How to Block Someone From Appearing in Your iPhone Photo ‘Memories’

How to Block Someone From Appearing in Your iPhone Photo ‘Memories’

When you open the photos app on your iPhone, you can access your library, your albums, and a really great search feature that enables you to filter pictures by text or even description. You also see “Memories”—collections the app generates automatically, made up of pictures that fit a specific theme, and they are suggested to you daily.

Right now, my Memories include a collage of pictures of my mom “over the years,” a trip I took to D.C. last year, and a collection of various snapshots from various beach days. Those are benign enough, but they’ll change in a few hours, and could include anything my phone decides I might be interested in seeing based on the the location, date taken, or person featured.

Yes, AI has come a long way—but not far enough to sense when you don’t want to see someone’s face anymore. Your phone won’t if someone has died or you’ve ended a friendship, and it won’t know if you find looking at those images traumatic or distracting or whatever else. Which is why it’s help to know you can tell the app to stop showing you specific people in your suggest Memories. Here’s how.

Stop your iPhone from showing you a specific person in Memories

In the native iPhone photos app, the process of hiding someone from your memories differs from what you have to do if you’re trying to hide them in Google Photos. To hide them on your iPhone, you need to first locate a photo of the person in your camera roll.

Once the photo is open, swipe up to reveal the picture’s metadata. Depending on the settings employed by the phone that snapped the original picture, it may show you the date it was taken, what kind of phone was used, where it was taken, and/or what app it was saved from. If you look in the lower left portion of the picture itself, you’ll see little circles representing each of the people in the picture. Tap on the circle that shows the person you want to hide to get a menu. If you don’t already have that person’s pictures linked up to their contact card in your phone, it will ask you to assign them a name. The other two options are to see all the photos you have of them or, crucially, “Feature Less…”

Tapping on “Feature Less…” gives you two more options: “Feature this Person Less” means individual pictures of them won’t be included in Memories, but you may still get a few pictures of them in group settings. “Never Feature This Person” will prevent even group photos of them from making it to your suggested memories.

How to unblock someone in iPhone photo Memories

Also unlike Google Photos, the process you use to unblock someone from your automatically-generated Memories is a little more difficult. Head to your phone settings, and find “Photos.” Scroll until you find “Reset People Suggestions.” When you tap this, the phone will say, “Resetting will allow people suggested less to once again be fully included in new memories and featured photos.”

That means if you want to free someone from iPhone photo memory purgatory—say, if you get back together with an ex or are healed enough after losing someone that seeing their face out of nowhere won’t send you into a spiral—you have to free everyone, then go back through and re-hide the people you’re not ready to see. This sucks, but is unavoidable.

If you’re looking to hide specific places or dates, you may also have to wait until a memory of those places or dates is generated. From there, tap the three dots in the upper right of the photo set and, again, hit “Feature Less.” You’ll be able to select whether you want to feature the day, place, or person less, but you can’t access these options until you actually have a memory from which to do so. This can also be reset in the settings, the same way you can reset the hidden people.