Activity history helps keep track of the things you do on your device, such as the apps and services you use, the files you open, and the websites you browse. Your activity history is stored locally on your device, and if you’ve signed in to your device with a work or school account and have given your permission, Windows sends your activity history to Microsoft. Microsoft then uses the activity history data to provide you with personalized experiences (such as ordering your activities based on duration of use) and relevant suggestions (such as anticipating what your needs might be based on your activity history).

You can manage activity history settings to choose what to store and share.

Features that use activity history

The following Windows features use your activity history. Refer back to this page after Windows releases and updates to learn about any new services and features that use your activity history:

  • Timeline. See a timeline of activities and choose whether to resume those activities from your device. For example, let’s say that you are editing a Word document on your device, but you aren't able to finish before you have to stop working for the day. If you turn on the Store my activity history on this device setting on the Activity history settings page, you will see that Word activity in your timeline the following day—and for the next several days—and from there, you can resume working on it. And if you sign in with a work or school account, you can resume working on it from another device if the Send my activity history to Microsoft setting on the Activity history settings page is turned on in Windows 11, or if the Tailored experiences setting on the Diagnostics & feedback settings page is turned on in Windows 10.

  • Microsoft Edge. When you use Microsoft Edge Legacy, your browsing history will be included in your activity history. Activity history will not be saved when browsing with InPrivate windows.

Microsoft also uses your activity history to improve Microsoft products and services when the setting for sending your activity history to Microsoft is turned on. We do this by applying machine-learning techniques to better understand how customers in general use our products and services. We also diagnose where customers encounter errors and then help fix them.

Your Microsoft account settings don't allow you to send your activity history to Microsoft, but your activity history will be stored on your device to help keep track of the things you do.

Activity history for multiple accounts

For multiple accounts, activity history is collected and stored locally for each local account, Microsoft account, or work or school account that you have associated with your device in Settings > Accounts > Email & accounts. When you choose to send the activity history for your work or school account to Microsoft, activities from the primary work or school account on that device are sent to Microsoft. If you have more than one device, and you have multiple accounts on one or more of those devices, you can see activity history from your second device’s primary account on the first device (as a secondary account). You can also see these accounts in Windows 10 under Settings > Privacy > Activity history and in Windows 11 under Settings > Privacy & security > Activity history, where you can filter out activities from specific accounts from showing in your timeline. Hiding an account does not delete the data on the device, nor in the cloud.

To learn more about how Microsoft products and services use this data to personalize experiences while respecting your privacy, see the Privacy Statement.

Manage activity history settings

Activity history is customizable—at any time, you can choose to stop saving activity history or sending it to Microsoft.

Stop saving activity history locally on your device

  1. Select Start , then select Settings > Privacy & security > Activity history.

  2. Switch the Store my activity history on this device setting to Off.

Open Activity history settings

Note: If you turn this setting off, you won’t be able to use any of the on-device features that rely on activity history, such as your timeline. You will still be able to see your browsing history in Microsoft Edge.

Stop sending the activity history for your work or school account to Microsoft

  1. Select Start , then select Settings > Privacy & security > Activity history.

  2. Switch the Send my activity history to Microsoft setting to Off.

Note: Windows has additional privacy settings that control whether app activity and browsing history data is sent to Microsoft, such as the Diagnostic data setting.

You can clear and delete both the activity history stored on your device and the activity history that's sent to the Microsoft cloud. 

Clear your activity history

  1. Select Start , then select Settings > Privacy & security > Activity history.

  2. Next to Clear activity history for this account, select Clear history.

If you have multiple accounts, and your work or school account is the primary account on the device, then clearing your activity history will delete any of your work and/or school activity history that is synced to the cloud.

In your timeline, you can clear individual activities—or all activities—from an individual day. To do so, right-click an activity and select the option you prefer.

Stop saving activity history locally on your device

  1. Select Start , then select Settings > Privacy > Activity history.

  2. Clear the Store my activity history on this device checkbox.

Open Activity history settings

Notes: 

  • If you turn this setting off, you won’t be able to use any of the on-device features that rely on activity history, such as your timeline. You will still be able to see your browsing history in Microsoft Edge.

  • In previous versions of Windows, this setting was called Let Windows collect my activities from this PC.

Stop sending the activity history for your work or school account to Microsoft

  1. Select Start , then select Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback.

  2. Switch the Tailored experiences setting to Off.

Notes: 

  • In previous versions of Windows, this setting was called Let Windows sync my activities from this PC to the cloud.

  • Windows has additional privacy settings that control whether app activity and browsing history data is sent to Microsoft, such as the Diagnostic data setting.

You can clear and delete both the activity history stored on your device and the activity history that's sent to the Microsoft cloud. 

Clear your activity history

  1. Select Start , then select Settings > Privacy > Activity history.

  2. Under Clear activity history, select Clear.

If you have multiple accounts, and your work or school account is the primary account on the device, then clearing your activity history will delete any of your work and/or school activity history that is synced to the cloud.

In your timeline, you can clear individual activities—or all activities—from an individual day. To do so, right-click an activity and select the option you prefer.

Need more help?

Join the discussion

ASK THE COMMUNITY >

Get support

CONTACT US >

Thank you for your feedback!

×