Microsoft explains how to use Timeline on Windows 10

Microsoft shows off what's possible with Timeline and answer common questions about the new feature arriving with Windows 10 version 1803.

Timeline on Windows 10 demo
Timeline on Windows 10 demo

On Windows 10, Timeline is just an experience that allows you to get back to activities you’ve been working on in the past, and during a Mixer webcast (video removed), Microsoft demonstrated the feature fully and explained its functionalities.

The company explains that Timeline is just an extension of Task View that tracks and organizes your device’s activities using links. However, these links are deep links to specific content within an app, so you can quickly return to a task you were working on in the past. 

Also, Timeline groups your activities in chronological order by day, showing two rows of your top activities. Of course, you can always expand the group to see all your history for a particular day, which is organized hourly.

Microsoft unveiled during the demo that the activities available in Timeline are not just from one machine. It’s actually a collection of activities across all your devices that are connected to your Microsoft account. In addition, Timeline includes a search button in the top-right corner to complement the scrollbar to help find an activity more quickly.

Timeline on Windows 10 common questions and answers

Alongside the demonstration, Microsoft also answered a lot of common questions about Windows 10’s Timeline, including:

Is it possible to disable Timeline? 

Yes. You can turn off Timeline at any time using the Activity history settings page.

How far back in time can I go back with Timeline? 

Timeline tracks your last 30 days of activities. This is a fixed number, and you can’t change it.

Is it possible to reset the activities in Timeline? 

Yes. You can clear all your Timeline activities using the Settings app.

Can I use a keyboard shortcut to access Timeline? 

Yes. You can access Task View using the same keyboard shortcut (Windows key + Tab).

Does Timeline support a multi-monitor setup?

Yes. The timeline is part of the Task View experience, but it will only appear on the monitor on which you invoked the new experience.

Can I remove activities from Timeline?

Yes. It’s possible to remove individual activities by right-clicking the card and selecting Remove.

Do apps like Word need to be saved to appear in Timeline?

Yes. However, if you configure autosave on Word, the card will be created immediately in your timeline.

Is Timeline on Windows 10 a US-only or global feature? 

It’s a global feature. Timeline works on every edition of Windows 10 that uses a Microsoft account.

How does Timeline work across devices?

The same infrastructure is present on all your machines running Windows 10. As you start using your device, supported applications will create an activity card as you use them. These activities are then collected and uploaded to the cloud, and then synchronized across devices.

Does Timeline work with multiple Microsoft accounts?

Yes. It’s possible to view activities from different Microsoft accounts, but advanced configurations need to be set.

Does Timeline work with iOS and Android?

Sort of. Microsoft isn’t clear about Timeline coming to iOS and Android, but applications, such as those from Office can interact with Timeline.

Will an activity appear on a second machine even when the app isn’t installed?

Yes. If you start working on a Word document on your primary PC, the activity will appear in a secondary machine, even though, Office isn’t installed.

Can I still access Task View with Timeline?

Yes. Timeline is actually part of Task View, so you can still access your running apps and virtual desktops.

Can I exclude an app to appear in Timeline?


Can I check Timeline on the web?


Can I adjust the amount of days Timeline tracks?


Wrapping things up

Timeline was a originally a feature planned to arrive with Windows 10 version 1709 (Fall Creators Update), but it was pushed at the eleventh hour. Now, Microsoft is promising that it’ll ship with Windows 10 version 1803 expected to arrive in Spring of 2018, with a preview of Timeline arriving soon to participants of the Windows Insider Preview program.

What do you think about Timeline? Tell us in the comments.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].