How to clear an Outlook (To Do) Task Flag?

C-S-R

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
How do you clear an Outlook (To Do) Task Flag?

Once a Microsoft Outlook task is flagged, I cannot seem to undo the action and return the task to its original state, if desired.

Clicking the 'flag' icon a 2nd time to deselect the set flag does not clear the flag, no matter the flag type: Today, Tomorrow, This Week, Next Week, No Date, or Custom.

Also, checking the task 'Complete' does not remove the task's flag status, because at the top of the task's window, there is an informational comment in blue-text which still says 'Follow-up.' Similarly, un-checking the 'Complete' check-box (on the same screen) will also not remove the same informational comment in blue-text which says 'Follow up.'

When viewing a list of tasks with a particular line-item task selected, on the 'Home' tab of the 'tasks ribbon-menu,' it seems as though deselecting a flag should clear that flag, but it doesn't. Alternatively, if the ribbon is customized to include the 'Follow Up' flag button, which works in a similar manner to the 'Categorize' button, there isn't a 'Clear Flag' drop-down menu item like the 'Categorize' button's drop down menu-item to 'Clear All Categories.' Why not?

I hope that this description makes sense. Normally, with enough perseverance, I can figure stuff like this out, but this time I am perplexed. If someone can help me to completely clear a task flag, I'd appreciate it. A lot.
 

C-S-R

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Hi Diane, I will post a series of screenshots (below) to show the progression of various task views after changing a task's flag status. I also make comments in the task's note field with each action step I take. Hopefully, this will make sense:

2021-04-09 Clip1.PNG


2021-04-09 Clip2.PNG


2021-04-09 Clip3.PNG


2021-04-09 Clip4.PNG


2021-04-09 Clip5.PNG


2021-04-09 Clip6.PNG


2021-04-09 Clip6.PNG
 

C-S-R

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Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
As you can see, no matter what I do, I cannot get the informational comment '(i) Follow up.' located in the top of the task's dark gray section to ever go away, even after clearing the task's flag.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
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Office 365 Exchange
Because it's a task, it will always have that if you set a date - if you add a flag, it will add Follow up. (Tasks have a default flag based on the due date)

It not cleared when you change the follow up because the followup field is "dirty" - its not present until you choose a follow up. If you really want to remove it, a macro should be able to.
2021-04-09_23-39-31-0000.png
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
If I delete two properties from the task - the flag info clears -
2021-04-09_23-50-34-0000.png
 

C-S-R

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
I suspected as much. While I don't really use them that often, in my humble opinion, Outlook handles email flags in an intuitive manner, whereas tasks flags are another matter. An email message can easily be flagged and unflagged, in a binary sense, as well as with stipulations. However, when an Outlook task is created, it is automatically flagged with 'No Date,' but once that flag status is changed, it leaves "dirty" trails as you said. This makes for an inconsistent user interface. I wish that Outlook tasks could be completely unflagged, without an icon and (i) informational comment.

It's interesting that a macro might deal with this issue and I'm willing to give that approach a go. Just a few days ago, I successfully used one of your macros (that I read about in another post) to move about 600 Outlook Notes to OneNote. And from there was able to import them into the Evernote Legacy desktop program where I'm currently trying to do a massive cleanup.

Thank you Diane for your time and the 'Follow up.' Appreciate it!
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Ah shoot. The properties are read-only and they can't be deleted using VBA. :(
 

C-S-R

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Oh well. Thanks for looking into a fix. I posted a suggestion to Microsoft's UserVoice website. Looks like a few other have made similar observations about task flags, mostly over flag colors, but a couple about the need for un-flagged tasks. Perhaps with the introduction of Microsoft To Do, some of these details can be ironed out.

I'd like more control over all task fields within Outlook, especially the ability to change the date fields. Often times, I find I want to input "old" information, previously not collected in software, to capture a complete timeline of events as if they had been recorded in real time. In order to do this properly, you have to have the ability to enter information after-the-fact and then change dates of some fields to what they "should" be. Obviously, this would be easy if one were keeping tasks recorded as line-items in an Excel spreadsheet. I'd like to see that sort of functionality brought to Outlook.
 
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