How to use Timeline on Windows 10

How to use Timeline on Windows 10

The timeline allows you to look back over the past 30 days of history across several applications and devices. Here’s how to use it.

The Windows 10 timeline was added in Windows 10 April 2018 Update. Located in Task View, this allows you to get a brief overview of what you are working on, with support for up to 30 days of history.

Clicking on the relevant results will, very quickly load the document, image, or website, which allows you to dive right into what you are doing.

Here’s how to use the Timeline on Windows 10.

Where can I find the Timeline?

Although it was released with Windows 10 in 2015, very few people think of using Display Tasks regularly. Because it functions as a hub for multitasking on Windows 10, so it makes sense if the Timeline can be accessed here.

Just click Windows + Tab to start, or there is a special Task View button next to Cortana on the taskbar by default.


Don’t get confused with the Alt + Tab shortcut, which allows you to quickly switch between open windows. Both can be effective in increasing your multitasking abilities.

After the task is displayed, simply scroll down to the Timeline view, while you can also swipe if using the touch screen. For more detailed control, there is a slider that allows you to choose a specific date from the last 30 days.

The timeline might be turned off by default, in which case you should be asked to turn it on.


Because muscle memory is a very powerful thing, it’s a pity there is no option to bring up Task View when you press Alt-Tab. That can’t be changed, because the next big update that comes to Windows 10 will include a feature called Sets. This will display the items that are grouped when you press Alt-Tab.

How does the Timeline work?

This is turned on by default, and keeps track of the documents you edit, the images you open in applications such as Photoshop, and the web pages you see.

Unfortunately, everything is very Microsoft-centric. So, you will mainly see documents from Office applications, and a website will appear (just like PDF) if you see it on Microsoft Edge. However, that is starting to change, and the Timeline now supports the Chrome tab.

To get started, just download the Microsoft ‘Web Activity’ extension from the Chrome Web Store and sign in with your Microsoft account details.

And unless you log in with a Microsoft account, you will only see a history of a few days. Signing in allows you to scroll back up to 30 days.

If you want to adjust the Timeline settings, open the Settings application and go to Privacy.

If you want to adjust the Timeline settings at any time, go to Settings> Privacy> Activity history, where you will see two options:

  • Let Windows collect my activities from this PC
  • Let Windows synchronize my activities from this PC to the cloud


If you deactivate it, the Timeline will not work.

If you disable the second option, your activity history will not be synchronized to other devices that are logged in with the same Microsoft account.

This is where the Timeline can be very useful. If you check both settings, you can continue editing Word documents on other devices if you don’t have time to finish before leaving office, for example.

When you click on one of the ‘activity’ tiles, it will open the application and the file that you are working on.

Added Chrome support for Timeline in 2019 Microsoft listens to users. We hope that compatibility continues to grow, because this proves to be a very useful feature.

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