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Microsoft could be calling time on one of Windows 10’s more useless features

Windows 10 on Surface
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Windows 10’s Timeline feature has lost the ability to sync across different devices,  prompting speculation that it might be on the chopping block in the future.

Thurrott.com spotted a Microsoft blog post for the latest Windows 10 preview build which reveals that Timeline no longer syncs your activity history across your different Windows 10 devices via your Microsoft account.

As you may recall, Timeline was introduced with much fanfare a few years ago, in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, allowing you to track back through your desktop activity – and syncing across Windows 10 devices, as well as Android. However, Timeline was ditched from Android (specifically the Microsoft Launcher) last year.

Business as usual

Microsoft wrote: “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. AAD-connected accounts won’t be impacted. 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.”

So, the thing to note here is that Azure Active Directory (AAD) business (or education) users will still maintain cross-device syncing with Timeline, but normal Windows 10 users no longer benefit from this.

However, Microsoft clarifies: “Note: Timeline and all your local activity history still remain on Windows 10.”

Meaning that Timeline isn’t going anywhere for your average Windows 10 user, but now you can only access the data it provides locally. But given this stripping back of its functionality, combined with the previous Android move, you have to wonder if Timeline’s days are now numbered.

Plenty of folks are certainly pondering that very proposition, doubtless bearing in mind that Timeline isn’t exactly a popular feature. We’ve certainly never bothered with it, and we are not alone looking at some of the online chatter on this topic – that said, there are no doubt folks out there who do get mileage from this functionality.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).