Microsoft postpones release of controversial Recall AI feature

14 Jun 2024

Image: © Jane Kelly/

The product will only be available to users of Microsoft’s software testing programme, after security experts raised concerns about the feature.

Microsoft has decided to postpone the launch of its Recall AI for Copilot+ PCs, after the planned feature faced a wave of criticism and a probe by a UK regulator.

This feature is designed to help users find content that they have previously seen on their device, by taking regular screenshots of a user’s activities, which are then encrypted and stored on the Copilot+ PC.

A preview of this optional feature was originally going to be available for all Copilot+ PCs when the devices ship next week. But in an updated blogpost, Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft’s corporate VP of Windows and devices, says the feature will now shift to a preview for Windows Insider Program users “in the coming weeks”. This is Microsoft’s open software testing programme.

“This decision is rooted in our commitment to providing a trusted, secure and robust experience for all customers and to seek additional feedback prior to making the feature available to all Copilot+ PC users,” Davuluri said.

“When Recall (preview) becomes available in the Windows Insider Program, we will publish a blog post with details on how to get the preview.”

A date has not been given for when Recall will be available on Copilot+ PCs, as Davuluri said it will be “coming soon” after Microsoft receives feedback from Windows Insider Program testing.

Microsoft previously said the data Recall stores would be secure, but security experts weren’t convinced. One former NASA hacker claimed it would be easy to gain access to all of a user’s data by penetrating a computer for “even a second”.

These concerns prompted Microsoft to reveal a series of updates for the Recall feature, such as giving users a “clearer choice to opt in”.

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office also confirmed it is looking into the Recall feature to “understand the safeguards in place to protect user privacy”.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic