Asana logo on laptop and mobile phone.
Image: Adobe Stock

Asana has become one of the more 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 start to detract from the efficiency promised by the software.

So below, we’ll look at how to remove old or unneeded tasks from Asana to help clean up your projects and maintain efficiency.

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Removing tasks in Asana

Within Asana, tasks are located inside of projects. The completion of tasks is independent of project completion, and all tasks can be completed while the project is still open or ongoing.

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

This is helpful 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 work area and click on the Tasks settings. It will most likely display All Tasks if you are using the default settings (Figure A).

Figure A

Asana filter menu
Figure A: Asana filter menu.

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

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

Figure B

Incomplete tasks filter option highlighted on the Create Client Landing Page dashboard
Figure B: Set to filter to only show incomplete tasks.

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

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

Figure C

meatballs menu highlighted on the create client landing page dashboard
Figure C: Select the menu.

From here, you want to choose Save Layout As Default (Figure D). This will now make all completed Tasks hidden whenever you pull up this project.

Figure D

Save Layout as Default option highlighted in the Create Client Landing Page dashboard
Figure D: Choose Save Layout As Default.

You can undo this at any time since no information was actually removed. Simply reverse the process outlined above and all tasks can be shown again. You can freely move between any of these layouts and views without deleting any Task.

Deleting tasks in Asana

If, unlike the previous instructions you want to delete Tasks instead of just hiding them, there is a way to do that as well.

Select the task you want to delete, so the Details panel opens. From the Details panel, click on the meatballs menu in the top right (Figure E).

Figure E

Details menu popup in the create client landing page dashboard
Figure E: Select the menu in the Details section.

From there, scroll down to Delete Task (Figure F). You will get a final confirmation to either completely delete the Task or undo your action if it was by mistake. Choose your action, and the process will be 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 be time-consuming. So if you have a group of tasks to delete, hold CTRL and select the multiple tasks you want to delete (Figure G).

Figure G

multiple tasks selected in the Create Client Landing Page dashboard 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 view 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 show all items that have been deleted from this Project.

From the list of deleted tasks now shown, you can select any of them to view the details. You can also choose to undelete these tasks if needed. Just click the Undelete tab from within the details, and the task will be restored (Figure J).

Figure J

Option to undelete a task in the deleted tasks dashborad in Asana
Figure J: Undelete a task.

Subtasks associated with tasks will still exist in the system, although they’ll be “orphaned” and not visible in any view within the Asana dashboard.

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

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

Generally, it’s best to remove the subtasks first or complete them before deleting the tasks. Although, there is no issue with simply deleting the tasks.

Archiving projects and tasks in Asana

If a project and its associated tasks are completed but you still want to keep all 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 on the meatballs 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 on this at any time to review the project you have archived.

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

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