How to Revisit Your Past Work in Windows 10 with Timeline

By Andy Rathbone

Timeline, one of the big new features in the latest Windows 10 update, brings several surprises. In the past, a click on the Task View button merely showed your currently open windows, allowing you to return to them with a click.

But the Spring update adds a new twist: Not only can you return to currently open windows, but you can fetch windows you’ve used within the past 30 days, letting you quickly reopen past projects.

Timeline view lists your currently open windows along the top, just as before. But just beneath them and separated by calendar dates, you now see previously opened windows. To scroll down quickly to windows you’d opened on previous dates, drag the sliding bar along the screen’s right edge until you see either your desired window or the date you worked on that window.

Windows 10 timeline
Windows 10 Timeline view.

Click on a miniature window from the past, and it appears in the present, ready for you to work again.

A Search box in the upper-right corner lets you filter the results. Type the name of a program, a few words from a previously opened website, or a filename, and Windows hides the windows that don’t match your search term.

To zero in on everything you opened on a certain day, click the words See All Activities next to that particular date; every window you opened that day will appear in miniature, ready to be reopened with a click.

Don’t want Windows to remember so much of your work history? Open the Settings app, choose the Privacy section, and open the Activity History section from the left column. There, you can turn off Microsoft’s data collection in the Activity History section.