Windows 11’s controversial Recall feature hasn’t just been ditched from Copilot+ PCs – Microsoft’s reportedly stripped it out of test builds of the OS

Microsoft has seemingly pulled its Recall feature – the AI-powered search that screenshots your PC activity and has caused controversy aplenty – not just from Copilot+ PCs at launch, but now from Windows 11 test builds, too.

If you cast your mind back to a week ago, June 14, Microsoft came forth with an announcement that Recall had been withdrawn from Copilot+ PCs, where it was supposed to be in ‘preview’ at launch, and would instead be available to preview in the “Windows Insider Program (WIP) in the coming weeks.”

In other words, Windows test builds – but of course, the mention of the ‘coming weeks’ suggests that testing of the feature won’t happen immediately in the Canary channel (or other preview channels for that matter).

Still, as Tom’s Hardware observes, Recall functionality was present in build 26236 in the Canary channel – with well-known leaker Albacore uncovering new pieces of functionality – and then, on the day of the launch of Copilot+ PCs, that build had its rollout paused by Microsoft.

Following that, build 26241 emerged in Canary testing, and as Tom’s makes clear, it has no sign of the Recall feature – it has all been stripped out.

Analysis: Recall won’t be ready until it’s ready – and that’s a good thing

Really, then, this is to be expected. As we noted above, Microsoft has said Recall is going into testing, but only in the coming weeks, hinting it’s still a little way off reaching that point. But it’s still interesting to see that Microsoft has stripped it out completely in the Canary channel, after pausing the preview build which had the feature (albeit with changes discovered by Albacore that were hidden in the background).

To us, this indicates that it might be a bit more of a long haul than Microsoft suggests for Recall actually going live even in test builds of Windows 11. But frankly – if this turns out to be the case – we think that’s something to be grateful for, being very much of the opinion that Recall likely isn’t remotely ready yet.

If Microsoft is taking the time to pull it completely, and really get the Recall house in order, before deploying it to Windows 11 testers, that’s a good sign. It’s a kingpin AI feature for Copilot+ PCs, after all, so Microsoft needs to get Recall right, and if that takes time, all well and good as far as we’re concerned.

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