How to hide unavailable items from badge counts in OmniFocus 2.2 for Mac

As noted in the release notes from OmniFocus 2.2 for Mac is now available!, badge counts can now include unavailable items:

As noted above, we’re planning to make badge counts consistent across all devices as soon as possible—so if you have feedback about which items we’re counting, please let us know by sending email to

The reason we made this change was to follow the principle that if something in your task list doesn’t make sense (a task is deferred but overdue), we should call attention to it so you can address the issue.

In the meantime, if you prefer the old behavior where badge counts don’t include unavailable actions, you can get that behavior back by opening this URL:


But again, please do send us email to let us know what counting behavior you’d prefer! (Maybe neither of these are quite right? Maybe overdue items should be counted whether or not they’re available, but items that are coming due soon should only be counted if they’re available now?)

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This update makes no sense to me:
What is an unavailable item? I can’t figure that out. Anything that is not overdue? in the next X days? Everything that is not overdue, on hold, or available?

I thought the whole idea of GTD is to take action on what needs to get done. If something is overdue or available then it makes sense to add to the badge count, anything that is UNAVAILABLE I would consider a “Future” item. Just like e-mail that hasn’t come in yet.

I am sure that many other people are use to working with badge count as including overdue and available items. In fact, the badge color was red if overdue and then orange if you had some available items to indicate a “softer” urgency. Putting unavailable items in the badge count is to me counter-intuitive.

Maybe this is useful to some, and I might be ok with it, but explain to me how I arrive at the count, what does it include? and I would prefer if you allowed that to be an option. I want my badge count to be as it has been since pretty much the inception of OmniFocus. I don’t mind if you let others get what they want, as long as I don’t have to change my style of operation.

Thanks for listening,

Thanks for the feedback! I just moved your question over to the thread which provides the solution which I think you’re asking for:

I don’t think this is working as it should. If I have a deferred item that is overdue, I would agree. However, it is also including items that are deferred and due tomorrow (i.e. due soon), which I think is wrong. I often have tasks that I want to do on a specific day and not before and I don’t think they should be included in the badge count until they are due soon and no longer deferred. If something is deferred to tomorrow morning and due tomorrow evening that shouldn’t need flagging.



I concur. I often use deferred dates and due dates in conjunction in the same way. For instance, I have to complete a timesheet every Friday at work; there’s no sense doing it before Friday, but it has to be done before I leave for the day. The task starts Friday at 8am and is due at 5pm. I do not want to see it in my count prior to Friday, since it’s not actionable.

I think the deferred/overdue use case is entirely wacky anyway.

Let’s say I have something due today, but circumstances change, so I defer it to tomorrow. Why is it overdue tomorrow when I have consciously deferred it? Shouldn’t it now become due tomorrow, given that that’s when it was deferred to? A due date prior to a defer date shouldn’t logically be possible (even though OF allows it).

Isn’t that perhaps a bigger problem?


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After some testing, I should also note that this “unavailable items included in badge count” does not apply to flagged items (i.e. deferred flagged things don’t increment badge count), it only applies to due items, so again, there seems to be inconsistency in terms of which items are treated in badge and which aren’t.

I’ll email my feedback, too, so that it’s captured, but interested in the conversation about this.


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Thanks for the feedback, everyone! We’ll be changing the default behavior in v2.2.1 so that the badge only counts available items: we’ve decided that the right way to catch this sort of inconsistency is not by flagging it in the badge, but by calling it out in the review process.

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Thanks, @kcase! It felt like a bit of an invasive approach to managing a bit of a corner case.

Maybe just me? Anyway, I didn’t email yet - do I still worry about that?



Let’s back up a step here - why should there be only one option? A user should be able to configure what’s included in the badge icon.

This is a perfect example of OmniFocus moving from a flexible, customizable platform to a ‘one size fits all, locked down ui’ system.

You certainly can! There are three independent checkboxes which let you choose whether the badge should count Overdue, Due Soon, and/or Flagged.

I’m puzzled by this comment, since it’s the opposite of the direction in which we’ve been moving! For example, in this latest v2.2 update we added support for configuring the Today perspective to include Overdue, Due Today, Deferred Until Today, Flagged, Inbox Items, or even a custom perspective.

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Then maybe just another checkbox that says ‘include unavailable in badge’?

This was our whole beef with OF2 vs 1 - most of the customization options were removed: fonts, column widths, combining the flag and checkbox, trigger a manual backup, etc. Have those things been restored in OF 2.2 as well? If so, it’s time to give it another try.

For what it’s worth, the three things that are deal-breakers for me are the combined flag and checkbox (in the compact layout it was non-functional, and too tiny), the inability to resize column widths, and the inability to manually trigger and name a backup (I hit the wipe-out-changes-bug when doing my weekly review and then syncing my phone all the time).

So far, everyone seems to prefer having “defer” trump “overdue”—which is how OmniFocus has always counted tasks prior to v2.2. So we’re swapping that back to the standard behavior (but the setting is still tweakable in case we suddenly hear from people who really liked the newer behavior).

[quote=“mallard, post:12, topic:15393”]
This was our whole beef with OF2 vs 1 - most of the customization options were removed: fonts, column widths, combining the flag and checkbox, trigger a manual backup, etc. Have those things been restored in OF 2.2 as well? If so, it’s time to give it another try.[/quote]

We’re working on customizable column layouts right now for OmniFocus 2.3.

Here are two ways you can trigger an immediate backup of your database:

  1. You can duplicate your OmniFocus database using Finder. Command-click on the main window’s title bar to get a popup showing its location on disk, and choose its parent folder. That will open the parent folder with your OmniFocus database selected; you can use Command-D to make a duplicate.

  2. If you have OmniFocus Pro, you can create a backup using AppleScript:

    tell application “OmniFocus” to archive front document in posix file “/tmp/OmniFocus-After-Big-Review.ofocus-backup”

    (You’d probably want to put that backup somewhere other than in /tmp, that’s just an example.)

    If you drop that script into your “blessed” scripts folder (Help > Open Scripts Folder), you can add it to your toolbar for easy access.

That said, I’m hopeful that the push-triggered syncing which we’re putting into TestFlight this week will make conflicting edits between devices far less likely! (Push-triggered syncs means that changes will be synced to other devices much more quickly.)


Thanks Ken - great news on 2.3! I never thought about doing a backup from finder…that sound you hear is a Homer Simpson Doh!

Pushed syncing won’t help me, since I do most of my weekly reviews when no network is available, but for a lot of folks that should work great.

I’ll pencil in time to give OF 2.3 a look when it arrives. Thanks for the effort!

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Test builds of OmniFocus 2.2.1 for Mac are now available. The default counting behavior from 2.1.x has been restored in these builds:

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