Microsoft recently unveiled a range of AI-powered Windows PCs labeled Copilot Plus PCs, which come with a selection of new features. These new features are quite impressive, allowing you to create and edit images using AI on your device, offering improvements in video and voice calls, and helping you do things faster in your favorite apps.

There is also a feature that will supposedly record everything you do on your PC, allowing you to quickly get back to whatever you were doing without needing to browse through different files and applications. Here is everything you need to know about this feature which Microsoft has named Recall.

Recall. Source: Microsoft

What is Recall And How Does it Work?

Recall is a new Windows feature powered by AI that will be present on the newly announced Copilot Plus PCs. It is designed to quickly help you return to a specific task by offering snapshots of your activities on the system. Recall continuously records everything that happens on your screen, so you can search through the various activities.

It serves as a photographic memory for your Windows computer and allows you to access whatever you have seen or done in an organized manner through queries. Recall makes use of a timeline through which you can scroll to find content from different applications, websites, and documents.

Besides this, Recall can suggest actions you can take by utilizing snapshots, such as returning to a conversation in Microsoft Teams. You can even search through live videos and meetings, and the feature is similar to the Timeline feature which was present in Windows 10 before being discontinued in 2021.

However, Recall is integrated directly into Windows 11 and uses AI to help your PC remember the things you do and see on it. Users can also control the information that Recall will record, and the personal semantic index that the AI builds works at the hardware level so all data remains on your device.

You can adjust and delete time ranges in the timeline, pause the feature, exclude specific websites and applications from being recorded, and even delete snapshots when you want.

What Are the Requirements For Recall?

Recall is a new Windows feature that will be available on Copilot Plus PCs. These Windows computers have specific hardware that provides them with the capabilities to perform AI-powered functions.

A Copilot Plus PC will have a Neural Processing Unit or NPU capable of 40 TOPS (trillions of operations per second), 16 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage with 50 GB for Recall. According to Microsoft, Recall will use around 25 GB of storage space, which can store three months of information.

If you want, you can increase this allocation and Windows will delete older snapshots to create space for new ones. Recall will be rolled out in a few languages, including English, French, Spanish, Japanese, German, and Chinese (simplified).

How Can You Use Recall?

Copilot Plus PCs will have the Recall icon present on the taskbar, through which users can access it. To change what it will record, you will need to open the Settings app. When you launch Recall, you will see a single search bar along with a list of search results.

In Microsoft's demo, the feature was shown to work with Microsoft 365 apps, Edge Browser, and File Explorer. Results will appear as visuals or text drawn from your history of using the device.

Privacy Concerns

As with any software that constantly tracks and records things you do on your PC, Recall raises some very serious privacy concerns. Microsoft claims that all your data will be encrypted and stored locally on your device and connected to your account. As per the company, user data will not be uploaded to the cloud.

Anyone who does not have access to your Windows profile will not be able to access the data recorded by Recall. All screenshots will be completely encrypted, and even two separate user profiles cannot access each other's data on the same machine.

However, if someone gains access to your profile, they can see all sensitive information recorded by the feature. This raises the question of how Microsoft plans to protect user data stored locally on your PC.

Recall will not record the Edge browser's InPrivate mode, but it is unclear whether this also applies to other browsers. Similarly, DRM-protected content will not be recorded. As for the things Recall will not hide, these include typed passwords, financial information, or sensitive documents.

Microsoft has not clarified whether any part of the AI process will be handled by the cloud or not. Additionally, you may have to take steps to ensure Recall won't start recording everything automatically right from the get-go, such as specific websites or private photos.

Microsoft's new Recall feature is similar to Rewind, a third-party app for Mac that records user activities for later playback. However, unlike Rewind, Recall will be baked into Windows 11 and will be available only on Copilot Plus PCs, at least in the beginning.

While the feature can potentially help users save a lot of time and avoid headaches locating the right app or website they were using earlier, the privacy concerns surrounding it need to be addressed properly. Currently, the app is under review before it launches, and we hope Microsoft implements additional safeguards to ensure complete user safety and privacy before it becomes publicly available.