How-To

How to Use the New Windows 10 Timeline Feature in Version 1803

Timeline is a powerful new tool in Windows 10 Version 1803 that allows you to go back and access documents and apps you’ve been working on in the past.

One of the most anticipated new features slated for Windows 10 version 1803 aka “Spring Creators Update” is the Timeline feature. The feature is a more robust version of Task View (Alt + Tab). The new organizational tool was first introduced in preview build 17063 but was rumored to be coming to last year’s feature update. After those hiccups in development, it has finally made its way to version 1803 and is available for everyone. Here is a look at how to use it to help improve your daily workflow.

Using Windows 10 Timeline

To launch Timeline, you can click the new icon located next to the Cortana Search box on the Taskbar. Or, for keyboard warriors, hit Windows Key + Tab on your keyboard.

Timeline will display a history of apps and documents you have been using across synced Windows 10 devices. Microsoft calls them Activities and shows what you were working with at any given time. You can move the slider on the right with your mouse to scroll through (or swipe on a touchscreen) to view your past activities. Select the search icon and you can search through all of the Activities listed on Timeline. This will allow you to drill down on a specific document or app you were working on.

This isn’t just a look at currently open items, but a deep link to specific content within the apps. Each day will show two rows of Activities you were working on during that day. But that can vary depending on the resolution of your system’s screen. In each section, you can also select the See All Activities link if what you’re looking for isn’t immediately displayed.

You can also manage the activity that is stored or synced from device to device and from your Microsoft Account(s). Head to Settings > Privacy > Activity History. There you can check or uncheck the Let Windows collect my activities from this PC or Let Windows sync my activities from this PC to the cloud options. It’s worth noting that you can also clear activity history if you want a fresh start.

You should also know that Task View is still available, just hit Alt + Tab and you will see your open tasks like with earlier versions. But Timeline is like Task View on steroids.

You will probably notice that Timeline definitely works best with Microsoft apps like Edge, News, Weather, and Office 365. Not all developers have configured their apps to integrate with Timeline yet. But I’ve found most of them do — most importantly Chrome — and you might notice a few stragglers. But overall, this is a great new feature that feels like it should have been part of Windows 10 all along.

What is your take on Timeline on Windows 10? Do you use it to keep organized during the day or not so much? Let us know in the comment section below.


3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Windows is forcing this update for all the users, even after setting up a metered connection the download is starting automatically. The situation becomes worse when installation fails and update loop is repeated.

    • But it’s an update that you do only two times per year. Not a big deal for me.

  2. Normunds  

    So, its just a nice toy. No practical use. its not show all activates from all apps.

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