Accidental Delete (Context) - Change to Command Delete!

Somehow in my workday, I lost a top level context and all its sub contexts. I’m guessing as windows fight for focus, I hit the delete key while OF2 had focus on that top level context. It vanished. I’ve tried “Undo”, no avail.

OF2 Dev Team - Why does the Delete key even work on the context view? Command-Delete should be required to delete a context from the list. I don’t know when it happened (minutes? hours? days?) as this is a context I haven’t used since last week. So I don’t want to use a backup recovery process. I’m left looking at my No Context list, and updating all the tasks with those missing contexts.

Help us help ourselves! Thanks.


Sorry for the trouble! Would you mind emailing us directly with this request so we can capture your thoughts accurately in our system?, thanks!


OmniFocus keeps a backup of your database. I think it contains the last 100 “saves.”

If you go to File > Show Backups… at the menu bar, you will be able to double click a backup of your database and recover the accidentally deleted contexts.

Done! Sent email tonight.

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How do you recover a single context? I can see the context in the backups, but I don’t think “moving” it to my live database will recover it. And I don’t want to recover all the tasks for that context, since they are still in my live system (maybe with updates since the context vanished). And I certainly don’t want to “revert” to the backup, since all my changes are lost.

The point here is I recovered from my mistake manually (luckily the only tasks with empty contexts were for the ones I deleted!), but they should consider making Contexts a little harder to delete, since most users don’t do it very often.

hmmm… not sure how to move it over. but it is a good suggestion you made to use command-delete instead of delete.

But at least you’re able to view old backups and see what has changed.

If all tasks with an empty context should have another context it is easy to assign all of them one specific context. You can do this in the Context perspective and select no context in the sidebar. All tasks with no context should appear in the main window. Then select all tasks with cmd+a or with shift and choose the context in the right information pane.

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Thanks, this is exactly what I had done to fix the problem.

I’d definitely like this functionality.

My preferred scenario is to have two different delete modes:

  1. Deleting text that is being edited using the Delete key (as is).
  2. Deleting database objects (tasks, projects, or context) using the Command-Delete.

As a user, I don’t like relying on Undo to make this works. In addition, I think there’s a big contextual difference in deleting text in the normal course of modifying task elements vs the database objects themselves, and I think that should be reflected.


We definelty need this function! I deleted my tasks numerous times by accident!

This command-delete function or a dialogue function whether you really want to delete a task has also been implemented to Evernote and Fantastical for Mac recently! You could also make this function optional, so you can choose it when you want to and go more secure, with your tasks in your second brain!

Nearly all important Notes or Calendar apps Have a confirmation Dialogue before deleting!

  1. In OSX Files you can only delete files with command delete
  2. In Fantastical for Mac you get a confirmation dialogue before deleting
  3. In BusyCal for Mac you have an option in the preferences to select “get a dialogue before deleting an event.”(So the function is optional here, what could serve for OF as well
  4. In Evernote you only can delete a note with command delete
  5. Itunes also asks you before you really want to delete a track in your playlist (you can disable this confirmation dialog if you want)
    *) There is a trash bin for Finder
    *) There is a trashbin for Evernote, Apple Notes and Scrivener etc.

Does anybody have more examples?

I don’t understand why the developers don’t give us the option to delete a file or a note whatever with command delete or not. Some people just want to be more sure about not accidentally deleting something. Sadly OF is not implementing command delete option for tasks since years. I had numerous discussions with other OF-users in the forum trying to tell me just not to delete something, thus not understanding my problem that I ACCIDENTIALLY hit the delete key and deleted a task.

I Installed a third party tool and disabled the delete key in omifous completely. I was tired of accidentally deleting tasks or even context and projects! So in OF I cannot use the delete key anymore. If I want to really delete something in OF (or need the delete key while editing a note) I disable the third party tool and edit in OF and then reactivate the third party tool. I wrote the OF Support many times about this request and I am still waiting that this will be implemented one day. I mean it is for security, it is about our tasks. Come on OMNI!

I can just ask other users to write to OF and ask for this simple, but hugely important feature.

The same problem is also being discusses here: Where does a deleted item go? iOs or Mac

And here: Feature request: keyboard shortcut change for Delete Object and addition of Trash

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This has to be implemented soon. I can only imagine how frustrating is to use your workaround every time. But honestly, we need more than just a different shortcut (although that’s the easiest thing to implement for them).

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I agree. As a first Aid it is very urgent and necessary to implement : “⌘ + ⌫” for deleting tasks rather then only “⌫”.
Did you write a support E-Mail about this also nscmnto?

I have; still waiting for a reply.

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Any answer which gives hope?` @nscmnto?

I finally bumped into this today. I had OmniFocus on one monitor and I was looking on the other monitor tapping the backspace key repeatedly and wondering why my keyboard wasn’t working. I didn’t realize that I was rapidly deleting items out of OmniFocus. I never use the backspace key (delete on mac keyboard) to delete. Now I’m wondering how many times that I have done this in the past. I’ve had a few times wondering where some items went that I through I had added.

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Thank you. Excatly the same way of how I got to know that this is an issue. You are more likely to encounter this setup with a multiple screen setup. Hope you also wrote an E-Mail to the support?

I am using OF3 on my iPad now. All is great, but having to go through that backup process just to recover the last 2-3 deleted items is such a hassle. In all occasions I am always being reminded that a trashbin feature or at least a “⌘ + ⌫” or an extra authetification to delete items is deadly needed.

So my Credo in all App store reviews to OF3 will be: “Great app, but unsecure” = 3 Stars.

If they put in this “tiny” feature OF will be an app I will rely on and it will get 5 stars from me in the apps stores.

If you are interested how I am trying to have a workaround for this with BTT you can read it here:

OK guys I ran into another Problem today, which is also a pretty big issue. I wrote to the OF Support about it.
As I see and understand it for now: If you accidentially delete your attachments there is no real way to recover them back from your backupfile.

Down below you can find my text to the support:

"Dear OG,

I want to ONLY view the attached files of a backup document.

My desired scenario: I want to make sure that I didnt delete any attachments from Previous date X. So what I want to do is to open up my OF backupFile, see how many and what kind of attachments are in there and later (or even simultaneously would be more great) I want to compare this with the amount of attachments in the actual file. Since OF still (!!!) doesnt have a trash bin I am forced to do these kind of things to check, whether I accidentally deleted a file or not.

When I select attachment list in the backup file it only shows me the attachments of the newer OF database.

I would be glad about some help.


Hey Guys I just found out that the CEO commented regarding this issue! Look here!