Eliminate your ex from your iPhone Memories in five simple steps

Couple arguing in restaurant
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The iPhone's 'Memories' feature is cute. Up to a point. It'll randomly show you videos of events past which it has assembled. Mine likes to show stages in my son's development or various visits to certain locations.

What if it decided to show you some 'Good times in Paris' and shared a series of photos that included an ex? It happens. And should your current significant other happen to see the images? Well, the atmosphere is going to change, that's for sure. I'm cringing just typing about it.

If you're in a very Apple home this is all the more vital to get control of. Your phone is one thing, but Memories popping up on an iPad or the Apple TV-controlled flat panel could provoke even more, er, reasoned discussion.

Fear not. There are two solutions. One, of course, is to start no new relationships once you start taking photos. That's it. Music stops. OR... 

Step 1: Find the People folder

(Image credit: Future)

Go to the albums page of your iPhone Photos app and scroll down to People & Places. Be prepared to be a bit creeped out if you've never tried this before. Here you'll find your phone has been attempting to recognize your acquaintances – you might have helped it in the past. Some will be named, others not.

Step 2: Seek...

Locating person in iPhone 14 People and Places page

(Image credit: Future)

Select the person who isn't popular with your current beau or babe. You'll be treated to a page showing photos and videos of them (so it's probably best to do this without oversight). you might even be asked to confirm whether a few other photos do or don't feature the person to assist the phone's AI. All that can help because you're also in the right place...

Step 3: ...and destroy

(Image credit: Future)

Tap the three dots to bring up the menu in the top right of the individual's page.

Step 4: Feature 'Less'

Opting to Feature person less in iphone Photos

(Image credit: Future)

In the fly-out menu choose 'Feature [the person] Less' option. Yes, we know 'Less' might not be quite as bonfire-of-the-Polariods as you (or at least your new partner) had in mind, but there is one more step. 'Less' is more Apple's diplomacy.

Step 5: Decide on your history

Choosing between reduced or total removal of ex in iPhone Photo app

(Image credit: Future)

Decide whether you want to eliminate the person from your 'Memories' entirely or group photos only. This will be a choice you need to make based on your sense of diplomacy, the social dynamics of your relationship and so on, but Photos explains what it can do to help on screen.

The People feature of iOS is well worth exploring. I for one enjoy seeing who it has separated into unnamed other people because they had a thicker beard or different glasses, so don't be 100% confident it can completely obscure your ex, but it's definitely a lot easier than scrolling through every picture you've ever taken.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook