Use the Task List

Applies to: yesVisual Studio noVisual Studio for Mac noVisual Studio Code

Use Task List to track code comments that use tokens such as TODO and HACK, or custom tokens, and to manage shortcuts that take you directly to a predefined location in code. Select an item in the list to go to its location in the source code.


This topic applies to Visual Studio on Windows. For Visual Studio for Mac, see Task comments (Visual Studio for Mac).

The Task List window

When Task List is open, it appears at the bottom of the application window.

To open Task List, select View > Task List, or from the keyboard press Ctrl+\,T.

Screenshot of the Task List window.

To change the sort order of the list, select the header of any column. To further refine your search results, press Shift and select a second column header. Alternatively, on the shortcut menu, choose Sort by, and then choose a header. To further refine your search results, press Shift and choose a second header.

To show or hide columns, on the shortcut menu, choose Show Columns. Select the columns that you want to show or hide.

To change the order of the columns, drag any column header to the location that you want.

Tokens and comments

A comment in your code preceded by a comment marker and a predefined token also appears in Task List. For example, the following C# comment has three distinct parts:

  • The comment marker (//)

  • The token, for example (TODO)

  • The comment (the rest of the text)

// TODO: Load state from previously suspended application

Because TODO is a predefined token, this comment appears as a TODO task in the list.

Custom tokens

By default, Visual Studio includes the following tokens: HACK, TODO, UNDONE, and UnresolvedMergeConflict. They aren't case-sensitive. You can also create your own custom tokens.


Default tokens are available only for the C/C++, C#, and Visual Basic languages. To create your own tokens for other programming languages, use the following steps.

To create a custom token:

  1. On the Tools menu, choose Options.

  2. Open the Environment folder and then choose Task List.

    The Task List options page is displayed.

    Screenshot of the options available in the Task List dialog box.

  3. In the Name text box, enter your token name, for example BUG.

  4. In the Priority drop-down list, choose a default priority for the new token.

  5. Choose Add.


    The Add button becomes enabled after you enter a name. You must enter a name before you select Add.


A shortcut is a bookmark in the code that is tracked in Task List. It has a different icon than a regular bookmark. Double-click the shortcut in Task List to go to the corresponding location in the code.

Screenshot of an example shortcut that you can bookmark to view in the Task List.

Create a shortcut

To create a shortcut, insert the pointer into the code where you want to place a shortcut. Choose Edit > Bookmarks > Add Task List Shortcut or press Ctrl+K, Ctrl+H.

To navigate through the shortcuts in the code, choose a shortcut in the list, and then choose Next Task or Previous Task from the View menu. (You can also choose these options from the right-click context menu in the Task List window.)

See also