New Windows AI Feature Records Your PC Activity

At a Build conference event, Microsoft unveiled a new AI-powered feature named “Recall” for Copilot+ PCs, enabling Windows 11 users to search and retrieve past activities on their computers. Recall records all user actions, including app usage, live meeting communications, and web research, stored locally on the PC’s hard drive and encrypted. Despite initial privacy concerns, Recall provides users with a way to review their activities using snapshots stored on their device.

“Recall utilizes advanced processing capabilities to capture screen images periodically,” Microsoft explains. “These snapshots are encrypted and stored locally, accessible through search or a timeline bar for quick navigation.”

By using Recall, users can access specific snapshots to understand past events or moments. The feature supports searching through teleconference transcripts and video playback using AI-generated transcriptions and translations. Despite potential privacy issues, Microsoft assures users that Recall’s index remains encrypted and tied to their specific account.

“Recall screenshots are tied only to the user profile and aren’t shared, viewed by Microsoft, or used for advertising,” Microsoft confirms. Users have control over captured content, including pausing, stopping, or deleting it, and excluding certain apps or websites from being recorded. Recall respects privacy by not capturing InPrivate web browsing sessions or DRM-protected content, but it doesn’t hide sensitive information like passwords or financial data visible on-screen.

Previously explored in Windows 10’s Timeline feature, Recall differs by taking continuous snapshots, a feature similar to the third-party app Rewind for Mac. The feature requires new Copilot Plus PCs powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite chips, with specific storage requirements and options to manage storage allocation.

Microsoft states that Recall is currently in preview, gathering feedback to enhance controls for enterprise users and overall user experience.