I am running into a strange problem with project and was wondering if anyone has been able to solve this problem. I don't want project to change any of my dates based on changing %complete OR have anything to do with the status date. I simply want the task to remain scheduled "as is" with a fixed duration, irrelevant to resources or % complete, or the status date, and based solely on the predecessor constraints setting the start and completion dates. Things I've tried: "unchecked" all the boxes in the advanced calculation section, and removed all the resources. Used fixed duration and fixed units. No matter, it continues to move my tasks around putting these strange little dots before or after the task on the Gantt chart whenever I edit the %complete. The only thing that seems to "fix" the problem is putting in 0% complete and 0 days for the task duration and then adding the days back into the task duration. It then puts the task back into the correct start and finish window and I can re enter the %complete. Does anyone know how to fix this annoying problem?

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    What if a task is late? Are you going to keep it in the past?
    – TTKDroid
    Feb 28, 2016 at 20:50
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    Why are you using a tool that is intended to maintain dates if you don't want to maintain dates? Why not switch to a spreadsheet?
    – MCW
    Oct 17, 2016 at 13:44
  • Look Danny Schoemann answer. You can start your plan with the type Manually Schedule then you establish your baseline, you can change the taks as Auto-Schedule and it won't move your fixed dates but will start moving accordingly. Dec 16, 2021 at 4:48

4 Answers 4


I don't currently have access to MS-Project, but I clearly recall there being an option to set the scheduling to MANUAL (or "Do not recalculate automatically").

IIRC this option can be set globally and for each individual project.

answers.microsoft.com says it can be found under File > Options, Schedule - Calculation.

There are probably other settings that affect your dates, like making tasks dependent on each other and sharing resources for tasks.


These people are completely wrong. It is not inconsistent with the design of Project. Project is absolutely designed to deal with tasks that have to start on a particular date regardless of what comes for before them, how long those tasks, or when they are scheduled. They are called constraints and can be set in the Task Information under the Advanced tab.

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    Really, smart guy? So if you put a must finish on constraint of June 15, but on June 20 you are 50% complete, should the schedule still read you are going to finish on June 15? Go back in time and finish things up real good? Jun 19, 2016 at 23:41

"these people" are not wrong at all. MS project and every other critical path based planning tool will always update the dates based on user input and the movement of time or data. If you don't want this to happen, use another type of tool.


You are asking the schedule to function in a manner inconsistent with its design. The dates are supposed to move. The baseline dates never change so use those fields if you want to see constant dates. Else, use a spreadsheet.

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