Microsoft recently announced a new line of PCs at their Surface event – Copilot Plus PCs. Among other things, one of the features that stood out was Recall. This AI functionality records everything you do on your PC to help you find anything in a jiffy.

Microsoft launches a Windows AI feature that records everything you do on your PC
Do you need another set of eyes watching your every move?

Recall takes a snapshot of your PC every five seconds and stores it locally on your device to allow searching for it later. As expected, such a feature has inspired quite a controversy where scores of users are extremely worried about privacy and even system resources. But the good news is that you can turn off the feature, either during setting up your new PC or later from Settings. Let's see how, shall we?

You can turn off the Recall feature during setup of your Copilot+ PC or while creating a new user account (Recall is set up separately for each user account). During setup, while the information screen for Recall appears, you can click on the option to manage your Recall and Snapshots preferences and turn off the feature. However, Recall will be set up by default if you don't take any action during setup.

  1. To turn it off later, open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to 'Privacy & Security' from the menu on the left.
  3. Then, go to 'Recall & Snapshots'.
  4. Here, turn off the toggle for 'Save Snapshots'.
Source: Microsoft

Windows will no longer save any snapshots of your PC to be used with the Recall feature. To use the feature again, you'll need to enable the toggle again.

You can also temporarily pause it if you want to use the feature most of the time but only want to turn it off at certain times when you're really concerned about privacy. Click the 'Recall' icon from the system tray on your PC. Then, click the 'Pause' button.

Source: Microsoft

You can also exclude certain apps and websites from Recall or delete certain snapshots while otherwise keeping the feature enabled.

IT administrators can also disable the Recall feature for users in their enterprise by using the 'Turn off saving snapshots for Windows' policy. When this policy is used, any existing snapshots will automatically be deleted from all PCs, and device users won't be able to turn the feature on.

A feature that records data at such a magnitude was prone to create some worries and paranoia among users about how their data will be collected. While Microsoft ensures that the data collection for Recall is done entirely locally on PCs, the company has also given users complete control to turn off the feature and made it easy to do so. So, if you're not yet ready to have AI record and analyze your entire usage history on your PC, you can disable it using the steps outlined above.