What happens to a user's To Do tasks when they leave the organization?

Occasional Contributor

My team and I have seen a lot of issues with organizational leadership and professionals not being aware that, when their teammates or subordinates leave, the ex-employee's OneDrive files (including any files that have been shared with anyone else) are permanently deleted after 30 days (at least, under the default M365 admin settings, last time I checked). I'm wondering about a potential similar issue with To Do. 


Say User 1 has shared one or more of their task lists in their To Do app with a coworker or team. When User 1 leaves the organization and their M365 license is de-provisioned, what happens to the tasks and lists in their To Do app? Do they just disappear? Does User 1's designated superior have an opportunity to recover or duplicate the contents of User 1's To Do app (as they do with the contents of User 1's OneDrive)?


Even if User 1 hasn't shared any of their To Do contents with other users, there could still be valuable information there, which their teammates or superiors may benefit from recovering. If User 1 neglects to transfer their tasks to someone else before leaving, is there any way to perform a recovery such as I've described?


Requirements: If this can be solved without use of PowerShell, that would be great!


Cross-posted to Microsoft Answers community (click here).

8 Replies
ToDo items are stored within the person's mailbox, so it depends on what happens with the mailbox itself. If you want to export/copy, your best bet is programmatic solution, aka Graph API:
@Vasil Michev Good to know; that's a start. Thank you. Looks like a programmatic solution would be the most thorough and efficient — unfortunately, neither I nor any of my teammates know anything about Graph API, or API in general :grinning_face_with_sweat: A simpler solution might be better for us, at least to start with.

If User 1 is about to leave the organization (or has left already), would delegating their mailbox to User 2 allow User 2 access to User 1's To Do tasks?
best response confirmed by NathanFAW (Occasional Contributor)
Yes. Keep in mind that they will be shown as separate folder under Tasks for said user.
Alright, that works. I'll record that as our solution to use going forward. Thank you, Vasil! Best of luck to you.

@NathanFAW Happy workday to you.


I am confirming Vasil's solution. As you develop your "Existing Employee IT Procedures," our IT governance gave the "leader only" access to ex-employee's content for privacy purposes.

This way, the leader can review and, most importantly, remove any personal content. Then the leader can check the remaining information with the team and delegate the tasks.


I hope this helps.

@Teresa_Cyrus Thanks for confirming, Teresa! I don't think I'm familiar with the term "leader only" or "'leader only' access" in a governance context. Is that a term for a designated leader who is not a member of the team they manage?

Hi @NathanFAW,
A leader is a person who is accountable and responsible for a team and holds a title such as Leader, Supervisor, Manager, or Director.

We experienced that a College Intern or Contractor may report a team member or Administrative Assistant (secretarial assistant) instead of a leader. In this case, all content should be reviewed by a leader first to remove any ex-employee's personal content. Then the leader and team members can meet to delegate the remaining tasks.

I hope this helps.

@Teresa_Cyrus That makes sense. Thank you for your time and input!