How to delete completed tasks in Asana

Asana logo on laptops and mobile phones.
Image: Adobe Stock

Asana has become one of the most popular project management tools for teams and even individuals. But with any project management software, the interface can slowly become cluttered with old tasks that begin to detract from the efficiency promised by the software.

Next, we’ll look at how to remove old or unnecessary tasks from Asana to help clean up your projects and stay efficient.

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Delete tasks in Asana

Within Asana, tasks are located within projects. Task completion is independent of project completion, and all tasks can be completed while the project is still open or in progress.

The first way to remove tasks is to use the Filter settings in the Asana dashboard. With this method, you only hide completed tasks, but they are still kept and saved within the project.

This is useful if you ever need to go back and see which team members worked on which tasks.

To access the filter menus in Asana, go to the top right of the workspace and click the Tasks settings. It will most likely show All Tasks if you are using the default settings (Figure A).

Figure A

Asana filter menu
Figure A: Asana Filters Menu.

Clicking the Task dropdown will bring up options to display all tasks, only incomplete tasks, or variable options for completed tasks.

In this case, select Incomplete Tasks (Figure B).

Figure B

Incomplete task filter option highlighted in Create Customer Landing Page panel
Figure B: Set to filter to show only incomplete tasks.

You will now see in the Project view that completed tasks are hidden and only incomplete tasks are displayed.

To set this as the default, click on the meatball menu to the right of the filter menu (Figure C).

Figure C

meatballs menu highlighted on customer landing page builder board
Figure C: Select the menu.

From here, you want to choose Save Layout As Default (Figure D). This will now hide all completed tasks every time you open this project.

Figure D

Save Layout as Default option highlighted in the Create Customer Landing Page panel
Figure D – Choose Save Layout as Default.

You can undo this at any time as no information was deleted. Simply reverse the process described above and all tasks can be displayed again. You can freely move between any of these layouts and views without deleting any tasks.

Delete tasks in Asana

If, unlike the instructions above, you want to delete tasks instead of just hiding them, there is a way to do that too.

Select the task you want to delete to open the Details panel. In the Details panel, click the meatball menu in the upper right corner (Figure E).

Figure E

Details menu popup in customer landing page dashboard
Figure E – Select the menu in the Details section.

From there, scroll down to Delete Task (Figure F). You will receive a final confirmation to completely delete the task or undo your action if it was done by mistake. Choose your action and the process is complete.

Figure F

the Delete Task option highlighted on a task in Asana
Figure F – Select Delete Task.

Deleting more than one task like this can take a long time. So if you have a group of tasks to delete, hold down the CTRL key and select the multiple tasks you want to delete (Figure G).

Figure G

multiple tasks selected in the Create Customer Landing Page panel in Asana
Figure G: Select multiple tasks.

This will open a control menu at the bottom of the work area. From here, select the trash can icon to delete the selected tasks.

A small window will appear on the left giving you one last chance to undo your actions (Figure H).

Figure H

Undo option popup in Asana
Figure H: Undo option.

Select Undo to restore the tasks or click the X to confirm the deletion.

You can also see all your deleted tasks for a specific project. To do this, go to the left panel and under Favorites, click Show more (figure i).

figure i

the Show More menu option in Asana
Figure I: Click Show More.

You can then select Deleted Items, and this will display all the items that have been deleted from this project.

From the list of deleted tasks now displayed, you can select any of them to view the details. You can also choose to recover these tasks if necessary. Simply click on the Recover tab within the details and the task will be restored (J-figure).


Option to retrieve a task in the deleted tasks board in Asana
Figure J: Retrieve a task.

The subtasks associated with the tasks will still exist in the system, though they will be “orphaned” and not visible in any views within the Asana dashboard.

To find them, you can use the advanced search function. This feature is available for premium users and you can search for your orphaned subtasks here if needed.

Another option is to undo the deletion of the task. This will restore the task and subtasks, which you can then complete or delete as needed.

Usually, it’s best to delete subtasks first or complete subtasks before you delete tasks. Although, there is no problem with simply deleting the tasks.

Archive projects and tasks in Asana

If a project and its associated tasks are completed, but you still want to keep all of the information for record-keeping or other purposes, you can archive those projects.

To do this, find your project in the left panel menu, then click the meatball menu next to it. From that menu, select Archive Project (Figure K).

Figure K

Archived Project menu option highlighted in Asana
Figure K: Select Archive Project.

The project and all tasks will now be archived, and you will have a new menu option on the left called Show Archived Projects. Click here at any time to review the project you have archived.

You can also restore any project from a file. This is useful if a project is going to be paused for an extended period of time. You can clean up your board by archiving them and then restoring them when the project resumes.

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