Recent builds of Windows 10 feature a new Timeline feature, that allows users to review their activity history and quickly return to their previous tasks. If you find no use for this feature, let's see how to disable it with a Registry tweak or with a special Group Policy option.
Microsoft made Timeline available to the public with Windows 10 build 17063 of the Redstone 4 branch. According to the press release, the company is thinking of simplifying how you can get back to stuff you were working on in the past. The user can easily forget which site or app he was using or where he saved a file. Timeline is a new tool which will allow the user to get right back to where he left off.
How it works
Timeline is integrated with the Task View feature and can be opened with an updated taskbar icon. Running apps and virtual desktops now appear above the Timeline area. Timeline's groups occupy the entire area below it. Activities are organized by dates for the last 30 days. Once you click on a group, it is expanded to a view organized by hours.
Timeline is only enabled for users who sign in with their Microsoft Account. If you are using a local account, then it is not available for you.
To manage Timeline, Microsoft has added a new option that allows managing your activity history. The collected activity history allows the user to quickly go through what he was doing with applications, files, web pages or other tasks on your PC. In order to resume the activities, Windows 10 collects the activity history.
In my previous article, I've covered how to disable Timeline using Settings. If you are a system administrator or prefer using Group Policy, here are two more ways to get rid of Timeline. You must be signed in with an administrative account to continue.
Disable Timeline in Windows 10
- Open the Registry Editor app.
- Go to the Registry key.
See how to go to a Registry key with one click.
- On the right, create a new 32-Bit DWORD value EnableActivityFeed.
Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
Leave its value data as 0.
- Restart Windows 10.
This will disable the Timeline feature.
You might want to download ready-to-use Registry files:
The undo tweak is included.
Disable Timeline using Local Group Policy Editor
If you are running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor app to configure the options mentioned above with a GUI.
- Press Win + R keys together on your keyboard and type:
- Group Policy Editor will open. Go to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\OS Policies. Set the policy option Enables Activity Feed to Disabled as shown below.
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We strongly advise disabling Timeline.
A similar product installed with Office 2000, which may have been Timeline’s ancestor, redundantly stored too many versions of documents, filling up C drives and crashing windows. We required a policy change to disable it for thousands of users.
(formerly an Active Directory and Exchange Server admin)
I disabled it via group policy (with the 1803 admx) but in Settings>Privacy>Activity History the “Let Windows collect my activity” is still cheched (and greyed).
Thanks for the tips, the work you put into it and the effort, so before I say anything else: keep up the good work, you’re doing a good job!
Now to the bad news, sadly enough none of these fixes and tweaks worked for me. I started by shutting everything off the way you are supposed to in Windows, and then I moved on to the register changes.
But alas; my PC is still randomly jumping in and out of the Task View/Timeline, sometimes it flashes and flicker so fast back and forth you can barely see what’s going on! If this keeps up I will get an epileptic grand mall attack or something even worse. An ironic twist of fate; when I try to enter the Task View/Timeline on purpose in order to try to understand it and maybe use it for something nothing happens.
So, a completely random and useless function I have absolutely no control over and can’t get rid of blocking me from using my computer? In my opinion that is by far the closest Microsoft ever have come to create a virus within the Windows system, and God knows they have been trying for a long, long time…
I’m still impressed by your site and your tips, I just had a bit of bad luck with this one, so keep it up!