Microsoft’s faster iterations for Windows 10 development have allowed it to experiment with new and sometimes exciting features sooner than it would have been able to in the pre-Windows 10 era. For better or worse, however, that also means it is able to change those features faster, which sometimes means actually removing them. That is what seems to be happening with one of Windows 10 most unique features as Timeline gets stripped of what actually makes it more than just a fancy task switcher.
Introduced back in 2018, Windows 10’s Timeline was designed to keep a log of what you do on your PC. That includes not just the windows you have currently opened but also the files, apps, and websites you may have already closed. In other words, it offers a visual representation of your activity history, allowing you to jump back in time to go back to those sites and apps.
Timeline’s selling feature, however, was its ability to sync that data with other Windows 10 devices as well as Android phones. This enables a “pick up where you left off” workflow that makes it easier to juggle and switch between multiple devices, as long as they’re logged in to the same Microsoft account. In a few months, however, that will no longer be the case.
An otherwise brief changelog for the Windows 10 Insider Preview build 21359 that syncing new activity history across devices will no longer be possible, suggesting that the next Windows 10 update will disable this feature. That activity history will, however, continue to exist but will only be local to the machine. Timeline will still work in essence, but only on a per PC basis.
Given that Microsoft actually removed activity history syncing from the Microsoft Launcher on Android, this change doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. It might only be a matter of time before Timeline gets shuttered or integrated into some other Windows 10 feature. Microsoft does note that AAD-connected accounts aren’t affected by this change and that Microsoft Edge, OneDrive, and Office sync their individual activity histories anyway.