Windows

How do I remove items from the Windows 10 Timeline?

Remove items from Windows 10 Timeline
Get shot: remove sensitive items from the Windows 10 Timeline

If you’ve updated to the latest version of Windows 10, you’ve by now probably encountered the Timeline – a quick way to access files and documents you’ve previously used on your PC. If not, click that weird little icon next to the search box and scroll down. But what if your Timeline includes your secret plans to elope with Keith next door or the nuclear codes you keep in an Excel spreadsheet. How do you remove items from the Windows 10 Timeline to keep them from prying eyes on a shared PC?

Remove items from the Windows 10 Timeline

Obliterating items from the Windows 10 Timeline is pretty easy. Scroll down to the item in question, right-click on it and select Remove.

Remove items from Windows 10 Timeline

If you were working on a batch of sensitive documents on a certain day, the drop-down menu also gives you the option to make that entire day’s Timeline vanish.

What if you don’t like the idea of Windows 10 keeping track of everything you’re working on in the first place? Well, you can disable the Timeline entirely.

How to disable the Windows 10 Timeline

Type “activity” into the Windows 10 search bar and click on Activity History Privacy Settings in the search results.

Now untick the boxes that say ‘Let Windows collect my activities from this PC’ and ‘Let Windows sync my activities from this PC to the cloud’. Also switch off the button under ‘Show activities from accounts’.

Now read this: how do I put different wallpapers on each virtual desktop in Windows 10?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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  • How do you remove Timeline from your PC? I’ve found that most non-Microsoft apps don’t show up in Timeline. Even though I’ve disabled Timeline, it continues to take up most of the space in Task View (4 dual screen desktops). How can I get rid of it?

      • I was just on a call with windows support.

        disabling “let windows collect my activities” is not a PERMANENT solution.

        It seems there is not a permanent disable, it will reset to on after EVERY RESTART!!!

        Also,

        I have grey’ed out stuff from yesterday after clearing all activities from settings, unclicking both boxes.

        I cannot remove it by clearing all the days activities, nor will “remove” work.

        It is there to stay.

        Also,

        it seems the only way to disable timeline from even showing up in task view, is through “group policy” editor or by editing the registry itself.

        This is a HUGE invasion of privacy to me by windows, for not allowing you to disable timeline completely, nor allowing you to stop collection PERMANENTLY!

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