How to Use Timeline Feature in Windows 10?

Web browsers track your online activities and store a history of all the websites you have visited, making it easier to go back to a previous site. Now Microsoft has brought this experience to Windows 10 operating system. With the new Windows 10 timeline feature, users can review their history of activities and resume to a previous task with ease.

What is Windows 10 Timeline Feature?

The timeline feature in Windows 10 is an extension of the task view that tracks all your activity on the PC including files that you work on, app, folders and browser among others. It lists your recently accessed apps, documents and web pages, allowing you to return right to where you left off. Moreover, with the help of Cortana, timeline syncs all your activities from devices that are signed in to your Microsoft account. Here is how to use the timeline feature in Windows 10.

Enabling Timeline Feature in Windows 10

To use the timeline feature, you need to first activate by allowing Windows to collect your activities.

  • To do so, press the “Win + I” keys on the keyboard to open the settings app and go to “Privacy” settings.
  • Select “Activity history” from the left sidebar menu and then on the right pane tick the checkbox to allow Windows to track your activities from the device.
  • You may also tick the second option to synchronize your activities to the cloud.
Enable Timeline in Windows 10
Enable Timeline in Windows 10
  • Moreover, you can turn on/off the activities for a particular account by sliding the toggle button next to the account.
  • To clear history for a given account, click the “Clear” button under the title, “Clear activity history” just below the list of the accounts.
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Accessing and Using the Timeline Feature in Windows 10

  • To access the timeline, you can click the task view icon on the taskbar or press the “Win + Tab” keys on the keyboard.
Task View in Windows 10
Task View in Windows 10

This will open the task view interface, showing your currently open windows at the top followed by the timeline. The timeline shows a list of your recent activities from a specific date or earlier in the day.

  • If you have many open windows, you may have to scroll down to view the timeline. Click and hold the sliding scroll bar on the right side of the screen and scroll down to see past activities.
  • The scroll bar is labelled from now at the top to a previous date at the bottom.

Using the Windows 10 Timeline

The idea behind the timeline feature is to enable Windows 10 users to get back to a previous activity with ease. The feature shows the number of all the activities for the day next to day but only displays only a handful of the entries by default.

  • To see all the activities for the day, click the “See all activities” link.
See Activities
See Activities
  • This will display the activities grouping them by the time they happened. You can return to the activity by clicking on the entry.
Activity List
Activity List
  • To restore the default view, click the “see only top activities” link next to the date.
  • If you are looking for a particular activity from the timeline, you can search for an entry by typing the name on the search box located at the top of the task view interface.
Search Activities
Search Activities
  • To view more days in the timeline history, scroll down to the bottom of the window and click the “turn on” button under the “See more days in Timeline”.
More History
More History

How to Remove Entries from the Timeline?

Windows 10 allows you to remove a single activity or all the activities on a particular day.

  • Right click on the activity you want to remove and you will see three options on the context menu.
    • “Open” – Restores the activity from the timeline.
    • “Remove” – Deletes the specific activity from the timeline.
    • “Remove all from…”- Deletes all activities for the specified date.
Remove Activities
Remove Activities

Synchronizing the Timeline across Your Windows 10 Devices

You can sync the timeline to view your activities on all your Windows 10 devices. Clicking the “Turn on” button at the bottom of the timeline syncs your activities to the Microsoft cloud. However, you do not have to turn on the sync on all your devices. For instance, if you sync timeline on your home PC, you can view the activities of the PC from your work device or your mobile phone but you cannot view the activities of the other devices from the home computer if the sync on the devices is turned off.

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