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Microsoft Introduces AI-Powered Recall Feature for Windows 11 PCs

At the Build conference, Microsoft unveiled a new AI-powered feature called “Recall” for Copilot+ PCs. This feature allows Windows 11 users to search and retrieve past activities on their PC. Recall records everything users do, including app activities, meeting communications, and websites visited. While the data is encrypted and stored locally, there are privacy concerns among users.

Recall uses the advanced processing capabilities of Copilot+ PCs to take snapshots of your active screen every few seconds. These snapshots are encrypted and saved on your PC’s hard drive. Users can search for specific content or scroll through a timeline of snapshots to find what they need. Recall can also search through teleconference meetings and videos, transcribing and translating speech with AI.

Despite Microsoft’s assurances, there are privacy worries. For instance, anyone with access to your Windows account could see everything you’ve been doing on your PC. This could be more serious than just embarrassing moments; it could endanger journalists or perceived enemies of the state.


Microsoft emphasizes that Recall data is stored locally and encrypted. Screenshots are tied to a specific user profile and are not shared with others or used by Microsoft for ads. Users can pause, stop, or delete captured content and exclude specific apps or websites from being recorded. Recall won’t take snapshots of InPrivate browsing sessions in Microsoft Edge or DRM-protected content, but it doesn’t hide sensitive information like passwords.

Using Recall requires a new “Copilot Plus PC” with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite chips and at least 256GB of storage, with 50GB available. The default storage for Recall is 25GB, enough for about three months of snapshots. Users can adjust this allocation, and old snapshots are deleted when storage is full.

Currently, Recall is in preview, and Microsoft is collecting feedback to improve the feature and develop more controls for enterprise customers.


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