URGENT HELP NEEDED AND APPRECIATED! Microsoft To Do has deleted extremely important reminders

Copper Contributor

My problem: Microsoft To Do has deleted/lost so many incredibly important reminders. Things relating to my job, finances, bills to pay, life admin, house repair, house maintenance, everything. I'm despairing and really hoping there is some way to retrieve them


I have the Microsoft To Do app installed on (1) My Chromebook and (2) My Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G. It is associated with a Gmail account, which is my personal email account. NOT a work or school email account


My Microsoft To Do had reminders in 2 lists - "1) Important w deadline" and "2) Important". They used to exist at the red arrow in the picture below. These 2 lists were created years ago using the Microsoft To Do app on an older phone. Together there were 300-400 reminders.


Around 15 May 2024 @ 7pm (Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)), on my Chromebook’s Microsoft To Do app, I selected all the reminders in one list > clicked "Move" in top right corner > Selected "Tasks" (green arrow in picture below). The number of the reminders in the list reduced to 0, and the number of reminders in "Tasks" increased by the same amount. I did the same thing with the other list. I then saw that the 2 lists were empty, and thus deleted the 2 empty lists


WhatsApp Image 2024-05-19 at 13.36.31.jpeg

Around 15 May 2024 @ 3am (Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)) (i.e. 8 hours after deleting the 2 lists) I was shocked to discover the number of "Tasks" had reduced by roughly the amount that had been added earlier. I used the search function in (1) Chromebook’s To Do app (2) Phone’s To Do app (3) To Do on Chromebook’s Google Chrome web browser to find the moved reminders; they do not appear at all, whether completed or uncompleted. The 2 lists have remained deleted in all above 3 cases


At no point have I ever done a backup of Microsoft To Do. I had been under the impression that one of the biggest selling points of cloud based apps is that they will constantly save data correctly, and in the event of an issue they’d be able to restore older versions of the data. I had assumed (perhaps naively) that a company as big and powerful as Microsoft would do it right


I really hope there's some way for me to retrieve these numerous reminders because they were beyond important. I’ve spent 11.5 hours STRAIGHT talking with 24+ people of Microsoft Support (Yes I counted), from the Outlook web mail support team, the Windows and Office technical Support, and the Office 365 team. Ultimately I was told I need to post on this community and there’s nothing they can do. Any help I can get would be greatly appreciated


I was advised to seek help here by the Microsoft Support personnel (the Outlook web mail support team, the Windows and Office technical Support, and the Office 365 team). But if I should seek help or post this elsewhere for better results, please don’t hesitate to let me know


Below are solutions I’ve tried (they have yet to succeed in restoring the reminders/lists)


1) Log in to https://outlook.live.com/mail/0/ (using the Gmail account) on Google chrome web browser in my Chromebook > Check folder “Deleted Items” > Restored EVERYTHING in that folder


WhatsApp Image 2024-05-19 at 13.40.50.jpeg


2) Did the same as step 1 except using my Samsung phone. The “Deleted Items” was empty so I didn’t restore anything


3) Log in to onedrive.live.com (using the Gmail account) > Recycle Bin (It’s empty)


4) Use the Outlook desktop application on my sister's WORK computer (Windows). When I try logging in to using the Gmail account I get "We couldn't connect to the incoming (POP/IMAP) server using the specified encryption method. Please check the incoming (POP/IMAP) server encryption method  and try again"


5) Did the same thing as step 4, but using a borrowed PERSONAL Windows computer. Managed to login to my Gmail account on the Outlook desktop application. It doesn't even have the folder "Deleted Items". It just copies all the folders of my Gmail account. Gmail calls it "Spam". I couldn't find the reminders in any of the folders in the Outlook desktop application





6) On a borrowed personal Windows laptop, let Microsoft support have remote access to it. In this Windows laptop I had logged into my Gmail account on (1) Outlook web (2) Outlook desktop application (3) Microsoft to do web (4) Microsoft to do application


7) Get Microsoft Support via https://support.microsoft.com/home/contact > Contact support > Product “Microsoft 365 and Office” > Technical Support


8. Get help from Outlook web mail support team via https://outlook.live.com/mail/0/ > Help > ?Help > Search “To Do” > Scroll down to “Still need help?” and click Yes


9) Being transferred by Outlook web mail support team to Windows and Office Technical Support. Who then referred me back to the Outlook web mail support team, saying “dedicated outlook.com in-app support ... will assist you with Microsoft To Do reminders as it might be stored in Web app folders.” Would have been funny if Microsoft hadn’t stuffed up this badly



10) Followed "Restore deleted To-Do lists" https://www.intowindows.com/how-to-restore-deleted-microsoft-to-do-lists-and-tasks/ using a borrowed personal Windows laptop. All Ctrl + 6 did was open Microsoft PowerPoint / Excel   


11) On a borrowed personal Windows laptop, in the Outlook desktop application, changed the view to see if it would reveal the deleted To Do lists  





12) Log in to https://outlook.live.com/mail/0/ (using the Gmail account) and requested a mailbox export. When it was ready, downloaded the PST file and then opened it in the borrowed personal Windows laptop, in the Outlook desktop application. Looked at Recoverable Items and Deleted Items






13) Log in to https://outlook.live.com/mail/0/ (using the Gmail account) then used the add-in "Email Recovery" https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/office/WA104380447 to recover both "recoverable items" and "purges" 






14) Try to get Microsoft To Do In-app support by following https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/get-help-for-microsoft-to-do-f4ea4cf4-0f36-4971-8f27-58fa.... The issue is, the picture in the instructions is different to what I see in my Microsoft To Do app. In my app, clicking on my Profile pic does not bring up the same image, and does not show a “Get support” button

Instead, in my app, Profile pic > Settings > Under "Help & feedback" it has “ (1) Learn more (2) FAQ (3) Suggest a feature (4) Copy session and user ID (5) Enjoying our app? Rate it (5) Sync”


In https://outlook.live.com in the Google chrome web browser on Chromebook, To Do > Settings > Under “Help & feedback” it only has “Learn more”. Clicking on that brings you to “https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/todo


I suspect the instructions are outdated and Microsoft removed “Get support” from To Do. I eventually talked to a Microsoft support person who confirmed that Microsoft had disbanded/removed the dedicated support team for Microsoft To Do


Possible solutions I’ve discovered from desperately scouring the internet and talking to Microsoft support. Would love to be advised on how to actually do them if you know


1) Besides the 2 empty lists, I had a 3rd FULL list that was a copy of the list “Important with deadline” before I moved out the reminders. This 3rd list was FULL of the important reminders when I deleted it. If restoring this will restore my reminders, I’m all for it


2) Find the deleted lists on Exchange Online using eDiscovery (I’ve been advised “the features mentioned are only available for the business and paid business subscriptions account. It is not available for personal email accounts.”)

4) Contact Microsoft To Do department (if there is any)


5) Someone said tasks may have been archived to "Online Archive" in Exchange Online (I’ve been advised “the features mentioned are only available for the business and paid business subscriptions account. It is not available for personal email accounts.”)


6) Submit feedback using a borrowed Windows Laptop &  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/send-feedback-to-microsoft-with-the-feedback-hub-app-f59... (Waiting for response. No idea if they’ll contact me via gmail. If they contact me via feedback, I don’t know of any way of answering since I don’t have Windows)


7) Submit feedback on outlook asking for help and allowing them to contact me (I’m currently waiting for a reply)


Questions I have


1) Would phone backup (e.g. Samsung Cloud back up or Google One / Google Drive back up) be able to restore the reminders? Or do these backups only restore app settings and not the reminders themselves?

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