a way to do this in the To Do Bar? I wonder, is there a specific Value we could use in the filter (like Current Day or Selected day) which would accomplish this?

    Also, I tried adding a condition to my Filters to show Completed Tasks for Today – but I must have missed something, because the 2 filters I have (Active Tasks for 5 days and Completed Tasks for Today) work against each other.

  57. Brian

    I have the same problem as Burham and have not been able to find a solution for it. It really takes away from the task/to do functions of Outlook when you can’t see them. Please help

  58. Steve H

    I love this “just click on the ‘arranged by’ button” business. There is no “arranged by” or any other button visible in my task list, and I’ve tried all the very limited options I can find to display it. So, for me, this is about as useful as “if you want to go to Paris, simply step into the Magic Portal and click your heels.”

  59. Amy Henderson

    Same questions as Greg, Muhammed & Claire: In version 2003 I could modify my taskpad so that only today’s tasks and overdue tasks would show up AND when I picked a future date in the date navigator, not only would my appointments change to reflect that date, but also my tasks.
    -Select one day view
    -View, Task Pad
    -View, Active tasks for selected days

    How is that accomplished in the 2007 version? So far I have only figured out how to filter my tasks on the to-do bar “In the next 7 days” but the tasks remain the same even when I click on a future week using the date navigator.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  60. Todd Sweetland

    This almost answers my questions as a new user to this version of outlook. I like seeing my appointments listed in the To-Do bar. I have 5 set as the default, but how do I set it up so it only shows me the appointments for “today” ???

  61. raiden

    For those with the orange line issue. I had this problem after our ICT department moved my mailbox to another exchange environment.

    I archived my old mailbox entirely, and afterwards deleted, and rebuilt my new account. That seemed to fix it. I assume you can also rebuilt an account on the same server.


  62. Enkhee


    Yeah, i found this help when i trying to solve the same problem as Burhan & Brian. If anyone knows how to manage this please help. It comes after when I re-installed my Outlook 2007. Please help

  63. Clare Swindlehurst

    Thank you so much for posting this – I’ve been wondering how to update my to do list task bar for ages!

  64. Harvey Pinder

    I have my To-Do Bar set to show only tasks due today, but I want to click on another day in the Date Navigator and show what is due on that day. How can I do this?

  65. Sharon Esdaille

    This almost helps. Outlook seems to only show tasks due on a certain day. How do I get it to show me tasks I want to START TODAY even if that task is due a week later.

  66. Djezpur

    You could try setting the “Start Date” “on or before” “today” (in stead of Due Date)
    That way the tasks will also show up that are not due on the same day.

  67. Scott

    I have recently had .. something happen to my Outlook 2007 that has created duplicate tasks in my tasks list. I checked as stated above for copies of my ‘main PST file’, and there isn’t one. I do have several PST files for different e-mail accounts, but none are copies of the ‘main’ one. Any ideas on how to fix this?


  68. Suzette

    I must be doing something wrond and I tried it twice. I still see all of my tasks and not just those due today or are overdue. what am I doing wrong. I have Outlook 2007.

  69. Suzette

    Revised comment

    I must be doing something wrong and I tried it twice. I still see all of my tasks and not just those due today or are overdue. Once I complete all of the steps listed I click OK then I am asked if I want to add the condition to the list. Should I say yes? The instructions don’t say anything after entering today in the value box. Is there a missing step?

  70. Suzette

    Outlook 2007 To Do Bar – Not showing some calendar appointment entries

    It will show an appointment for next month but not one for tomorrow or this week. Help!

  71. Jeanne

    When I enter a task it shows as though I entered it twice…what am I doing? What is the setting that can eliminate that? I have used this for years and just this morning it started doing this.

  72. Catherine

    Outlook 2007 To Do Bar – Filters Not Working

    My to do bar shows every task I have completed under ‘today’! I can’t seem to get rid of them with filters even when I put in your suggestions. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  73. Debbie

    I would like my to-do bar to show on the right in the mail and calendar view not just the task view. Seems simple but I cannot find this option,is it possible?

  74. Kevin

    I’m interested in

    – showing on appointments for TODAY in the To-Do Bar (not the next 5 or however many)

    – when the To-Do Bar is ‘minimized’, it only shows my next appointment – any way for it to show more?

    Anybody have any luck with these?

    Also an unrelated comment, clicking on the appointment only ‘maximizes’ the To-Do bar window instead of showing the appointment contents.

    Another pie in the sky wish would be the ability to move the To-Do bar, perhaps in some of the vacant space in the Navigation Pane

  75. Bill

    I cannot tell you how much the Show Only Today’s Tasks fix helped me, as I live by this everyday! But is there also a way to show the categories, at the top, like I had it in the former Outlook version? I have had to go to Customized to even have them show up alphabetically, although I am open to a different way to do that as well! In other words, I use to have them in alphabetic order, only the ones for today, and with the category above. Is there a way to recreate all of that?

    Thanks very much!!

  76. Bill

    Sorry, but is there also a way to have the tasks due on a future date show up when you click on that date? From what I am seeing here, it still only shows the tasks due for today, no matter what date you click on. Thx

  77. Philippe

    How do I get to show the %Complete of a task in the To-Do bar?

  78. Sparky

    Can anyone help wiht a problem in teh Custom format feature for teh task list on the To-Do Bar? (a) I right click on “Arranged By” column and choose “Cusomt”. (b) On the “Customize View: To-Do List” box I click the “Format Columns” button. (c) I change the “Width” setting on “Specific width:”. Then, when I hit “OK” twice to save the settings I get an error mesage that Outlook has encountered a problem, and Oultook shuts down. Anyone else have this problem?

  79. Mandy

    Does anyone know if you can show multiple task lists on the To Do Bar if Outlook 2007? I have access to a couple other mailbox on our server and I’d like to be able to see the tasks for them along with mine in one place.


  80. stu

    This is probably for Salmon, but if anyone can help, it would be very MUCH appreciated…

    I have separate copies of Outlook 2007 running on my desktop (Windows 7 ult) and laptop (Windows xpsp3). I have a CRM in the cloud that will push down calendar, contact, and tasks. I have an IMAP account running resident inside both.

    I’m trying to keep them close to the same…So,

    My laptop is taking the sync fine then displaying all correctly, ie contacts, calendar, and TASKS!
    Both outlooks are showing the imap folder, and while very slow, it does seem to be working
    My desktop is taking sync for calendar and contacts…But,

    PROBLEM IS: On the desktop, the tasks appear in the task folder IN THE DESKTOP OUTLOOK 2007 for only a split second and then DISAPPEAR!!!!! WHY???

    To try to fix the problem I copied my laptop outlook folder contents to my desktop – – — – but it still didn’t fix the problem!!!


    on laptop, I’m using folder path of c/doc&settings/stu/local setting/app data/microsoft/outlook
    and on w7desktop, I’m using folder path of c/users/stu/appdata/local/microsoft/outlook


  81. Gary

    I have the same question as Mandy. We have a shared mailbox at work that I want to monitor, in addition to my own. How can I get flagged task from that mailbox to show on my to-do bar?


  82. Laura

    I want to change the default calendar that is synched in the To-do-Bar appointment options. It pulls from a default calendar (blue) that I don’t use. I created a work (green) calendar and want appointments there to be listed in to-do-bar. LOVE this feature just can’t get that portion working the way I want.
    Any suggestions!? Thanks much.

  83. Larry Cicchiello

    On my monthly view on my calendar I can sometimes see 3 appointments for each day WITHOUT using drop down menu. But sometimes I can only see 2. I have a need to see 3…sometimes they are there and sometimes they are not.

  84. Carla

    Hi, I tried what you said but that is not exactly what I wanted so now I lost the task bar that shows up on the right to the to-do list. How do I get that back?
    Also, what I am looking to do is have the due and past due tasks pop up on my screen like they did in 2003. I appreciate any help you can give me. thanks.

  85. Kris

    I would like to see my recurring tasks for a future date even if I have not yet completed the most current task. For example, if I know I’m going to be gone the last week of December, I want to click on those days and see which tasks will be due so I can plan. However, now, the task doesn’t regenerate until I mark the current one as complete.

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