The Windows 10 Task View originally showed users their open applications and virtual desktops. But earlier this year with the release of Windows 10 Version 1803, the company added a new feature to Task View called Timeline.
Beyond just showing your open application windows and desktops, Task View Timeline kept a record of what you did in those applications. For example, which websites you visited in Edge, which documents you edited in Word, and which pictures you viewed in the Photos app.
This kind of information can be extremely helpful — for example, “what was that article I read yesterday afternoon?” — but it can also be a serious privacy issue, especially if you share the same account with another user or keep your PC unlocked in a shared house or office. Timeline also “gets in the way” for users who prefer the simple traditional Task View layout of just their applications and desktops.
Thankfully, the Timeline feature is optional, so here’s how to turn off Task View Timeline in Windows 10. Note that we’re using Windows 10 1803 in these directions. The process may be different in future Windows versions so please let us know in the comments if you notice a change.
Turn Off Timeline
- Launch the Settings app and select Privacy.
- From the Privacy menu, select Activity History in the sidebar.
- To completely turn off Timeline and prevent your activity from being tracked and synced to your other Windows 10 devices, uncheck both boxes under Activity History.
- Find your user account at the bottom of the window and use the toggle switch to turn activity sharing off.
- Finally, to clear any existing activity data, click the Clear button and confirm when prompted.
Once you’ve turned off all forms of activity tracking and sharing, the Timeline feature will be disabled and you’ll see just the old familiar Task View interface when you click the Task View button the taskbar or use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Tab.