How to stop iPhone photo “Memories” alerts

If you have an iPhone running iOS 12 or later, the Photos app has likely alerted you to the fact that “You Have a New Memory” on this day or that one, in the form of photos and videos you’ve previously saved to your Camera Roll. While some people may find these alerts — and the subsequent automatically curated slideshows or video replays — charmingly nostalgic, for others they can be upsetting reminders of people that are no longer in their lives, lost pets, or unpleasant events.

We’re taking a look at making taking a trip down memory lane less painful for iPhone users.  Here’s how to disable iPhone Memory alerts.

Memories “For You” 

In the iPhone’s Photos app, at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a “For You” tab. If you click on it, you will see your automatically generated “Memories” collections. 

"For You" memories featuring a cat

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

While this will be different for everyone depending on the content in their Camera Roll, these can be arranged into categories such as “Pet Friends” or “Portraits,” and events such as “Lunch in New York,” as well as places and dates. 

Your iPhone will sporadically send you a “You Have a New Memory” notification that prompts you to view a particular slideshow. But it is possible to stop this from happening. 

Stopping iPhone Photos “You Have a New Memory” notifications

To put an end to Memory alerts, you need to take a quick trip into your iPhone’s Settings app. Go to the Notifications section and scroll down until you see Photos. Tap it. In the next screen, tap “Customize Notifications” at the bottom.

Arrow pointing to "Customize Notifications"

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

Now you’ll see options to toggle off notifications for Memories, Shared Albums, and Sharing Suggestions. 

Turning off "Memories" in "Customize Notifications"

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

Simply toggle Memories to off (so it’s no longer green), and those potentially painful Memories notifications will be stopped. 

You should be aware that this doesn’t disable the automatic Memories feature, which will still appear in the Photos app’s “For You” tab, but it’s up to you if you want to explore this content.

A more targeted approach to stop Memories notifications about certain people and dates 

Completely turning off Memories notifications is a very blunt tool that will stop all future notifications, but if it’s just a certain person, or a certain date, that’s a trigger for you, there’s a more advanced method you can employ. 

You can instruct your iPhone Photos app to feature a person less or never in Memories notifications. To do this, head to the Photos app and tap the “Albums” tab at the bottom of your iPhone’s screen. Scroll down to see the “People & Places” section and tap “People.” 

This will bring up thumbnails of all the people you have the most photographs of. Tap on the thumbnail of the person you don’t want to get Memories notifications of, and in the next screen, tap on the three dots menu at the top right of your screen. 

In the next menu that pops up, tap on “Feature This Person Less.” 

Boris Johnson and option to "Feature This Person Less"

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

You’ll now get two options. The first is to choose to feature that person less often, which means individual photos and videos of that person will not be shown, although they may appear in group photos.

Boris Johnson and choices to "Feature This Person Less" or "Never Feature This Person"

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

The other option is to “Never Feature This Person,” which means no photos of that person will ever appear in your Memories again. 

You can do the same with dates. In the “For You” tab, when you see a date you don’t want a Memories reminder about, tap on the three dots menu and choose “Feature Less.”

Showing option to "Feature Less" or "Delete Memory"

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

This will ensure any dates that have upsetting connotations won’t be highlighted by the Memories functionality in your Photos app. 

What happens if you change your mind?

If you have a change of heart about any of the feature less/never feature changes you’ve made to your Photos app, you can simply reset your settings. 

Arrow showing option to "Reset Suggested Memories"

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

Just go to your Settings app and scroll down to Photos, then tap on “Reset Suggested Memories.”

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