Microsoft 'Timeline' for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update lets you go back and resume apps and documents

Windows 10 Cloud Wallpaper
Windows 10 Cloud Wallpaper (Image credit: Microsoft)

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will introduce a number of new features for users, including one that allows users to go back to an earlier snapshot of their systems, and restore open programs and documents with a feature called Timeline, which was unveiled today at Microsoft's Build developer conference.


Timeline allows the user to jump back in time to find what they were working on. It works with a visual feature that has a scrollbar, allowing you to scrub through your history of open apps, documents and more, and then restoring that session. The feature is seamless, with the ability to hop back into a previous session as if it had never been left.

The Timeline feature essentially allows the user to rewind their system to a previous point in time, similar to how you would rewind a movie. Rewind back to the point in which you wish to resume from, and your system will restore itself as if it had never progressed passed that point.

Timeline is a new feature that's part of the Fall Creators Update coming later this year.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • This would result in more bits for coding enlarging file sizes...
  • Your comment makes zero sense to me.
  • so its a bit more granular of a System Restore that takes into account running applications? What about documents that had been saved with changes. I liked how System Restore skipped over that and left them alone.
  • But it would be instant if I understood it correctly.. Effects on documents does interest me too
  • This sounds more like a virtual machine snapshot that you can return to.  I'm curious to see how it works.  It would be pretty much instant as you'd be connecting to the VM snapshot and all your current work would keep running.
  • While I see the similarities, are we assuming that Windows 10 is now basically an OS in an OS... basically a VM running in some hypervisor?
  • It basically already is.  Think about how it deploys the base Windows image these days.
  • this is really cool feature! i want to see that in action and if that will require more powefull pc than just normal windows 10 device?
  • Make the icon for timeline the Prince of Persia Sands of Time device. :D
  • Nice reference.
  • Prince of Persia is an Ubisoft franchise. I would rather see some sort of reference to Project Promenade, Monarch Solutions or the CFR. Although I bet not many people would get the reference when they make the icon an egg ;)
  • Tbh I think a TARDIS would be apt for this
  • Hmmm! Reminded me of TimeMachine on OSX☺. Excellent feature! Can't wait!
  • Holy.... Crap...
  • Say more... ;-)
  • Sounds like this is the Windows version of Time Machine from MacOS. Good addition!
  • Windows already has that: File History.
  • So, let me get this straight: It's something like a browser history mixed with System Restore and File History? That's pretty neat.
  • I hope it works better than snapshots in vm center. They always work great until they dont ;).
  • So in the fall, it'll sudenly be absent.  And then they will be talking about the next update (Thombstone ;-)) and this will go the way of the Dodo.  Much anounceware, but in the end there is nothing to anounce.
  • Oh, great...yet another place I need to hide my porn history.....
  • So, Windows' version of macOS' Time Machine? Sounds nice :)
  • Windows already had File History. This sounds like something much more than Time Machine.
  • But you could not restore a system with just File History like you can with Time Machine on a Mac. So it really does sound like Microsoft's version of Time Machine.
  • Sounds technically impressive but I'm curious how it handles saved changes and if you're able to undo your rewind if you make a mistake.
  • Yeah, I'm thinking the same
  • This was easily the best thing they showed today. I imagine myself living in this place and not even looking for files and programs anywhere else.
  • Flash point
  • I would sure like to see this in action. This is looking like the next level of System restore, and it could bring one massive advantage Titanium Backup offers on Android to Windows; restoring specific app versions and their data, in case an update breaks it, all that without needing to reboot the entire device.
  • I can definitely use this. I IT guys have the computers update and reboot every Tuesday. I leave files and emails open to remind myself of things I need to look at later. Every Tuesday, I walk into to a blank windows desktop and have to remember what I had open.
  • Would be really great if this is going to work across devices.
  • Looks incredibly useful. Lots of questions though, as others have pointed out. How does it handle changes made to documents? Uninstalled apps? Privacy controls (e.g. you clear your browser history but now you can undo that?)? I'm assuming they've thought about all these scenarios and more, so we'll see...very exciting times!
  • I'm not sure if it would be useful for a gaming pc but it's for free, the more the better! thank you Microsoft ;)
  • Hey Zac Bowden, You should write up how this compares to Apple's Time Machine, and Windows file History and System Restore. I don't this a lot of people were gfamiliar of what Windows has offered for a long time now...
  • how can I open the timeline