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Using timeline

Note: Cross-device syncing of Microsoft Entra user activity history will stop starting in January 2024. Microsoft will stop storing this data in the cloud, aligning with the previous change for Microsoft accounts (MSA) in 2021. The timeline user experience was retired in Windows 11, although it remains in Windows 10. The timeline user experience and all your local activity history still remains on Windows 10 devices. Users can access web history using their browser and access recent files through OneDrive and Office.

It's easy to forget what we were working on, especially when it was days or weeks ago. Timeline helps you jump back into something you were doing – like working on a document or browsing a website.

Timeline is a feature that first appeared in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. The feature lives on your taskbar and enhances Task View to show you currently running apps and past activities. By default, timeline shows you snapshots of the things you were working on from earlier in the day or a specific past date. An annotated scrollbar lets you know where you are in your timeline, and if you’d rather not scroll, you can search for the item or activity you’d like to pick back up. 

To get started with timeline, select Task View on the taskbar, or press Windows logo key  + Tab, and select an activity. 

There are several things you can do to control what timeline shows: 

  • To limit the accounts displayed in timeline, select the Start  button > Settings  > Privacy > Activity history, and then turn off the accounts you don’t want to show in your timeline under Show activities from accounts.

  • To remove an activity from timeline, right-click an activity card and select Remove. You can clear all items from an entire day by right-clicking an activity card and selecting Clear all from Earlier Today (or for whatever time you’re viewing).

  • To clear all activities from timeline, select the Start  button > Settings  > Privacy > Activity history > Clear activity history.

  • To clear timeline activities saved to the cloud, select the Start  button > Settings  > Privacy > Activity history > Manage my Microsoft Account activity data.

  • To prevent web-browsing activities from showing up, select the More icon in Microsoft Edge, and then select New InPrivate window.

Microsoft helps you stay in control of your privacy and takes data protection seriously. 

For more info, see Windows 10 activity history and your privacy

  1. Select the Start  button > Settings  > Privacy > Activity history, then clear the check box next to Show my activity history on this device and Send my activity history to Microsoft.

  2. Scroll down to Show activities from accounts and make sure the toggle(s) is set to Off.

  3. Scroll down to Clear activity history and select Clear.

  4. If you sign in with a Microsoft account, select Manage my Microsoft Account activity data to clear your information saved to the cloud.

Troubleshooting timeline

Make sure you’re running the latest version of Windows. That way, you’ll have the newest features, like timeline, and the latest security protection. To check: 

  1. On your PC, select the Start  button, then select Settings  > System > About. Your PC should be running version 1803 or later. 

  2. If your PC isn't running version 1803 or later yet, select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Update & Security and select Check for updates to install the latest version of Windows 10. 

You’ll also want to be sure that the Task View wasn’t accidentally turned off. To check: 

  1. Right-click a blank spot on the taskbar. 

  2. Select the Show Task View button. 

Note: Using your work PC? Check with your organization’s IT administrator to see if timeline is allowed. 

It could be because the app that you used to create an activity – let’s say, Microsoft Word – isn’t installed on the PC you’re currently using to view timeline. Also, documents can’t be opened if they were moved, deleted, or stored on a different PC than the one you’re currently using.

If you try the troubleshooting steps and are still having issues with timeline, use the Feedback Hub app to let us know. You can even attach some screenshots or recreate a problem to help us see what you’re experiencing.

To open the Feedback Hub app, select the Start  button, and then select Feedback Hub.

Note: If you haven’t download the Feedback Hub app, select the Start  button and select Microsoft Store  from the app list or select it from the task bar. In Microsoft Store, type Feedback Hub in the Search box, and then select and download the app.

For more info, see Send feedback to Microsoft with the Feedback Hub app.

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