[FIX] ‘We Can’t Retrieve Your Tasks Right Now’ Widgets Error on Windows 11

Some Windows 11 are reporting that even though the standard Microsoft To-Do app is working as it should, the To-Do widget inside the Widgets panel doesn’t display any tasks. Instead, it displays the ‘We can’t retrieve your tasks right now’ error. 

How to fix ‘We can’t retrieve your tasks right now’ with the Widgets app

After investigating this issue, we realized that there are several different scenarios that might ultimately cause this particular issue in this scenario. Here’s a list of potential culprits that is most likely causing the ‘We can’t retrieve your tasks right now’ error:

  • Install every pending update – As it turns out, Microsoft has recently released an update for the widgets panel that seems to have fixed the problem for a lot of Windows 11 users. If you haven’t done so already, start this troubleshooting guide by installing every pending Windows update. 
  • Glitched Widgets process – According to a lot of affected users, often times this issue occurs due to the main process behind the Widget app that ends up being stuck in a limbo state and becomes totally nonresponsive. In this case, you can fix the problem by restarting the widget or force-stopping the Widgets panel multiple times (until you get the To-Do widgets working once again). 
  • Windows Account Glitch – As it turns out, chances are you might be dealing with this issue due to some type of Windows account inconsistency that is indirectly preventing the Widget app from displaying Microsoft To-Do information. Several affected users that we’re also dealing with this problem have confirmed that they managed to fix the problem by disconnecting the current account before connecting it again. 
  • Corrupted Microsoft To-Do Component – Depending on your particular scenario, you might expect this problem to occur due to some kind of corruption affecting the Microsoft To-Do cache or the installation files of Microsoft To-Do. In this case, you should start by attempting to repair the To-Do Component, move to a reset procedure if the repair is unsuccessful, or consider doing a reinstall as a last resort. 
  • A local account is in use – One of the most common causes why you can expect to deal with this error in scenarios where the Widgets component has never worked before is when you’re actually using a local account instead of a Microsoft account. Although Microsoft doesn’t specifically say so, a Microsoft account is actually required if you want to dynamically retrieve Microsoft To-Do data and use it inside the Widgets app.
  • Widgets data are disabled at a policy level – If you’re using Windows 11 Pro or Windows 11 Enterprise, there’s a chance you might be experiencing this issue because there’s a policy that is actually keeping the Widgets from updating. In this case, you can fix the issue by opening the Group Policy Editor and ensuring that the Allow widgets policy is enabled.  

1. Force Stop & Restart the Widgets process (temporary fix)

According to a large number of impacted users, this problem is caused by the Widget app’s primary process becoming stuck in limbo and becoming completely unresponsive.

In this situation, you can resolve the issue by repeatedly restarting the widget or force-stopping the Widgets panel (until you get the To-Do widgets working once again).

Note: This method is highly likely if you’re experiencing similar issues with other sub-components of the Widgets app (Besides Microsoft To-Do). 

If you haven’t tried this fix already, follow the instructions below to force stop & restart the widgets process in order to resolve the ‘We can’t retrieve your tasks right now’ error:

Important: Keep in mind that this is only a temporary fix. Unless you continue troubleshooting with the remaining methods below, chances are the issue will return at a later point in time. 

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open up Task Manager. 
  2. If the simple interface opens by default, click on More Details to expand the expert interface. 
    Opening the expert interface of Task Manager
  3. Once you finally see the advanced interface of Task Manager, click on Processes from the horizontal menu at the top, then scroll down and locate the entry associated with Windows Widgets. 
    Ending the Tasks
  4. After you have successfully disabled the Windows Widgets process, simply restart the Widgets app and see if the To Do section is now loading properly. 
  5. If you’re still seeing the same ‘We can’t retrieve your tasks right now’ error, repeat the steps above a couple of times and see if the problem is now fixed.

If the same kind of issue is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below. 

2. Restart the widget (temporary fix)

If the first fix above didn’t work in your case, the next thing you should do is restart the entire Widget infrastructure. You can do this by accessing the Settings menu and going to the Personalization tab. 

There are a lot of users reporting that once they disabled the Windows 11 Widgets from the Personalization tab, restarted their computer, then enabled the widgets again, the ‘We can’t retrieve your tasks right now’ problem was fixed.

Note: Unfortunately, this is yet another temporary fix that doesn’t address the root cause of the issue. Unless you dive deeper and explore the root cause of the issue, the problem is likely to return at a later date. 

But if you’re looking for a quick fix, follow the instructions below:

  1. Press Windows key + I to open up the Settings menu on Windows 11. 
  2. Once you’re inside the Settings menu, click on the Personalization tab from the left-hand side.
  3. Next, move over to the right-hand section and click on the Widgets toggle to turn them off. 
    Disable the Widgets functionality
  4. Once the toggle is set to Off, reboot your PC and allow your PC to boot back up. 
  5. Once the next restart is complete, simply repeat steps one and two once again to return back to the Personalization tab, then enable the Widgets to toggle once again. 
  6. After the Widgets functionality of Windows 11 is finally re-enabled, try to access the To-Do Tasks and see if the list is not updating. 

If you’re still experiencing the same ‘We can’t retrieve your tasks right now’ error when the Microsoft To-Do Tasks are supposed to load, move down to the next method below. 

3. Install every pending Windows Update

If you still have outstanding updates on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC, you should start troubleshooting by ensuring sure you have the most recent network infrastructure Windows update loaded.

Microsoft already released a fix aimed at making IPv6 connections more stable on Windows 10 and Windows 11 – installing this fix can make a big difference when it comes to the reliability of the Microsoft To-Do Widget.

Note: This method is confirmed to be effective on both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

With this in mind, follow the instructions below to install every pending update in order to ensure that the network infrastructure update for IPv6 is installed on your Windows installation:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by hitting the Windows key + R.
  2. Type ‘ms-settings:windowsupdate’ into the text box and press Enter to open the Windows Update page of the Settings menu.
    Access the Windows Update component
  3. If new updates are available, navigate to the right-hand side menu and select Download Now.

    Installing Pending Updates

    Note: If there are no updates that need to be installed right away, click Check for updates to start a scan.

  4. If there are any new outstanding updates, select Install, and then wait patiently until all pending updates have been installed.
  5. Restart your computer and wait for the next startup to finish.
  6. After your Windows 11 machine has restarted, launch the Widget functionality and see if the problem is now fixed.

If you’re still experiencing the same kind of issue where the To-Do widget refuses to update while the other widgets are functioning just fine, move down to the next method below. 

4. Reconnect your Windows account

As it turns out, you may be experiencing this problem as a result of a Windows account discrepancy, which is preventing the Widget app from showing Microsoft To-Do information.

Several impacted individuals with whom we’re also dealing with this issue have reported that they were able to resolve the issue by disconnecting and reconnecting the current account.

The first step is to try to eliminate the error notice that says you can’t log out of your Microsoft Account. Many people said that merely logging out and back in cured the problem. Many affected users believe the issue is a simple bug that may be resolved by logging out and back into the current Microsoft account.

Follow these steps to log out of your Microsoft Account and then back in:

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start menu.
  2. Right-click on the profile picture in the bottom left corner of the Start Menu that has just been shown.
    Right-clicking on the profile picture
  3. From the context menu that just appeared, select Sign Out from the context menu.
  4. After you do this and you confirm the sign-out process, you will now be directed to the Windows lock screen.
  5. Once you get there, select your Microsoft account once again, type in your password, and then select Sign In.
  6. Re-enter your credentials and complete the process of re-authorizing your Microsoft account.
  7. Access the widgets components once again and see if the Microsoft To-Do is now updating.

If the problem is still not occurring, move down to the next method below. 

5. Switch away from a Local account

One of the most common causes of this difficulty in circumstances where the Widgets component has never functioned before is that you’re using a local account instead of a Microsoft account.

You’ll need a Microsoft account, despite Microsoft’s denials, if you want to dynamically retrieve Microsoft To-Do data and use it in the Widgets app.

If you’ve been using Windows for a while, chances are you already have a Microsoft account since it’s a requirement for a lot of associated services. But even if you don’t have one, we will show you how how to create one from scratch. 

In case this scenario is applicable and you’re using a local account instead of a Microsoft account when using Windows 11, follow the instructions below:

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start menu.
  2. Right-click on the profile picture in the bottom left corner of the Start Menu that has just been shown.
    Access the login options
  3. Select Sign Out from the context menu that just opened from the context menu that just appeared.
  4. Once you’ve completed this and confirmed the sign-out process, you’ll be taken to the Windows lock screen.
  5. Once you’re there, simply insert the credentials of your Microsoft account and use them to sign in (instead of a local account).
    Note: If you don’t have a Microsoft account yet, you can create one from scratch from this official page
  6. After you are finally signed in with your Microsoft account, open the Widget functionality once again and see if the To Do section is updating as it should.

If you are still experiencing the same kind of ‘We can’t retrieve your tasks right now’ error, move down to the next method below. 

6. Repair or Reset Microsoft To-Do

Depending on your situation, you can expect this problem to arise as a result of corruption in the Microsoft To-Do cache or the Microsoft To-Do installation files. In this instance, you should first try to fix the To-Do Component before moving on to a reset method if the repair fails.

There are a lot of users reporting that this fix right here was the only thing that help them resolve the pesky ‘We can’t retrieve your tasks right now’ error.

Note: Keep in mind that even if this error is associated with the To-Do widget, the data stream is still handled by the main Microsoft To-Do application. This is why repairing or resetting the Microsoft To-Do app might be effective in this particular scenario.

Our recommendation is to begin by forcing the To-Do app to repair, then use the reset mechanism as a failsafe.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make sure that the Microsoft To-Do app is turned off and isn’t running in the background.
  2. To launch the Windows 11 Settings menu, press Windows key + I.
  3. From the Settings screen, select Apps from the left-hand vertical menu, then Installed apps from the right-hand menu.
    Accessing the installed apps menu

    Note: If the side menu isn’t shown by default, click the action button (top-left corner of the screen).

  4. Search for ‘Microsoft to-do’ in the Installed Apps menu using the search option at the top.
  5. Then, on the action icon, select Advanced Options from the drop-down menu.
    Access the Advanced Options menu
  6. Scroll down to the Reset tab in the Microsoft To-Do’s Advanced Options menu, then hit the Repair button.
  7. When the confirmation window appears, click Repair once again to confirm the operation, then wait for it to finish.
    Repairing Microsoft To-Do
  8. After the Microsoft Store repair method is completed, restart your computer to verify if the problem has been resolved.
  9. If the problem persists, repeat the steps above but instead of clicking on the Reset option, perform a reset procedure.
    Resetting Microsoft To-Do
  10. After both of these procedures are performed, open the Widget functionality once again and see if the problem is now fixed. 

If the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next method below. 

7. Reinstall Microsoft To-Do

If the repair and reset procedures above didn’t work in your particular scenario, chances are you’re dealing with some type of system file corruption that is caused by some type of corruption that affects the local installation of Microsoft To-Do and not the local cache.

Several users dealing with the same kind of issue have reported that in their case, the only thing that worked was to effectively reinstall the entire Microsoft To-Do component.

If you followed the instructions above and it didn’t work for you, follow the instructions below to effectively reinstall the entire Microsoft To-Do component:

  1. Make sure that the Microsoft To-Do app is turned off and isn’t running in the background.
  2. To launch the Windows 11 Settings menu, press Windows key + I.
  3. From the Settings screen, select Apps from the left-hand vertical menu, then Installed apps from the right-hand menu.
    Accessing the installed apps menu

    Note: If the side menu isn’t shown by default, click the action button (top-left corner of the screen).

  4. Search for ‘Microsoft to-do’ in the Installed Apps menu using the search option at the top.
  5. Next, click on the action icon (three-dot) of Microsoft To-Do and click on Uninstall from the context menu. 
    Uninstalling Microsoft To Do
  6. At the confirmation prompt, click Uninstall once again, then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation.
  7. After Microsoft To-Do is uninstalled, reboot your PC and wait until the next startup is complete.
  8. Once your computer boots back up, press the Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. 
  9. Next, type ‘ms-windows-store:’ inside the Run box that just appeared and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up the Microsoft Store with admin access. 
    Open the Microsoft Store
  10. Once you’re inside the Microsoft Store, use the search function at the top to search for ‘microsoft to do’, then click on Microsoft To Do: List, Tasks & Reminders
    Accessing the Microsoft To Do
  11. From the next screen, click on Get, then wait until the download is complete. 
  12. Open Microsoft To-Do, make sure your account is connected, then open the Widget once again and see if the To Do widget is fixed. 
  13. If the same kind of issue is still occurring, move down to the next method below. 

8. Enable the ‘Allow widgets’ group policy

If you’re using Windows 11 Pro or Windows 11 Enterprise, there’s a chance you’re seeing this problem because the Widgets are being prevented from updating by a policy. In this situation, you can resolve the problem by going to the Group Policy Editor and enabling the Allow widgets policy.

Note: This utility (Local Group Policy Editor) is only available for Windows 11 Pro and Windows 11 enterprise. You can, however, follow a series of instructions to install it on Home and Education versions of windows

If you suspect that the ‘allow widgets’ policy is disabled and is causing this behavior on your Windows 11 computer, follow the instructions below to get it resolved:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘gpedit.msc’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up the Local Group Policy Editor with admin access. 
    Open the Local Group Policy Editor
  2. At the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to grant admin access. 
  3. Once you’re inside the Local Group Policy Editor, use the side menu on the left to navigate to the following location:
    Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components
  4. Once you are inside the correct location, move over to the right-hand pane and click on the Widgets folder, then double-click on the Allow Widgets policy. 
  5. Once you’re inside the Allow Widgets policy, set the toggle to Enabled, then click Apply to save the changes. 
    Enable the Allow widgets policy
Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

Expert Tip

[FIX] ‘We Can’t Retrieve Your Tasks Right Now’ Widgets Error on Windows 11

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