Windows Recall Faces Major Issue beyond Privacy – Excessive Memory Consumption

The new ‘Recall’ function of the Windows 11 operating system, currently being tested, has sparked plenty of controversy around security. However, it carries another significant drawback: it will substantially occupy a computer’s storage space.

Recall is set to become part of Windows 11’s AI assistant, Copilot, designed to record every computer action. This periodically takes computer screen snapshots, encrypts this information, and stores it on the PC’s local drive. Users can go back to a specific timeframe (a previously opened app, file, video, browser page, etc.) with Recall.

Microsoft assures that Recall will store all information on users’ computers and will not be sent to the cloud. Users can customize this feature, enabling an apps and websites filter, removing certain time periods so they are not saved in Recall, or pausing the function at any point through a taskbar icon.

In essence, this refers to a very powerful local PC search that allows users to find any data on their computer, even if not saved conventionally. While some users may find the Recall function extremely useful, others might find it distressing since the computer now essentially watches the user’s every step.

However, security is just one facet of the problem. Microsoft has indicated that Recall will occupy 50 GB of PC drive space, with around 25 GB of memory actively used for information storage. As a Microsoft rep explained to PC Mag, this is precisely why the company demands the function to work effectively on a solid-state drive of at least 256 GB. Bear in mind, Recall will only be available on Copilot Plus PC category computers which Microsoft requires to meet specific technical requirements.

According to Microsoft, 25 GB will suffice for about three months of history storage in Recall. As allocated memory fills up, old files will be replaced with new entries. It’s presumed that data storage memory can be increased, though it’s currently unclear whether Recall will support external drive connections.

This might result in increased PC prices given the anticipated rise in costs for certain SSDs.

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