Find incomplete Tasks (tags) in OneNote

Copper Contributor

One of the most basic functions of OneNote is to create a task (tag) in a note. What I need is the ability to find any incomplete task (tag). Is this functionality coming to OneNote or is there a workaround that would allow me to find any incomplete tasks via search?


11 Replies

@Michael Potter 


Michael, I am a tag power user in ON 2016.  The answer to your question is vital to my decision whether to migrate.  Did you ever get an answer?

Hi @BillBennett 


So far as I know after searching, it's not possible to search for unticked tags in OneNote UWP. When I search for the to do tag, it will sort it out by unticked/ticked, but you can't search for that only. 


There are a few requests for this on the OneNote feedback hub - the more upvotes they get the more likely the developers will be pushed into implementing this sooner. 




Hey @BillBennett, sorry but I did not get a response until very recent. I believe the answer provided by @HidMov  to be correct. It appears that OneNote is not getting this kind of development but Microsoft To Do is (in terms of task management).


I have been told by devs that something is planned in the future to integrate OneNote and To Do but no ETA was given. Because of this, I have invested heavily into Microsoft To Do and have kept OneNote as a reference tool. I'd be curious to understand your workflow and needs.

@Michael Potter 

workaround is the following (also for OneNote 2016 no longer showing todo's from other pages than the one you are on).

req: OneNote2016


a. Publish OneNote to HTML either using the OneNote 2016 Client or a piece of code
(The HTML will contain 2 images for todo's : one checkboxed and the other not checkboxed)

b. Traverse all childs to search for either the *hash* of the image file generated for unchecked and dump the output

c. import manually or automatically back in a one-note page "ALL open todos "

alternatively: get-content of page and traverse xml to search for the needed open todo tag and dump that.



Hey Bill, I really did not get the answer but a work around. It doesn't seem like tasks are moving along in development as I had hoped. There is a great workaround post below by @cogmios which I am grateful for.

Unfortunately for now, I have moved to Microsoft To Do to keep my tasks and, as a result, I am using OneNote less.

Thanks for your very kind response, Mark!  I am still interested in development in this area but have little hope it will be anytime soon. I don't see To Do and OneNote getting together soon so I try to use other tools to compensate. For example, making notes in To Do note field instead of OneNote has reduced my use of OneNote considerably.


Thanks again!





Thank you for your kind reply and technical explanation of this workaround. It's thorough and useable work around.


I've decided to use OneNote less and To Do more, just out of time restraints than interest in trying to make both resources work together. In all my use of Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, I feel the web solutions by Microsoft have the most flexibility and features than their OS counterparts. This is where I hope to see improvements between OneNote and To Do in the future.


I appreciate your work!



I am using One Note for Mac 16.47.
I find that when you do a search and only select the To Do tag, the tasks that are not checked (IE completed) do not appear in the search results. Isn't that what you want to do?

@Michael Potter, I know this is pretty old, and that MS has introduced the "Find Tags" sidebar but I'm on a Mac with OneNote 16.70, and it still doesn't have any advanced tag searching.


Here is another workaround. Create a custom tag called "Done" and give it the same icon as the "To Do" tag. When you complete a task that has the To Do tag, instead of checking it, change the tag to the Done tag and check that. Or added it "pre-checked" by continuously clicking the tag in the ribbon bar. That will cycle through unchecked, checked, and no tag.


It's not super convenient, but at least now you can search for the "Done" tag in the basic (left side) search.

Thanks Photons for the tips! I'll try them out. :white_heavy_check_mark:

@Michael Potter I believe the functionality is now available. I'm in the Office365 Click to Run version (common for any Office365 subscription--consumer or business). I'm on 2308 release (August 2023). Now, when I click Find Tags button on the ribbon, there's a box you can check for "Show only unchecked items" which correctly filtered my To Do tagged items to those that are not marked complete. I didn't even have to choose the To Do tag--it knew to use that. I hope this helps.