Windows 10: Microsoft restricts uploads to Timeline in latest preview

What is Microsoft planning for the Windows 10 Timeline? Build 21359 for the Dev Channel offers a clue.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Microsoft has made a notable change to its Timeline activity history feature in the latest preview of Windows 10.

Timeline, which Microsoft introduced with the Fall Creators Update in 2018, shows users what they've been up to on their local machine, and also used cards to allow them to more quickly re-engage with applications across Windows 10 and mobile devices.

In a blogpost announcing the latest preview of Windows 10, Microsoft says that users won't be able to upload new activity in Timeline if the user's activity history is synced across devices with a Microsoft Account.

SEE: Windows 10 Start menu hacks (TechRepublic Premium)

"If you have your activity history synced across your devices through your Microsoft account (MSA), you will no longer have the option to upload new activity in Timeline. [Azure Active Directory] AAD-connected accounts won't be impacted," Microsoft says in release notes. 

The AAD reference means that the change won't impact enterprise and education customers with an AAD account.

"To view web history, Edge and other browsers have the option to look back at recent web activities. You can also view recently used files using OneDrive and Office," Microsoft adds. 

The move prompted some speculation that Microsoft might be killing off Timeline. Timeline syncing with Android devices was available through the Microsoft Launcher app, but as Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott notes, it was nixed in the Launcher in late 2020, making it a Windows 10 feature only. 

Microsoft has since clarified that it is not removing Timeline in Windows 10. 

"Timeline and all your local activity history still remain on Windows 10," the company said. 

SEE: New Windows 10 builds arrive with April 2021 Patch Tuesday updates

The change takes effect in the Windows 10 Build 21359 for the Dev Channel.

Microsoft has also rolled out its news and interests feature in the Windows 10 Taskbar to all users in the Dev Channel, and there's a new option in the Start menu to restart apps after signing in when a device is rebooted. 

Editorial standards