One of several AI features designed run on new high-powered Copilot+ PCs, Recall is like giving users a ‘photographic memory,’ says Microsoft.

Microsoft is bringing a new AI-powered search function to Windows 11 that lets users find and retrieve information across any app they’ve accessed.

The new feature, Windows Recall, essentially records all user actions on a PC, taking snapshots of the screen at 5 second intervals. This allows Recall to generate a searchable timeline of everything they’ve interacted with, whether that’s an application, website, document, image, or anything else. It could mean searching for anything from references to a work-related topic across different documents, or a conversation with a friend on a chat app, whether on a desktop app or via a web browser.

“We set out to solve one of the most frustrating problems we encounter daily — finding something we know we have seen before on our PC,” Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, said Monday in a blog post. “Today, we must remember what file folder it was stored in, what website it was on, or scroll through hundreds of emails trying to find it.

“Now with Recall, you can access virtually what you have seen or done on your PC in a way that feels like having photographic memory.”

“If Recall works as well as planned, it will be a major productivity booster and probably one of the most useful productivity tools we’ve seen in years,” said Jack Gold, principal analyst with business consultancy J. Gold Associates.

“Being able to instantly find data you know you have ,but have no idea where you put it, or instantly recall that website that was so useful — but you can’t remember what it was — will be a game changer.”