Microsoft chickens out of rolling out Recall to all Copilot+ PCs, choosing instead to push the all-seeing AI tool out to Windows Insiders first

A promotional image for Microsoft Recall, an AI search tool in Copilot+ AI PCs
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Next week would have been an interesting time for anyone with a Copilot+ AI PC. Microsoft had originally planned to give owners of a Snapdragon X-powered laptop a preview version of its AI nosey neighbour feature, Recall, but after concerns over security and privacy, that's been scrapped in favour of restricting it to members of the Windows Insider program.

Since its announcement last month, the much-vaunted Recall hasn't been especially well received. I'm not sure who thought it would be a great idea to have a PC constantly keep track of everything you do on it but Microsoft has certainly promoted the AI tool rather heavily.

However, security and privacy concerns over the idea of a PC keeping snapshots and screenshots of it all in a local database. that anyone with access to the machine could potentially see, prompted Microsoft to announce changes to how the data would be kept safe.

But even that doesn't seem to have completely allayed fears and with the PC industry's hopes of flush bank balances, bolstered by sales of Copilot+ PCs, the software giant has changed tack on how the first version of Recall would be released. Initially, all Copilot+ owners would get it, starting June 18, but that's been dropped in favour of releasing it via the Windows Insider program first.

This is Microsoft's beta channel for Windows, letting members of the public get early versions of Windows updates to try out. Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Windows and Devices, gave the reasons for this change in an updated blog:

"We are adjusting the release model for Recall to leverage the expertise of the Windows Insider community to ensure the experience meets our high standards for quality and security. 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."

This will happen in "the coming weeks" and Microsoft still plans on making Recall available to all Copilot+ owners "soon"—your guess is as good as anyone's as to when that will be.

A promotional image showing several laptops resting on furniture, as part of Microsoft's Copilot+ AI PC ecosystem

Copilot+ AI PCs will be the only ones to experience Recall, to begin with. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Whatever one feels about Recall, I think it's worth noting that Microsoft is at pains to remind us all that this is a preview version of the feature, even once it's widely released outside of the Insider program.

In the blog update, almost every mention of the omniscient AI tool is Recall (preview). I don't know about you but I'd prefer multi-billion dollar software companies to not use potentially unsuspecting members of the public as unpaid beta testers.

Yes, you'll have the option to disable Recall and never use it once, but I'd much prefer it if Microsoft didn't foist beta software onto everyday users in the first place. Microsoft needs to make downloading Recall entirely optional and not a compulsory update to the operating system. 

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Microsoft's rapid changes in Recall's security features and roll-out show that it clearly cares about its public image, and by making it a fully optional application, it would go no small way to help improve the confidence users have of AI, Windows, and Microsoft itself.

Recall isn't something that I would ever use myself and everyone outside of PC Gamer that I've spoken with about Microsoft's AI tool has said the same. A tiny sample out of the millions of Windows users, of course, but I suspect that our thoughts are not uncommon.

After all, how many people are chomping at the bit to test out a beta application that constantly monitors and records your activity on a PC, even if you can tell it to ignore specific apps and websites?

Nick Evanson
Hardware Writer

Nick, gaming, and computers all first met in 1981, with the love affair starting on a Sinclair ZX81 in kit form and a book on ZX Basic. He ended up becoming a physics and IT teacher, but by the late 1990s decided it was time to cut his teeth writing for a long defunct UK tech site. He went on to do the same at Madonion, helping to write the help files for 3DMark and PCMark. After a short stint working at, Nick joined Futuremark (MadOnion rebranded) full-time, as editor-in-chief for its gaming and hardware section, YouGamers. After the site shutdown, he became an engineering and computing lecturer for many years, but missed the writing bug. Cue four years at and over 100 long articles on anything and everything. He freely admits to being far too obsessed with GPUs and open world grindy RPGs, but who isn't these days?